Catherine Hicks
User Experience and Product Design Professional


NetBase delivers the social intelligence that global brands and agencies use to publish, monitor, analyze and engage with customers in real time. Using a high-precision natural language processing (NLP) engine, our platform processes billions of social media posts to extract structured insights delivered via customizable dashboards. Our solutions enable digital marketing, public relations, brand management, customer service, sales, and product innovation leaders to craft winning strategies faster.

Role & Project Summary

  • NetBase Pro and Instant Search User Research

  • Built upon Instant Search to complete a more robust platform
  • After successful feedback on Instant search and before we moved forward with building Pro, we needed to fully understand what users would want from a "mid-level" platform build
  • Without fully understanding the users, we could go down a dangerous path of building something no one wants to use.
  • Taking the time to speak to users allows us to build the new platform with a higher level of certainty we are on the right path

Project Constraints

  • We had a general direction from many users who wanted an easy way to get data without having to jump into the core of the product.
  • We built this as a skunkworks project, so we had lots of leeway to explore the capabilities of our visualization library (highcharts) and worked on using already existing data we were collecting for enterprise product and reimagining the visuals for a more updated UI.
  • We had a group of users who used the enterprise platform who were comfortable with it.
  • These users often shared data with other people in their company and that was a cumbersome process for them
  • We needed to understand two fold: what they needed to share, and how a user of a new platform would want to receive that information
  • We need to fully understand our users and their needs in order to build a product that will be widely adopted alongside our enterprise offering


  • Thankfully our sales team was very open to making introductions and our customer success team also funneled people to us to speak to so we had a great set of users who were very actively using the platform to speak to about their needs for a less complex platform for other members of their team to use

Peoject Goals:

1. Full understanding of users needs and understanding how best to build the new offering

2. Fully formed personas

  • While not always ideal, we decided to begin our product development on this new product with people we had good relationships with who had given us feedback on the instant search product as well as some of our larger clients
  • The idea behind this was these would be people who would more than likely be early adopters of the product, and therefore getting their feedback would help them feel part of the process and therefore more likely to purchase once launched
  • We also planned additional research after beta and before official product launch and worked with existing data from our enterprise product research where appropriate