Content tagging and expected search results for personal cloud content.
Research Objectives
There were two major areas to assess, with the first being user sentiment on the content auto-tagging feature, and the second on existing user behavior and expectations when searching for specific content.
With these areas in scope, the resulting research objectives were to understand which method of content finding participants were inclined to pursuing, comparing the Search and Explore (auto-curated) features, and isolating user perspectives on search results.​​​​​​​
To address the research, I worked together with the stakeholders to dissect the research objectives, and to determine research approach. Through collaboration we determined that participatory research through interviews made sense, as we were exclusively seeking qualitative data from the participants on the features in scope.
I created a screener, research plan, and discussion guide to effectively carry out the study, and fostered a partnership between the stakeholders to conduct engaged research. Upon conducting the interviews with recruited participants, I made some recommendations and provided insights to the team.
Findings & Implications
"Explore" resonated more with participants when the content centered around photos, with less emphasis on contacts and documents. Participants were likely to search for documents and contacts through the search bar, but glance through the Explore screen to find photos.
Participants from all age groups tended to favor Search over Explore, as Explore was described as "vague" and they don't know what to expect.
Participants typically tended to rely on dates and filtering or sort to find content on the cloud. All participant groups unanimously expected search results to always show photos and videos together, never one without the other regardless of what they're searching for.
Impact & Reflection
Through this research, I was able to make an impact on the user experience of searching content within our personal cloud app. With a clear direction on product strategy and feature development, I helped to uncover user preferences and validate our assumptions about user behavior and sentiment. 
Saving time to find specific content, establishing easy ways to organize content, and improving personalization and accessibility of media were some main accomplishments from this research work.

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