Project Details

Research Methods

  • Sketching
  • Analysis

Advised By

  • Renato Verdugo - Sr. UX Researcher

Time Frame

  • June 2016


  • Google Docs / Forms / Slides
  • Paper & Pen
  • Photoshop

Fan - Creator Interactions

At the start of my YouTube internship I was tasked with creating a small research project to conduct while I attended a large creator event as part of my main summer project. My brief was that I should investigate fan or creator behaviour and that the creator event was the perfect place to run the study, even though it occurred only a few days into my internship. As a result I had to devise a study to meet that criteria in a very compressed time-frame.


  • The objective of the study was to attempt to discover something interesting about user behaviour, while utilizing a resource not usually available to researchers - a large number of creators and fans together in one place at one time.


  • After receiving my brief I discussed ideas with my mentors about the type of behaviour I should investigate and how I should conduct the study.
  • I decided to investigate what happens when fans meet creators, and namely how they collect artefacts around those experiences and share them with others.
  • I created an activity based on a three frame comic strip, where participants would be asked to quickly draw and describe how they meet creators, collect an artefact of that meeting, and then share that interaction.
  • Once I had created the study, I then contacted some event organizers at the creator event I was attending and worked with them to place my activity into a session.
  • I then attended the session, and oversaw the distribution, completion, and collection of the comic strip activity from over 100 attendees.
  • Following the creator event I analysed the results from the comic strip and wrote them up into a detailed report to be published internally


  • Most initial intern studies are planned and executed over the first several weeks of the internship, mine was completed by the end of my second week. This compressed timeline presented a unique and exciting challenge.
  • Analysing a massive amount of handwritten / drawn data proved to be quite a challenge.


  • The activity provided a great deal of insight into not only how users interact with creators, but also how they share those interactions - and what platforms they chose to do that.
  • I was able to pull from a very rich repository of data thanks to the comic strips and my research findings were literally illustrated by the users.
  • In addition to useful information around sharing, this research also provided invaluable insights into how users choose to collect mementos of their interactions with creators.


Given the compressed timeline in which I was required to create and execute this study, the expectations of my team of what insights I could draw from users while attending the creator event were not high. This was perhaps bolstered by the fact most of my time attending the event was taken up by conducting work for my main summer project, and executing this research required effort outside of that already very packed schedule. However, I managed to pull extremely interesting, valuable, and unique insights from the data I collected. Additionally, the unique way I conducted the study - utilizing comic-strips - received a lot of praise from my team, and a lot of positive feedback from my research report. In fact when I completed my internship, my mentor was careful to make sure the completed comic strips were not lost or destroyed, so they could be utilized in future internal research posters.