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Qualitative Analytics: Measuring Feelings & Understanding Empathy | by Tremis Skeete | Jul, 2022

UX Analysis Classes You Can Study from Canvs Founder Jared Feldman.

People as we speak devour content material via extra channels than ever earlier than, they usually’re additionally utilizing media channels to speak in regards to the TV exhibits and films they watch. And once they’re speaking about these exhibits, sharing their favourite moments, quotes, reactions, opinions, and creating content material for fellow followers to answer — plenty of emotions are being shared and exchanged.

Canvs Founder and CEO, Jared Feldman believes within the significance of understanding how folks really feel on social media as they devour content material. By main the creation and improvement of groundbreaking qualitative evaluation merchandise, Jared is devoted to serving to corporations like Netflix, Sony, and Disney perceive how their content material impacts audiences in all places.

Jared Feldman, Founder & CEO of Canvs

At a hearth chat at Meetup HQ in New York Metropolis, Jared sat down with Greg Battle, Chief Product Officer at finance intelligence firm, Laso to debate Canvs merchandise, the world of qualitative analytics, and what it takes to construct a enterprise devoted to understanding the facility of empathy.

Jared, from a younger age, was an aspiring musician with goals of working within the tv trade. By the point he arrived at NYU to check music and know-how, it was instilled in him that the explanations musicians carry out is to have interaction with the unconscious inside folks and elicit feelings.

His appreciation for music and feelings is likely one of the issues that impressed him to create Canvs:

“After we began Canvs, it was based with the mission of creating the world extra empathetic. And what makes somebody empathetic is to actually perceive how the opposite individual is feeling. We would like prospects to have the power to know fashionable dialogue on social media as they learn the way shoppers interact with content material.”

Automating methods to know how shoppers really feel about content material is a product specialist’s dream at corporations as we speak. With so many opinions being shared, there isn’t any restrict to the chances in information, and leveraging the facility of pure language processing, computational linguistics, and different applied sciences are solely the start of what Canvs does for his or her prospects.

Emotion is a worthwhile, but ambiguous component — particularly in the case of understanding the impression of video and social media content material. And when feelings intersect with language, expression and which means; offering actionable data primarily based on emotions folks share on-line is the problem Canvs takes on for its prospects, as Jared explains:

“We analyze emotional reactions and talk insights primarily based on the sentiments folks expertise whereas consuming content material. These insights are designed to construct empathy, as a result of our product and advertising and marketing prospects need to perceive and make sense of those feelings.”

Now understanding feelings will not be a easy activity, particularly when you lack context, for various folks have other ways to share their emotions. That’s Jared and his groups deal with figuring out the core feelings that folks use once they categorical how they really feel on-line.

“There are 42 totally different core feelings we acknowledge because the methods folks share their emotions on-line. We’re additionally educating A.I. know-how to be taught and perceive grammatical nuances, varied spellings, slang and different language variations that happen on-line. Educating A.I. to know how sentiment and context can have an effect on the tone of content material can also be part of the method.”

These 42 feelings had been derived from complete research led by Canvs Chief Knowledge Scientist, Dr. Sam Ok. Hui; guided by analysis on human emotion from famous psychologists, Dr. Paul Ekman and Dr. Robert Plutchik.

Dr. Sam Ok. Hui is the thoughts behind the Canvs machine. Sam earned his Ph.D in Advertising from UPenn, a MS in Statistics from Stanford, and a BS in Arithmetic and Computational Science from Stanford and has written over 20 publications.

Dr. Paul Ekman is an American psychologist and professor emeritus on the College of California, San Francisco and a pioneer within the examine of feelings and their relation to facial expressions. He’s the world’s deception detection knowledgeable, co-discoverer of micro expressions, and the inspiration behind the hit tv collection, Misinform Me.

Dr. Robert Plutchik was professor emeritus on the Albert Einstein Faculty of Drugs and adjunct professor on the College of South Florida. He obtained his Ph.D. from Columbia College and he was additionally a psychologist. His analysis pursuits included the examine of feelings, the examine of suicide and violence, and the examine of the psychotherapy course of.

Consultants for years have been utilizing surveys and different instruments to study how folks really feel. Whereas that is true, producers like Sony and Disney traditionally weren’t involved with how folks really feel [emotions] about content material. It’s comprehensible. Reactions are simpler to seize than feelings.

“As Canvs developed in its capabilities, what sort of metrics have you ever discovered are efficient in measuring feelings and empathy?” Greg asks Jared.

“Relating to understanding shoppers, corporations are extra excited about studying about what folks do due to how they really feel [i.e. emotional reactions].”

“Now we’ve developed and launched new sorts of metrics for measuring emotional reactions from the client standpoint. These metrics are included in what we name a ‘social empathy meter’,” Jared explains. Corporations like Fb and Disney use this meter to see how shoppers are connecting with and reacting to their exhibits and different merchandise emotionally, whether or not positively or negatively.

“May you share with us an instance of how your prospects use the social empathy meter?” Greg asks Jared.

“Will Smith within the Disney film remake ‘Aladdin’ is a situation we’re finding out,” Jared says. “As most of , Will Smith performs the genie, and there have been many conversations on social media about how uncommon he appears. Disney needed to seek out out if selling the genie on social media would positively or negatively impression their advertising and marketing technique. Now they use Canvs merchandise to know how folks on social media really feel about Will Smith’s look.”

Will Smith because the Genie in Disney’s ‘Aladdin’. Supply:

With the social empathy meter, prospects can go a step additional, and establish why folks really feel and react a specific approach. That is essential as a result of whereas everybody experiences comparable feelings, these feelings will be expressed in very other ways.

“Traditionally, product folks have analyzed emotional information when it comes to ‘constructive’ and ‘unfavourable’,” Jared explains. “This method works properly for operational information, but it surely’s a foul method for emotional information. At Canvs we imagine constructive and unfavourable emotions are context particular so we’ve developed instruments designed to assist our prospects get as shut as potential to the true explanation why issues occur.”

When analyzing feelings, Canvs works with two basically various kinds of information: operational and experiential information. The analysis strategies have two totally different approaches: confirmatory and exploratory.

Based on Jared, at Canvs they view ‘Insights’, amongst different issues because the methods to make connections between experiential information and operational information. To make connections efficiently, they begin with the confirmatory method when information already exists and it must be contextualized.

“With the confirmatory method, it requires quicker validation, as a result of we’re normally attempting to see if the hypotheses we bear in mind will be supported by information. Within the occasions the place there’s little or no information to help our hypotheses, we change to a extra exploratory method.”

The exploratory method, nonetheless, occurs much less usually and is extra concerned:

“With the exploratory method, it includes utilizing uneven insights which may result in sudden outcomes, as a result of we’re not attempting to validate hypotheses. As a substitute, we’re attempting to determine what the info suggests. Typically, we need to establish which sentiments present up essentially the most within the information.”

For instance, if expressions of nostalgia seem essentially the most within the information you’re analyzing, extra exploring is required to find out the precise situational contexts. As a result of emotions of nostalgia may cause some folks to be pleased and different folks to be unhappy.

One other instance is a few corporations need to discover out if commercials they make for his or her merchandise are eliciting the sorts of feelings they anticipate from shoppers. With Canvs merchandise they’ll be taught whether or not or not a marketing campaign that was meant to elicit happiness, ended up eliciting anger or disgust.

Typically analysts discover developments in emotional responses to specific exhibits, or to specific characters featured in exhibits. For instance, viewers might categorical hate for characters within the Bravo TV present ‘the Actual Housewives in Atlanta’. Whereas shoppers primarily based on their social media exercise ‘hate’ a few of these characters, they nonetheless watch extra episodes of the Actual Housewives.

The Actual Housewives of Atlanta. Supply:

It’s just like the lesson Jared realized earlier on — corporations are extra excited about studying about what folks do due to how they really feel. An individual who says they hate a Actual Housewives character will not be the identical as an individual who says they hate the Actual Housewives present. Context is important when analyzing qualitative information, and shoppers who hate Actual Housewives characters is seen by Bravo producers nearly as good for rankings.

There are key distinctions between product-based and service-based companies. Whereas each varieties promote a product, in service-based companies, prospects purchase the providers supplied by specialists, similar to an online designer or accountant. Product-based companies present tangible and/or interactive merchandise which might be comparable of their presentation and high quality for every person, making for a constant buyer expertise.

Canvs didn’t begin out as a product enterprise. In 2013, Canvs was generally known as Mashwork, they usually supplied providers within the type of analyses and insights for corporations. Additionally they had a beta product.

Issues began out very properly. TruTV was one in all their first prospects. They acknowledged the facility of their know-how, they usually determined that they had been going to transition these prospects from Mashwork to Canvs.


They employed engineers to construct out prototypes and began elevating enterprise capital. Issues didn’t go fairly as deliberate when it got here to timing although. He assumed that your entire transition would take round six months as a result of he didn’t know any higher. In actuality, it ended up taking round eighteen months.

He has no regrets in the case of making the transition, however the journey was removed from the simple path he imagined. Listed below are 5 essential classes Jared realized.

An essential a part of rising a startup is knowing the market. One of the frequent causes that companies fail is as a result of they didn’t go after the proper market. A brand new enterprise’s success depends on that enterprise’s means to be taught, develop, and be nimble. A approach to do this is to check assumptions.

“There’s usually a trade-off between velocity and assumption testing. A product can both be rushed out the door and into the market as quickly as potential, or it may be examined to guarantee that it is going to succeed. Each concept that comes alongside, each resolution that you simply assume it is best to make, it doesn’t matter what it’s, is an assumption earlier than it’s examined.”

This, Jared admits, is an space that he has skilled some missteps in.

A product supervisor asks Jared, “On the subject of the UX journey of Canvs merchandise, what had been your largest classes realized as you had been constructing out these providers on your key customers?”

“One of many largest missteps I made is considering that I’m the client. I grew to understand that as somebody who needs to construct nice merchandise, I’ll usually imagine that I’ve an ideal concept and need to see it absolutely executed. Nonetheless, that concept might not be what’s finest for the client.”

He admits to Greg that there have been many cases the place a product has failed as a result of the concepts and views weren’t absolutely realized. As Jared says, “It felt like a good suggestion, however in hindsight, no person knew why it was a good suggestion. We needed to learn to ‘unearth the why’ after we speak about product concepts.”

“My finest studying got here from huge missteps,” Jared says to Greg. He tells a narrative a couple of spreadsheet product they developed:

“Our product was minimalist and modern-looking. Nonetheless, after we did our first demo, our extra senior prospects who did a lot of the person and market analysis, that they had hassle studying the on-screen textual content as a result of it was too small. After getting plenty of suggestions from our senior prospects, we ended up having to remake the product considerably. This precipitated us to lose a number of weeks of worthwhile coding and improvement time.”

It was then, he was reminded of what his software program engineers had been repeatedly attempting to show him: “Any design resolution you make with out testing is an assumption. If it’s an assumption, it doesn’t matter, till you possibly can show it really works by testing it on customers.”

And now, Jared doesn’t let his engineers code something earlier than constructing and validating his concepts with prototypes:

“Testing your assumptions builds confidence and lets you make investments deeply and make bolder strikes on what will get validated. To not write a single line of code till you get validation is so important when you’ve got restricted assets to spare. Large corporations waste cash on a regular basis, however once you’re a small firm, and you’ve got 12 to 18 months of runway, you don’t have wiggle room to mess issues up. It’s one of many largest issues I’ve realized.”


The last word assumption take a look at, in line with Jared, is to ask prospects straight if they’d pay for a product or function. These phrases of knowledge, mixed with what he realized about validating assumptions earlier than coding; impressed him to select that will make Lean UX followers proud.

“That’s why my first rent was not engineering. It was in design, as a result of I realized to worth the facility of validating MVPs earlier than constructing something,” He tells Greg and the viewers:

“After I determined to transition to a product enterprise, I acknowledged there was an ‘creativeness hole’ between myself and the purchasers. After being burned with not testing assumptions earlier than coding earlier on, I spotted that it was finest to no less than construct prototypes on paper and present to prospects, as a result of they gained’t perceive your imaginative and prescient except you present it to them.”

With the Canvs Surveys product, Jared admits that it was not his concept. They as an alternative stumbled upon the thought as they co-designed different merchandise and prototypes with their prospects.

“We had been being empathetic, co-designing providers with prospects like Amazon and NBC, they usually shared with us that surveys was nonetheless one of many main methods corporations collect client information. We determined to discover automated know-how for survey information, testing product and design assumptions alongside the best way. Ultimately, we got here up with a viable idea for Canvs Surveys.”

Co-design is a big a part of how groups at Canvs collaborate and get issues carried out. “We don’t commit a line of code with out testing assumptions, and we imagine in creating a piece tradition round that apply,” Jared says to the viewers. “We imagine in taking a step again earlier than taking a step ahead, speaking to prospects, doing interviews and observing their struggles. The target is to deeply perceive what we are able to be taught from these actions within the course of.”

When a startup is based, the founder can find yourself taking up plenty of totally different roles. They are often the top of gross sales, chief analyst, CTO, or anything. The founder takes on no matter roles are wanted to serve the enterprise till expertise is employed for these roles. When that expertise is employed, it’s additionally essential for the founder to move the baton and allow them to take the reigns.

“A properly run group is a company that scales. Because the founder, I must guarantee that important choices are being made, however I additionally wanted to be taught to let the brand new expertise make the choices. It’s one of many explanation why I positioned a precedence of discovering a reliable product chief I can belief to make the important thing product choices as Canvs continues to scale.”

Finally, he realized that a very powerful factor {that a} product chief can do as their enterprise grows is say ‘no.’ Canvs groups and merchandise want to have the ability to ingest volumes of knowledge and work out what data will likely be useful, what will likely be potential, and what must be thrown away — all to make sure they continue to be targeted on the precise wants of their prospects.


As a CEO, Jared has to reside sooner or later usually. He’s all the time attempting to see the place his enterprise can go. Sadly, he admits that his imaginative and prescient can typically go a bit too far and create a spot between what the enterprise needs and what the enterprise is able to.

“Determining the way to articulate the imaginative and prescient is simply as essential because the imaginative and prescient itself.”

Canvs started as a service enterprise however their core operation has all the time revolved round fashionable dialogue. He explains that know-how corporations have traditionally primarily based their empathetic metrics on dictionaries that contained definitions of emotions and feelings. And what Jared discovered whereas working at Canvs was that this was inconsistent with how folks truly expressed themselves. They adjusted their capabilities and Canvs turned an insights firm going ahead.

A few of Canvs’ prospects are corporations with entry to over 20 years of social media and client survey information. They’ve additionally invested in machine studying know-how in an effort to generate worth from this information, they usually’re keen to work with Jared’s groups to find even higher methods make this occur. He realizes nonetheless that to tackle the problem of ingesting and contextualizing information units of that magnitude, the corporate must tremendously increase their capabilities.

“Turning into a product enterprise is a balancing act between being targeted on the large product concepts and staying what we do on a regular basis as an organization; whereas continuously fascinated with what will be productized and monetized primarily based on market developments, and serves actual buyer wants.”

Jared continues to speak to his groups about evolving merchandise into automated providers that folks may use to know emotional information and one another as human beings. His dream for instance is to have one thing that would obtain easy textual content and translate that to emotions in a approach that’s easier than what exists as we speak. That is one thing that they’re shifting in the direction of day by day.


In Canvs’ first three years, they had been a worthwhile service enterprise that will subscribe to 3rd social gathering social listening instruments. Via this, they had been capable of uncover what instruments had been and weren’t helpful. Additionally they realized how entrepreneurs, advertisers, and researchers wanted to obtain data to ensure that it to be helpful to them. Even earlier than they had been a product enterprise, accuracy all the time mattered.

Jared shares with Greg a narrative a couple of assembly with the American media firm, ABC. He explains that at ABC they’ve a system that takes years of historic information they usually use it to foretell rankings for future seasons of content material.

“And now they’ve been utilizing Canvs merchandise to reinforce their predictions and accuracy of their resolution making,” He says.

When he displays upon how Canvs merchandise was first obtained by prospects, he humorously compares the experiences to what he imagines it might be wish to mass-produce flying vehicles.

“As intrigued as they had been, initially, folks had been skeptical and most well-liked to stay with what they had been aware of. Nonetheless, as soon as they really used the merchandise, opinions started to vary.”

Now prospects like ABC can’t think about going again to the previous approach of doing issues. “That is the essence of a product pushed by experience-based promoting, versus a product pushed by needs-based promoting,” He says.

Contextualizing the dear points of emotional reactions is on the core of the Canvs mission. To try this work properly, Jared’s groups have realized that constructing merchandise that assist prospects acknowledge the strengths and weaknesses in emotional information, is tantamount to constructing empathy; as a result of behind that information is individuals who love sharing how they really feel as they watch nice tales.



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