Let’s Talk

How might NPR effectively target, reach, and engage future audiences?

Becoming a digitally integrated media organization is paramount to effectively reach the next wave of revenue growth. Media companies today need to connect interactions to content that has been curated for the specific customer. Researchers at NPR and SVA IxD students are aligned in the understand that NPR’s listeners are growing older.


Solution: Introducing Let’s Talk

A method to deliver NPR content directly to the millennial NPR audience. We will promote this product across all trending social media platforms—including Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Reddit, Instagram. Through a combination of innovative technologies, our AI chat bots will create dialogue with millennials via Short Messaging Service (SMS) to analyze sentiment and interests, while making content recommendations based on preferences, geo-location, and time of day.


Recommends Stories: NPR bot will learn the user’s interests to recommend the right content at the right time of days

Answers Questions: Have a question about a new episode? NPR bot can answer

Making Sharing Easy: Share content with your friends via email, text or social media

More than content: NPR bot has the potential to become a new and more effective ECRM program for millennials, keeping them in the loop with bite-sized content updates.


millennials2Key features of Let’s Talk

1. Gathers info through Natural Language Processing, your chatbot will collect all of your desired parameters.
2. AI interprets and isolates data such as times, locations and more
3. Stores streaming conversation
4. Present and recommends podcasts, and captures the specifications or preferences provided by the user.
5. Reminds users at key moments when they should listen to a podcast.




NPR conducted research and approached us with a problem: Their broadcast audience is getting older. In 1985, over 60% of their audience was 44 or younger. Based on their current projections, by 2020, they will be at half that level.



Collaboration with James Vanie and Andrew Hua.
Duration: 3 weeks

My role entailed project management, facilitate brainstorm sessions, qualitative research, synthesis, iterations on solutions and product concept design.


Research findings

To deliver content effectively in today’s environment, it is paramount to understand the attitudes and behaviors of the next generation NPR listeners. Through observational research, we found that millennials are constantly on the phone and texting is part their rituals. They would rather text each other than have a conversation over the phone.


1. NPR.org is growing, lots of traffic from Facebook, more reading than listening
2. NPR one app: Biggest digital investment personalized and localized listening experience, by curation and algorithm
3. People are using many devices and sources for news and information
4. 20 years olds are not listening to NPR

In our team, research we conducted one-to-one user interviews and we found out that text messages are popular with the people around early twenties. Not only do they chat with friends but also to connect with brands, browse merchandise, and watch content.



During our process, we mapped out user scenarios and found out opportunities, when this might be used.


Scenario 1: Min is waiting for the subway and decides to catch up on social media. On Instagram, she sees and ad from NPR with a message button ‘Let’s talk’. The direct message opens within Instagram and she has a live conversation the NPR bot.


Scenario 2: Min decides to relax in the park and do some catching up. She sees an Instagram ad from NPR and has a conversation with the NPR bot.


I did a systems app and the process of how the user will discover the NPR bot. I wanted a simplified experience, by using the SMS method. I also created low fidelity sketches on how the user will discover new content through different social media. The user will be able to send a picture to the bot and it will be able to send over relevant links to the user.


Mega trends

A list of mega trends that were relevant to our solution.

Beyond the phone: Estimated two in five internet users will use wearables by 2019

Content distribution: Shifting towards instantaneous, ubiquitous access, often using social networks

Personalized messaging: Consumers are expecting highly customized and personalized interactions with brands


 Design Principles


Digestibility:Give users the opportunity to skim articles through Q/A and text summaries
Familiarity: Reaching out to users on platforms they use to sharing information on.
Delight: Using Natural Language Processing (NLP) to understand behaviors and preferences in order to deliver relevant and new content.


Let’s Talk benefits

Let’s talk will learn and adapt from the user experience and give the user more control. So if the user doesn’t want to read something. Let’s talk will not recommend that theme. It greatly reduces risk, because it will be build on already existing technology. It’s an automation technology designed to make the planning, configuration and management. We can integrate more NPR information such as social media and things happening around the country. If you are living in New Orleans, Let’s talk will wish you a Happy Mardi Gras!


Let’s Talk Values

Donations: We found out that NPR does not solicit donations with the public. Give users the opportunity to donate to NPR.

Community: Easy to share with people around you.

Control: The user will have more control over the content.

NPR future audience research findings
Business Insider: http://businessinsider.com/the-messaging-app-report-2015-11?IR=T
EMarketer: http://www.emarketer.com/

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