Summary: Users appreciate personalized content suggestions and are willing to give up some of their privacy for quality recommendations, while accepting some inaccurate recommendations.
20 years ago, Jakob Nielsen posited that personalization was overrated , primarily because technology was not sufficiently advanced to create good predictions for what users cared about. Fast forward to today, and (as he predicted) personalization is a growing trend on the web. Individualized personalization , as opposed to role-based personalization , refers to the practice of tailoring content and functionality to a specific user, based on data gathered about that user’s preferences and behaviors.
While personalized user interfaces can include anything from command shortcuts to color schemes, a particularly useful form of individualized personalization is the use of recommendations on websites and mobile apps. Recommended products or content items are particularly common on ecommerce sites, social media, news sites, and streaming video or music services, but can also be found on other genres of sites. So, while a service like YouTube may offer millions of videos, any given user will only be shown a handful of recommended videos and channels when visiting the site’s homepage or after watching a video, based on gathered data about that user.
Individualized recommendations can be based on machine learning or other artificial-intelligence techniques, explicit customization instructions from the user, or some combination of both.
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