On the Delivery of Recommendations in Social Software: a User's Perspective
Recommendation is a popular feature of social software. Recommendations could be made by the software autonomously or by social contacts who are often aided by the software on what to recommend. A great deal of emphasis in the literature has been given to the algorithmic solution to infer relevant and interesting recommendations. Yet, the delivery method of recommendation is still a widely unexplored research topic. This paper advocates that the success in deducing recommendations is not the sole factor for “recommendees” to consider. Users have their own requirements on the way a recommendation is made and delivered. Failure in meeting user expectations would often lead to the rejection of the recommendations as well as the violation of user experience. In this paper, we conduct an empirical research to explore such user’s perspective. We start with qualitative phase, based on interviews, and confirm and enhance the results in a quantitative phase through surveying a large sample of users. We report on the results and conclude with a set of guidelines on how recommendations delivery should be designed from a user’s perspective.