Design guidelines for effective recommender system interfaces based on a usability criteria conceptual model: results from a college student population

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With the retail electronic commerce being a major global shopping phenomenon, retailers need to develop additional tools to improve their sales. One such tool is a recommender system through which the shopping page recommends products to the shoppers using their past Web shopping and product search behaviour. While recommender systems are common, few studies exist regarding their usability and user preferences. In this study, a structured survey concerning what recommender systems should contain and how this content should be presented was administered on 131 college-aged online shoppers. Results indicate participants prefer specific recommender content. Price, image and names of products are identified as essential information, while product promotions, customer ratings and feedback are identified as secondary types of information. Shoppers preferred short and relevant recommender information, with a maximum of three recommendations on one page. Future studies may explore differences in preference of recommender systems based on different product types.

Keywords: design guidelines; electronic commerce; recommender systems; usability; user preferences

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Information Systems, UMBC, Baltimore, MD, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2010

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