emDesign designwritings photolog portfolio resume genealogy team in training dr leslie project
thoughts and observations about design, information architecture and design history
« Thoughts about Community | Main | Colloborative Conversations »

Friday 04|20|01
Member Preferences, Ratings and Reading My Mind

I have been surfing Amazon and other sites trying to understand the scope of polls and ratings and how they are implemented and differ from one type of site to another. As I have been browsing around Amazon, I discovered the Collections area and Recommendations Explorer area had grown and had a listing of everything I had ever bought. It was kind of eerie to go through, but also kind of cool. I had been wanting the site to stop showing me items I owned as items I would like to own. I figured that the software developers at Amazon had to be creating something smart enough to keep track of what I had bought, therefore it should know not to recommend something to me that I already owned.

My discovery in the Recommendations area was that if you go through the list and rate it, it seems not to show up as a recommendation anymore. Maybe this has been here awhile, but I had never seen it. So I went through and rated the 300+ items I had previously bought. And it made me think about the value system we are developing into these ratings widgets. Are 5 steps enough? What if something is really a 10 or a 2 1/2 or can't be dissected into so few spaces. I found that I rated a lot of things 5 and 4 simply because 3 seemed too mediocre and 1 and 2 would beg the question of why did I still own it in the first place. Or perhaps I have crappy taste.

Anyway - today I was looking up a book that Christina Wodtke bought for someone else from their WishList (my wishlist)and I happened upon a variation of the ratings feature I had never seen before. Amazon is predicting how I will rate this book - assuming I buy it and read it - based on how I rated another book from my list. The assumption is this book is of similar style and content and that if I like one i would like the other. Kind of cool. Kind of creepy.

The interesting thing about all of these features is that Amazon is building up content without having to pay for it and they are creating "sticky" features that keep people coming back over and over again. I could spend hours browsing and reading peoples Lists and reviews of items and I might be sparked into buying something that I otherwise wouldn't have bought. Mulitply this and it may trigger a lot of extra purchases. Or not. No matter what it does on the e-commerce side of things, they have inadvertently created a community that leads people to follow and read the work and lists of other people with similar interests.

Posted by erin at 04:33 PM | in Amazon

EM Design is home to the resume and portfolio of Erin Malone.
site updated every now and then :: copyright 1995-2007 Erin K. Malone
view by category
Conference Review
El Lissitzky
Graphic Design
Herbert Bayer
Information Architecture
Information Design
Interaction Design
Sites of Note
User Centered Design
William Golden

view by month
February 2008
August 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
December 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
February 2001

DUX—Five Lessons Learned

Coloring Outside the Lines

Modeling the Creative Organization

Coming of Age

Talking With Jesse James Garrett

The Tool Makes the (Wo)man

AIGA Experience Design Summit #5 - Recap

AIGA Experience Design - past, present and future: An interview with Terry Swack and Clement Mok

Summit Beginnings: Saturday

Chicken Run: Summit Closing: Sunday

design history articles
Foreseeing the future: The legacy of Vannevar Bush

Learning from the Powers of Ten

daily reads
Powered by
Movable Type