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Design an experience for getting book recommendations on Facebook. How would you measure success?
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in Product Design by (716 points) | 359 views

2 Answers

+4 votes

Interviewee: To clarify the scope, the requirement is to design a book recommendation feature for a FB user, correct?

Interviewer: Yes

Interviewee: Is the goal of the recommendation feature to provide a discovery channel that connects users with books that align with their preferences and interests?

Interviewer: Yes

Interviewee: Does FB want to introduce this experience to improve their engagement metrics and potentially partner with online book distributers for a revenue opportunity? Is that the objective?

Interviewer: Yes, FB is trying to grow strategic relationships with publishing houses and exploring avenues to discover deeper user interests in a creative way.

Interviewee: First I would think about what type of user would be interested in such a feature and whether there is an opportunity to discover or a need for the user. 

Let’s explore the possible user profiles a little bit to understand the user needs

  • Reading enthusiasts (young adults and adults)

  • Parents of children who like to read

  • People interested in pursuing a writing career

  • Libraries looking for new material to add to their collection


Given that the FB user base has a majority share of males and females in the age group of 24- 34, followed by the 18 to 24 age group. The feature can be targeted to appeal to this group versus the young adult age group.


Target user profile summary


Bookworm Percy

Age: 28 

Location: New Jersey, USA

Education Software engineer


About her: Prefers to use a grocery shopping app to do her weekly groceries, she buys clothes online and uses Kindle to read.



  • Discovering new books/stories to read

  • Cataloging her book collection


Pain points: 

  • Keeping track of books she is reading

  • Finding books beyond the best-seller lists

  • Discovering unique stories from lesser-known publishing sources


Reading habits:

  • Loves to re-read books

  • Enjoys e-books and the flexibility it provides

  • Fast-paced reader

  • Member of multiple book share communities


Problem statement: As a user, I want to find new books without having to search for them, so that my to-be-read list is always full.




Feature goal: Create a book discovery experience for a fb user






Success metrics:

  • Strong engagement indicators will help determine whether 

    • Tracking mouse hovering, which serves as a proxy for attention on the feature

  • Performance 

    • Number of impressions or number of times the recommendation feature was in-view of the user for more than 2 seconds ATF

    • Clicks - User clicked through to the destination URL

    • Click-through rate


Positioning the feature


The feature can be designed in the left or right rail of the feed or directly into the feed. Depending on user testing results, we can determine the position of the recommendation feature. 


Although the feature is part of FB layout, it still an ad of sorts so the principles of native ad formats apply to the recommendation as well. Sponsored ads typically show up within the feed in the same format as a FB user post accompanied with an image, this technique helps keep the user engaged and continue scrolling without breaking expected format and visual flow. However, options to position the recommendation as a menu item on the left side-rail under the ‘Explore’ section with a simple alert might help keep the in-feed ads from being cannibalised, especially because it is a revenue stream for FB.

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by (21 points)
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Clarifying the scope:When you say books - it can be a book in any format? ebook, audio books or printed What's the goal here - is it new user acquisition or engagement or driving monetization, I'm go…See more

by (163 points)
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