Interviewee: To clarify the scope, the requirement is to design a book recommendation feature for a FB user, correct?
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?
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
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.
Keeping track of books she is reading
Finding books beyond the best-seller lists
Discovering unique stories from lesser-known publishing sources
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
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.