Techniques for driving a truly personal information experience | FirstRain

Techniques for driving a truly personal information experience

This week FirstRain’s COO YY Lee gave an advanced-level class to Big Data TechCon conference attendees on how to develop and drive personalization of information experience in a Big Data world. Personalization is quickly becoming an assumed part of technology UX. These rapid advances, also affected by increased expectations set by flagship consumer apps create a need and an opportunity for enterprise software to deliver personalized experiences inside traditional applications and workflows. YY’s class covered data and analytics techniques for building user profiles, leveraging explicit and implicit factors into the process, and addressing the challenges of user behavior and expectations in order to create a highly adaptive, individualized information experience.

As part of her class, YY spoke to the fact that the application of information science techniques is core to creating a very personal mobile era user experience. She shared some of the lessons learned by the FirstRain R&D team, who are pioneers in developing and introducing our customers to an adaptive and pragmatic semantic information space model – a model that allows for the marriage  of deep data science and personal business analytics. FirstRain technology understands human perspective, awareness and preferences to deliver analytics with each user in mind. YY advised what factors can be leveraged to build profiles and nuanced understanding of users including: building rationally-derived/real life characteristics; isolating real–time, structural, transient, in the moment user preferences; leveraging common personal tendencies; etc. “We are successful when a person looks at the application and thinks: Wow, this is me! This is exactly what I need to do my job today’, said YY.

She also talked about the importance of developing and applying skepticism filters to discover, for example, whether any given case ‘in-doubt’ is an opportunity for a non-linear development or if the system really got it wrong and needs to be re-educated. She also mentioned the importance of human analyst inputs in the process of building precise personalization models to further refine information and adopt it to deliver better results each time. Other methodologies in developing personalization were discussed such as correlations, pattern recognitions, network relationships, leveraging external data, etc.

During this class, YY highlighted that the best opportunity to create the user experience that says “this is about me, my job, and what I need to know at this moment” is to develop a fine balance of information space modeling and user data modeling in your apps. She wrapped up an engaging discussion by sharing her team’s advice for some simple ways to get started personalizing your data delivery:

1. Find easy ways to customize – learn and refine your work. Users often have little appetite to providing input, therefore the developer needs to carefully select their points of engagement.

2. Start with easy tricks to customize by making the UX feel personal, such as simply adding a profile picture.

3. Start with the personalization characteristics that are easy and obvious to your user and how they use your apps: what role the person is in, what place they live, etc.

4. You don’t have to start by solving really big problems

5. Moderation and balance are important in providing suggestions. Change is sometimes difficult for a user. Too many choices may be annoying. Learn the art of  notification by selecting things with the right information density.

5. Minimize the mysteries to minimize risks. Explain where the content is coming from: ‘I am showing you this because of X”

6. Inject small reminders for personalizations through the whole user so that the user can be in charge.

If you are interested in having YY come to your next event to talk about driving truly personal information experiences, please contact us!