Journal article

Experiments on user experiences with recommender interfaces

Recommender systems have been increasingly adopted as personalisation services in e-commerce. They facilitate users to locate items which they would be interested in viewing or purchasing. However, most studies have emphasised on the algorithm's performance, rather than on in-depth analysis of user experiences with the recommender interface. In this article, we report the results of two studies that compared two recommender interfaces: the organisation-based interface (where recommendations are presented in a category structure via the preference-based organisation method) and the standard ranked list (where recommendations are listed one after the other as ordered by their prediction scores).The first study focuses on evaluating users' eye-movement behaviour in these interfaces. With the help of an eye tracker, we found that the organisation interface (ORG) can significantly attract users' attentions to more recommended items. As a result, more users made product choices in that interface. The second, larger-scale, cross-cultural user survey further shows that the ORG performed significantly better in terms of enhancing users' perceived recommendation quality, perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness of the system. Hence, these empirical findings suggest that the change of recommender interface design can not only alter users' attention distribution, but also influence their subjective attitudes towards the system.


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