As I’ve been looking into personalisation recently (more on the product blog here), I’ve found some trends in how we present this to readers. Some are small tweaks, a nod to a user that shows recognition. Some are a little more practical in terms of organisation and one is using personalisation in reserve.
Here are four trends to pay attention to:
1. A simple yet effective way is showing people you know their names. The below shows examples from Gannett’s USA Today and News Corp Australia’s Daily Telegraph.
2. If someone is a subscriber, recognise it. Give them something special or show that badge of honour. For example, below you see Le Figaro’s before and after subscription, and Apple News uses a badge in the top right indicating this is the “subscriber edition.”
3. If you are using active personalisation, add a “For You” or “My News” tab to show users where their personal content is. This is particularly helpful if you don’t want to personalise everything or you want to highlight what their personal choices result in. The below shows examples from BBC, Yahoo, News Corp Australia, and Gannett.
4. Counter-personalise by suggesting people expand their horizons. If you know what people are reading, we can suggest counterviews or content that people may otherwise not read. Spotify does this well. Yahoo encompasses all views in its Yahoo News 360 product. And The Factual has made an entire news site based on this.
As we see more and more news and content-based services personalise, these trends will continue to iterate. Some standardisation may well help users navigate across different brands and mediums. But as we understand more about our users and their usage patterns on our own properties, we can experiment ourselves and look to create moments of delight that they are not expecting.
If you’d like to subscribe to my bi-weekly newsletter, INMA members can do so here.