Personalise your site for each visitor

This article first appeared in issue 225 of .net magazine – the world's best-selling magazine for web designers and developers.

Every day, massive amounts of content is created and shared. This mass creation presents one big problem: how can we help users find relevant content easily?

For this reason, personalisation is fast becoming the most-talked about web technology of 2012.

While industry behemoths such as Amazon, Facebook and Google are using personalisation to secretly skew our online lives, anyone can now access the same advanced, powerful and flexible technology to plug into new and existing sites, platforms, apps and services to create relevant user experiences and guide content discovery. In this article, we’ll look at some of the factors to think about when creating content-driven sites with personalisation and recommendation technology, from how to design for dynamic content, technical considerations to keep in mind and some of the different types of algorithms and filters that make the logic that drives personalisation.

But first, what do we mean when we talk about personalisation?

Personalisation is best explained as a mix of on-site behavioural tracking, predictive algorithms, and on-site content and experience adaption.

Unlike behavioural targeting, behavioural data isn’t sold to companies to target adverts and users aren’t tracked around the web, nor is personalisation a form of behavioural retargeting that aims to increase conversions by bringing browsers back to purchase.

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The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of eight full-time members of staff: Editor Georgia Coggan, Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder, Ecommerce Editor Beren Neale, Senior News Editor Daniel Piper, Editor, Digital Art and 3D Ian Dean, Tech Reviews Editor Erlingur Einarsson and Ecommerce Writer Beth Nicholls and Staff Writer Natalie Fear, as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq.