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User Modeling for Personalized Content Services


Developers have long created software that customers use directly. But now, we’re creating solutions that incorporate internal representations of end-users and adapt to individual needs.

In this post, we’re going to introduce you to the most important component in your solution stack, the user model, explain why it’s so important, and show you how to incorporate user modeling into your solution.

What is a user model?

The easiest way to understand a user model is by reference to user profiles. User profiles have become part of our day-to-day computing lexicon. We find them in our operating systems, social networks, websites, and applications. User profiles, as data associated with individuals, are representations of individuals that computers can process.

User modeling is the process of building data representations of your end-users, their interests, knowledge, and preferences. Additionally, user modelling deals with the manner in which these representations are maintained and used to adapt the information over time.

An area of considerable investment among the largest companies, user modelling technologies have recently advanced to the point where they’re available for use by small- and medium-sized companies, as well.

Why does my solution need user modeling technology?

The most common application of user modeling is to power a more personalized user experience. In order to provide the right information to customers at the appropriate moment in time, you need solutions that understand them and treat them like individuals.

Those companies that are treating their customers like individuals, embracing personalized, intuitive and adaptive solutions, are seizing huge advantages over their more conventional competitors.

Individualized solutions outperform those that treat people all the same. This focus on the individual leads to greater user engagement, greater loyalty, and greater revenue opportunities.

How do I choose a user modeling solution?

There are many different approaches to user modeling and personalization, and they vary greatly in their complexity and features.

Here, we’re going to walk you through Primal’s approach, which features the following:

  • Cloud-based data service, emphasizing rapid product development, simplicity, and ease of integration.
  • Application- and platform-independence, allowing you to build the unique solution your customers need.
  • A truly individualized service representing the specific interests of your end-users, not broad categorizations or generalizations.
  • A solution that respects the privacy of your end-users, working with very sparse indicators of interest.

How can I add user modeling to my solution stack?

Using Primal, your back-end service for user modelling and personalization solution can be implemented in a matter of days, not months, letting you focus your time and attention on a great user experience for your customers.

The diagram below illustrates how Primal can be easily integrated within your solution stack as the user modeling component.

Primal’s cloud-based data service integrates with existing solutions in an unobtrusive way, acting as a proxy between your users and the content and services you’re making available to them.

1. Your existing user interface and UX can be used to derive indicators of interest from individual end-users, using signals such as search queries, documents, or topics.

2. These indicators are used by Primal’s artificial intelligence to generate rich user profiles and interest graphs.

3. As a service component, Primal is used to filter and target any content you want to make available to your users, using either RSS feeds or search APIs that you register with Primal.

Getting Started

Check out the data service section of our website for instructions to get started. If you need any assistance, contact us and we’ll have you up-and-running in no time.

And if you’re interested in working with us directly, we’re hiring!