Sparse Member Profiles: To show or not show?

9 Sep 2008 - 11:14am
5 years ago
2 replies
402 reads
Heather Anderson
2008

Hi there! I've recently run into an interesting challenge where a new
community site is launching, however, for it to be useful the member
profiles need to contain content, more than just a name and a city.

As an experience architect, I wouldn't create a process where a user would
end up at a page with no content, or "coming soon." So, why do social
network sites allow sparsely filled member profiles to show up in
search/browse results? Is this a good convention? My instinct says no.
However, I can't find any documentation on the matter. Can anyone provide
solid data as to why or why not to show this type of content?

Thanks in advance!

Smiles,

Heather

Heather Anderson
User Experience Architect

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Comments

9 Sep 2008 - 12:16pm
.pauric
2006

Heather: "Can anyone provide solid data as to why or why not to show
this type of content? "

Nope, but...

I'd turn the perspective around to two questions

1) As a searcher, why give results with no valuable content? If
people wanted directory listings, fine. However its a community site
and so I assume people are seeking more than Name, Rank & Serial
number.
2)Who owns that content? If I chose to only offer up my name, rank &
serial number and forgo completing my profile surely that says
something towards my desire to be included in search results?

The value & usefulness of any tool lies in its ability to perform its
assigned task. If Search produces effective 'null' results then the
tool is failing, experience suffers. I feel it's that simple.

Although you didnt ask, but: "a new community site is launching,
however, for it to be useful the member profiles need to contain
content"

Offer incentives for completed profiles (see: Linkedin). I think
you'll find it might go someways to addressing the search result
issue.

regards /pauric

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=32779

9 Sep 2008 - 12:44pm
Mark Hurd
2008

Privacy would be the primary factor to me. Take Facebook - I want my
friends to find me in search results, but I don't want all my
profile information available to John Q. Stalker. I may have a very
extensive profile that *appears* sparse in a search executed by a
user I don't know.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=32779

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