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I am toying with how to show my users potential colleagues (friends if you will) on my site. These "friends" are a list of academics that have been drawn up based on 1) common research interests with the user and 2) distance from user....(1) is heavily weighted as in research, common interests are far more important.

I have a carousel on the current users profile page above the profile which displays potential colleagues..

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In my opinion, it does the job, but is a big ugly thing on the profile page (sort of distracting in an annoying way). As you can see there is a close button and when you hover over the pictures a simple popover appears.

I am thinking it would be nice to have a separate page with a grid. In other words the user decides to see suggested colleagues. On the profile page I coudl have a button or clear call to action link saying "See suggested colleagues" or something like that.

So advice is badly needed. I've been staring at this thing for ages and can't get perspective.

PS. I am an academic doctor who programs, not a professional developer.

Many thanks

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Ask Yourself

  • What is the primary purpose of the page your user is currently on?
  • What are they trying to accomplish while they are there?

Size often dictates importance/relevance, and the "Do you know?" is taking up a large chunk of real estate. Other popular social sites don't clutter their "edit/update" profile UI with CTAs to other functionality.

Building a social network for your users is important, but social networking websites tend to hit you in two different places for generating those links:

  • At initial account creation (the website is somewhat pointless if you have no contacts)
  • Any time you are browsing, accepting, or adding friends

I realize I haven't answered your question exactly, but hopefully this is enough to help you make an informed decision.

Examples in the wild

Facebook Facebook's people you may know example

LinkedIn LinkedIn's people you may know example

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    This is just the refreshment I need. Many thanks Daniel. I have marked this as correct as it has given me new direction on the problem - I'm going to experiment with drop downs or a single icon call-to-find-colleagues button which will bring the user to something dedicated just to that. – GhostRider Oct 6 '15 at 17:44

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