Summary:Customization tools must be simple-to-use,easy-to-find,and easily edited,with both a clear intent and a clear benefit to users..
Customizationallows users to make selections and set preferences in a system,with the intent of giving users more control over the user experience.Customization allows users to select the content,layout,functionality or manbetx官方网站手机版design that appeals to them.However,customization tools require work and input from users,so need to be manbetx官方网站手机版designed in a way that entices and attracts usage,and provides adequate payoff for the work invested by the user..
Here are 7 tips for creating a successful customization experience:
1.Show users that customization is available..
It is not enough to offer customization to users.If users don't know about the feature or can't find it,they will not customize anything.Links to customization features should be (1) positionednear the content they relate to,and (2)well-named,with labels clearly explaining their function on the site.Users should be able to discover the tools as they interact with content..
2.Make customization easy to use..
Even if you have devoted users who by choice or by necessity spend a lot of time with your interface,it does not mean that they will suffer through a difficult process.If you get past the first hurdle of letting users know about customization options,you do not want to lose users by making the setup overly complex or time consuming..
Simple is better.For instance,intranet sites that want to encourage users to customize lists of links can add clearAdd to Listlinks on each page of the site.This allows the user a one-click way to customize content..
3.Consider layering the customization features..
A rich feature set is not for the good,because it can be overwhelming.This is doubly true for customization features,which are not users' primary interest when using a system.(People use computers to get something done;tweaking the system itself is only a secondary task,at best.) A good way to reduce the complexity of customization is touseprogressive disclosure,where you only show users the most useful or most commonly used customization options at first.Secondary options are deferred to an"advanced options"screen.(As for tertiary options: don't even offer them.)
4.Do it for a reason..
If you want users to bother with your customization tools,the features need toprovide a clear benefit.Always think about why customization is necessary and what users will get from it..
You may want to allow users to select the background color of their interface,but is there adequate payoff or interest in that option to account for the additional cost of implementation?You may want to allow users to move content areas around a page to create a unique experience,but again,it may not be adequate enticement for casual or nontechnical users.Apps may allow users to choose between list and grid views of content,but make sure that this significantly enhances the experience..
You must know your users' interests and needs in order to provide the correct customization tools.Customization can be a topic that tests well in focus groups,for example,while it may not be used frequently once implemented.To test customization,don't ask users about their interest in it.Run ausability test on a prototype with customizationfeatures in place,and see if users notice or comment upon those features as they are completing typical tasks in the manbetx官方网站手机版design..
5.Don't rely on customization..
Users often won't bother to customize the site,even if the system is clear and simple to use.Because of this,don't depend on customization to make a good experience.Generic site experiences,with no customization,should be strong enough to support users.You do not want a user staring at an empty screen as a result of them not engaging with customization features.(In fact,if the initial,non-customized,user experience isn't compelling,very few users will stay around long enough to try the customization features.)
6.Gently encourage customization..
Part of motivating users to customize an experience is creating a compelling experience in the first place.Let users enjoy your content or functionality first and ask them to customize as they spend more time on the site..
One exception is when asmall set of questionswill streamline the experience significantly for users.For instance,some intranets may not have a reliable source for personalization data and may choose to use customization to create similar profiles for delivering content.At launch,some sites may ask users to quickly answer a question such as language in order to tailor the site experience.If done,this should be a brief interruption in the flow,with a focused and concise explanation of why the information is requested..
Such a"forced"customization in the beginning is more acceptable on an intranet,where site manbetx官方网站手机版designers and developers know that the user will return over time.For most systems,return visitors are not guaranteed.Therefore,it is best not to interrupt their early interactions by asking questions or requesting information.It is better to encourage use with well-placed links or well-timed reminders as users explore the system or return for another visit..
7.Allow users to change previous selections..
Over time,preferences may change.Give users easy ways not just to set up customization in the first place,but tomanage options over time.The same well-placed links that encourage users to explore customization options can also be used to allow users to edit their options once they are selected..
Over many years of seeing customization tools implemented in a variety of systems in a variety of ways,we often find that users do not use them.The fact that customization relies on users' actions means that the potential benefits ofcustomization will reach fewer users than personalizationcan.Carefully consider why the tool is being implemented and how it will benefit the user when assessing any customization tool..
See also ourresearch report about customization featureswith 46 manbetx官方网站手机版design guidelines based on user research..