O'Reilly logo

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Customization Usability: 46 Design Guidelines to Improve Web-based Interface and Product Customization

Book Description

One of the virtues of the Web is its ability to facilitate customization. Web technology allows organizations to move beyond one-size-fits-all interfaces and products, allowing users to define and design their own experiences. Custom homepages and Web based design-it-yourself processes are numerous and users appreciate the concept of customized experiences. This report from the Nielsen Norman Group addresses:

  • Usability of Interface Customization Web sites (custom homepages)

  • Usability of Product Customization Web sites (custom stationery)

  • Guidelines for improved customization task success and user satisfaction

  • The report does not cover personalization, where a software system tries to predict individual users’ needs automatically. It is solely about designs where users themselves employ features to manually customize or configure the UI or a product.

Table of Contents

  1. Customization Usability
    1. Executive Summary
        1. Customization vs. Personalization
        2. User Research
          1. Interface Customization Sites
          2. Product Customization Sites
        3. Business Benefits of Customization
          1. Increased Traffic and Loyalty
          2. Reduce Operating Costs
          3. Cast a Wider Net
        4. Reduced Usability Issues On Customization Sites
        5. Retain Good Defaults
        6. Customization Can Be Effective When Implemented Correctly
    2. Research Overview
        1. Introduction
        2. Purpose of Study
        3. General Procedure
        4. Websites Studied
    3. Task Success, Difficulty and User Ratings
        1. Lower Task Success On Product Customization Websites
        2. It Is Difficult to Add Content and Tools On Interface Customization Sites
        3. Low Findability and Poor Page Design Plague Customization Websites
        4. Users Experience Higher Levels of Difficulty on Product Customization Sites
        5. Users Have Trouble Adding Content and Moving Page Elements On Custom Homepages
        6. Users Feel More Lost and Out of Control on Sites Featuring Customization
          1. Customization Websites (i.e., iGoogle, My Yahoo!, Pageflakes)
          2. Product Customization (i.e., Action Envelope, Custom Ink, [me] & goji, Tiny Prints)
    4. Interface Customization
        1. Level of Customization and Number of Choices Impact Usability
          1. Example of a simple customization offering
        2. Designing For User Intentions
        3. Biggest Issues With Interface Customization
        4. Design Guidelines
    5. Product Customization
        1. Task Design Must be Driven By the Users’ Mental Model
        2. Two Product Customization Types
        3. Biggest Issues With Product Customization
        4. Design Guidelines
    6. Methodology
        1. Participants
        2. Website Selection
        3. Website Order
        4. Websites and Tasks
          1. Interface Customization
          2. Product Customization
            1. Action Envelope www.actionenvelope.com
            2. Custom Ink www.customink.com
            3. Me and Goji www.menadgoji.com
            4. Tiny Prints www.tinyprints.com
        5. Survey Questionnaire
    7. List of Guidelines
    8. About the Authors