The Personalisation in presentation services homepage provides access to a report recently completed on behalf of JISC. It makes an interesting distinction between customization where a user can configure a system themselves and adaptive personalization, where system interaction is based on knowledge about users gained from “tracking user activity and/or other sources of user information”. They further distinguish between APOD (adaptive personalization based on data held elsewhere – as in a directory of user profiles or role behavior data of some sort) and APUA (adaptive personalization based on user activity, as in Amazon for example).
Personalisation is no substitute for user requirements analysis and user-centred design. In the right circumstances, personalisation can improve efficiency, reveal inadequacies in business processes and allow services and learning materials to be effectively targeted. Accessibility to users of all abilities may be improved by offering options such as switching off graphics, or changing font-sizes or background colours – all Web sites should consider this. True personalisation is more than allowing users to “re-skin” the interface or change the position of screen elements. [Personalisation in presentation services homepage]
The report authors represent several perspectives which improves the final result.