Triggering Triggers and Burying Barriers to Customizing Software

Nikola Banovic, Tovi GrossmanGeorge Fitzmaurice, Fanny Chevalier

ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

Triggering Triggers and Burying Barriers to Customizing Software (4:33 min.)


General-purpose software applications are usually not tailored for a specific user with specific tasks, strategies or preferences. In order to achieve optimal performance with such applications, users typically need to transition to an alternative efficient behavior. Often, features of such alternative behaviors are not initially accessible and first need to be customized. However, few research works formally study and empirically measure what drives a user to customize. In this paper, we describe the challenges involved in empirically studying customization behaviors, and propose a methodology for formally measuring the impact of potential customization factors. We then demonstrate this methodology by studying the impact which different customization factors have on customization behaviors. Our results show that increasing exposure and awareness of customization features, and adding social influence, can significantly affect the user’s customization behavior.

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