Dilemmas When Designing Methods for Sensitive Personalization Design
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- Master theses 
The objective of personalization technology is to create a product that matches the exact requirements of individual consumers. Most approaches for developing and testing such systems relies on sophisticated and advanced technology, and time. This leads to the impression that there exist few examples of personalization devices being developed and tested through the use of non-functional prototypes. However, there are some clear benefits to this type of prototyping. It simulates a potential real and future product, provides feedback from client and end-users, validates the concept, makes for early discovery of design problems, all while being a time- and cost-effective process. In addition, there seems to be a lack of consensus among researchers and bigger companies on how to best design personalization strategies in regard to users. This in spite of personalization becoming more and more prominent in everyday life. There needs to be an emphasis on making sure that users trust personalization systems in order to continue to use them. Non-functional prototyping can make for an efficient way of understanding how individuals interact with personalization systems with respect to the extension of trust, and how those extensions can be addressed by design. This master thesis presents an exploratory method for developing and testing sensitive personalization design by integrating previously distinct methods to create a trustworthy, time- and resource-efficient design process. The study is a collaboration between the University of Bergen and TV 2 and is based on one of TV 2s own news applications. The task was to explore how to best introduce personalization to the application in question. As part of the effort, the group realized that there could be a general method. The method utilizes a classic design scientific approach to develop and test three non-functional prototypes, each representing a specific personalization system. To simulate the effect of personalization on testers, each prototype has been constructed to match the design of a persona – a fictitious, hypothetical individual belonging to the target group. Participants have had to familiarize themselves with a given persona’s interests and preferences, and then role play through the classic design science user test. The method has contributed to the design of three plausible but hypothetical varieties of sensitive personalization systems to choose from, all having been tested and evaluated with real-time users. All main findings from this collaboration are presented in a separate impact report.
PublisherThe University of Bergen
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