It’s important to show your users content that is relevant to them when you show users content that is tailored to their needs, you establish yourself as a credible source. You can individualize information using personalization or customization. Personalization is when a service changes to anticipate what will be relevant to a user. Imagine going to your favorite coffee shop. If you go there often, you may find yourself recognized as a regular. The baristas may begin greeting you by name. Your experience is being personalized to you based on what the business knows about you in product design. Personalization is a passive process that changes the content or experience that a customer sees. All of these changes take place behind the scenes. Personalization might be specific to an individual person. For instance, e-commerce sites often suggest products based on a user’s past purchases. Personalization can also be based on broad demographic characteristics.
National news sites present users with local news based on their current location. Customization requires more active involvement from the user to return to the coffee shop. You customize your order when you decide you want something a little different than what the business usually offers. You might, for example, order your usual order. But with extra whipped cream. When users customize a site, they make changes to what they see based on their own needs and interests.
Many news sites offer users the option to select news topics that interest them. This requires more mental effort and more trust from your users. Remember, personalization is done for the user and customization is done by the user.