What drives customization? Control or identity?

Sampada Marathe, S. Shyam Sundar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

97 Scopus citations


Customization - an attribute that lets users take control and make changes to the presentation and functionality of the interface - is becoming a hallmark of today's interactive media devices. What do users experience when they change interface aspects like fonts and colors, skins on mobile phones, speed dial numbers, privacy settings on social networks and different command menus in software? Do they feel in control? Do they see the customized interface as a reflection of who they are? More importantly, is the feeling of being in control a major driver of usage, or does sense of identity - a personal connection with the interface - prove more vital? This paper discusses the psychology of customization, reports an empirical user study designed to explore the relationship between customization, sense of control, and sense of identity, and outlines implications for design of customizable interfaces based on the findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2011 - 29th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Conference Proceedings and Extended Abstracts
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781450302289
StatePublished - 2011

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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