As Web Content 2007 came to a close, sessions seemed to emphasize the same elements of collaboration
, personalization and consumer behavior, and ask the same questions: What does the user want and how to innovate information overload?
Building personal websites embraces all of these aspects and uses them to bring a functional dashboard to the consumer driver. "My" web sites, like MyYahoo, igoogle, MyTimes, Facebook and many others, let users customize everything from design to content to recommendations to interactions.These sites offer personalization modules. in her session, Making It Personal: Designing "My" Web
, Jen Consalvo, Director of Customization at AOL, discussed the launch of MyAol, a beta site that allows its users to customize their site destinations and draw content in from other sites.
Research shows that users that choose to customize their sites are more engaged in marketing than users that don't. Younger users are also more involved. Customization also saves users time and puts everything they want in one place.
AOL addressed the problem that plagues us all: too many Web sites with too much information with too little time to access it. Where to begin? AOL decided to launch a platform that keeps interfaces comfortable and familiar, but offers options to add and expand content.
It's not yet known whether MyWeb users are abandoning the default home page, but Ms. Consalvo doesn't seem worried, as users will be able to find what they are looking for in both places, they just have more options on MyWeb.
Sessions like this reinforce the need to focus on the user experience; after all, most customers want to find what they want when they want it. It's a perfect example of a symbiotic relationship if there ever was one.
From monogrammed towels to MyWeb, people want the opportunity to mark their territory.