Helping a customer tailor a product to his/her needs has proven its utility time and again.
From tailored skirts and suits to Gmail’s background skin, a vast array of products have been personalized and it’s made them all better.
Each one of us has our own preferences.
We like different colors, different working methods, different preferences, etc.
Like most people, I would prefer wearing a tailored suit rather than one straight off the rack, and I love having the option to personalize any product.
While most users might not use the personalization capabilities (since the product is awesome in its default state), it is still vital we, as product managers, provide our users options to improve the product by addressing larger user base needs and helping those users get the best of the product.
One of the claimed drawbacks of personalization in SaaS products is that it leads to a lack of standardization. I’d argue this is true only if you don’t know what to offer as a personalized feature.
By pin pointing the users’ pains and needs, you end up offering personalization of very specific features which lead to valuable augmentations of your product for an individual user.
Moreover, personalization of a product provides a certain advantage over its competitors, since personalization is closely tied to product performance and the output a user can achieve.
Following in this line of personalization and with the importance BigPanda places on its users’ everyday work, we consider user satisfaction a primary goal. BigPanda provides various different customization/personalization capabilities:
- Resizing allows each user to drag the center divider to the most convenient location.
- Starred environments help you focus on the incidents relevant for you and ignore other “noise”.
- Sorting is a great example of individual personalization of the product, as some will prefer to see incidents by severity and other by recency (timestamp).
- Live vs manual mode allows the user to set whether he is willing to control the pulling of new incidents or let them flow into the feed automatically.
Henry Ford once said “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants as long as it is black.” – I guess not everybody is for personalization…