Publication: Making Interface Customizations Work: Lessons from a Successful Tailoring Community

The online game EverQuest - at one point the world's most popular MMORPG - represented a remarkably successful example of community-wide involvement in interface customization. A large majority of EverQuest users employed substantially modified UIs. We analysed EverQuest and its user community to identify the principles that led to the success of this widespread tailoring culture. We found several factors. Some have been discussed previously: that modifications require little effort, can be tested with minimal risk, and can be easily traded with others. We also found some factors that have not been reported before: scale effects resulting from the size of the user community; the use of collaborative filtering to identify better customizations; and the benefits of having support for community interactions built into the application. We believe that these principles can be applied more widely, to engender cultures of tailoring with other types of software.

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Participants

Jeff Dyck
University of Saskatchewan
David Pinelle
College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan
Carl Gutwin
University of Saskatchewan

Citation

Dyck, J., Pinelle, D., Gutwin, C. 2017. Making Interface Customizations Work: Lessons from a Successful Tailoring Community. In CRIWG 2017: Collaboration and Technology, 229-243. DOI=10.1007/978-3-319-63874-4.

BibTeX

@inproceedings {504-making-interface-customization,
author= {Jeff Dyck and David Pinelle and Carl Gutwin},
title= {Making Interface Customizations Work: Lessons from a Successful Tailoring Community},
booktitle= {CRIWG 2017: Collaboration and Technology},
year= {2017},
pages= {229-243}
}