Wikimedia Product/Perspectives/Experience/Customization




Customized and Personalized user experiences are the norm in consumer products, but are they appropriate for Wikipedia? A Personalization-focused strategy would conflict with Wikipedia privacy policy, product principles [1] and Movement equity goals, but Customization would contribute to usability [2] for readers, communities and editors and for this reason must be considered as part of product modernization overall.

In terms of the reading experience, the platform should support a set of user-modifiable customization options and a set of community-modifiable customization options (to allow for language-specific and culture-specific preferences). In terms of the editing experience, the platform should support customization based on common usage patterns and contributor activities at scale, and across groups of wiki projects.

By making customization options part of the platform, it is possible to serve a more diverse set of needs and preferences without forking the main product. This approach will make scaling much more achievable, and the process of integrating new customization features less dependent upon the technical resources of regional communities.

White Paper[edit]



One-to-One Personalization in the Age of Machine Learning

Consumer Attitudes Toward Online Mass Customization

Personalization versus Customization: the Importance of Agency, Privacy, and Power Usage

Exploring the Relationship between Reading Habits and Aesthetic Preferences in Different Cultural Contexts and Design Practices


  1. This approach would be unfeasible and incompatible with the principle of intentional transparency.
  2. Customization leads to perceived ease of use and perceived ease of use leads to perceived usefulness. People find customizing their experience to be enjoyable, and the perception of enjoyment positively affects attitudes toward the product. Similarly, the sense that customization provides users with more control over their experience translates into positive attitudes toward the product/the brand.