EuroIA 2015

Madrid, 24 – 26 September


The challenge of personalizing experiences: From humble cookies to the scary Big Data

A talk by Olga Revilla and Olga C. Santos

There was a time when companies delivered products and services that were unique: that was the ‘one size fits all’ philosophy. They quickly understood that, if they wanted to please as many people as possible, they had to be empathic and deliver products in different sizes, colors, prices… But even with that assortment of products, there were still rich people who hired tailors to get personalized suites.

In the digital world, this happened, too. In the early stages, all the websites, operating systems and applications were rigid: one model for everyone. But as long as computers became more user friendly, they let users customize some elements of the user interface. The next step was recommending actions and contents, and ultimately the systems decide by themselves which is the best option for the user, taking into account a variety of variables: their previous interactions with the product, other users’ interactions with the product, their preference settings, their location… Besides, in the future (which is almost now), the Big Data can extend the available data to be taken into account, and we can provide the final unique experience for each user, that is, a tailored suit for everyone.

From simple cookies to complex algorithms set up by artificial intelligence, from profiling to user modeling, from neutral copies to affective computing, in this presentation we will show how the companies study and model users, decide which product or service of their catalogue fits best, and deliver different experiences based on strategies and rules to enhance their profitability.

Are we, the information architects and UXers, ready for this age of customizable and adaptable products and services? How can we face this challenge?

Olga Revilla

Olga has a double life. By day, she creates the UX strategy for new banking services, transforming complex processes into simple and joyful interfaces in Nurun, a design consultancy where magic happens. By night, Olga tries to finish her PhD in Industrial Engineering, where she researches on how to reduce computer anxiety with service design techniques. Maybe you also know her as Itákora, the Interaction Craftswoman.

Olga Revilla holds a degree in Journalism, a master in Ergonomics and Human Factors and another in Design.

Olga C. Santos

Olga coordinates the R&D at the aDeNu Research group (UNED). Her research is focused on personalising the user experience to provide adaptive, user-centered, ubiquitous, and dynamic services that address the evolving needs of the users in their context.

Olga C. Santos holds a degree in Telecommunications Engineering and a PhD in Artificial Intelligence.

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