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I'm currently in the process of redesigning the dashboard for one of our products. One of the requests I've received so far is that it should be customisable. Instinctively, I oppose the idea as I feel they are overly complex and don't always add value.

I'm looking for insight into how users tend to interact with customisable dashboards, good (and bad) examples.

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Mr Nielson did a study into the customisation which gave some pretty interesting feedback.

Customization of UIs and Products

The main gist of the research was that if you're going to include customization make sure you do it properly, as if it is overly complex then it will confuse users. Also, many people won't even bother with the customisation regardless of the ease rewards it provides. However if done well then it increases loyalty and provides many other benefits.

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Book
Stephen Few have written some good books on dashboard design. I recommend that you take look at the latest book, Information Dashboard Design. It will give you some good advices on the topic.

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Online resources
As an online resource, this page is a good starting point: http://patternry.com/p=information-dashboard/

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In my experience customizability is often used as a cop-out for not properly prioritizing the content in the finished product.

We've just finished a big redesign for a client and they had fallen in love with the idea of "making it like iGoogle". The idea of course is that if we let people do it exactly as they want everyone will be happy and we don't have to make the hard decisions associated with determining the optimal way of using our software.

I was quite inspired by this blogpost by 37 Signals which basically says that preferences are a cop-out and increase the complexity of the product.

How diverse is your target group? How do they use the product? Is it a feature that is actually requested by anyone?

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