Alon Even, VP Marketing at AppSee captures the key to successful mobile apps.  It’s all about the user.

Giving users content tailored to their interests, needs, and location is the key to making the most of mobile technology.

When you order a short latte with a dollop of whipped cream at a coffeehouse you are customizing based on your tastes. When you tailor an app, program, or anything you are interacting with it to get it just right, you are customizing as well. It can take a while and requires some effort on your part to get it how you want it.

Personalization, on the other hand, is when an app, piece of software, or your favorite music streamer adapts itself based on the knowledge it already has about you, without you having to put much forth much effort at all: it just happens.

The idea behind personalization is to tailor the experience from the moment it begins, whether that’s using an espresso maker, a Jacuzzi, or an app. Indeed, it’s mobile technology that has brought personalization to the fore. When UX customization started on the desktop, there were severe limits with the diversity of customization—frequently put forth by the website itself.

These limitations were stripped away when technologies such as Flash and Ajax burst onto the scene alongside web interfaces that mirrored Graphical User Interface (GUI) APIs of client-based software. The decrease in limitations on customization provided designers with the ability to place limits on the levels of customization themselves. This allowed for the user-initiated modification of interfaces within the shape scheme that adhered to the defined constraints.