End User Personalization


  • Marty Johnson, Georgetown University
  • Adam Smeets, Dominican University

A look into the crystal ball on the future of personalized mobile experiences.

Marty:  Small bite-sized data that can be subscribed to or delivered directly to me without me asking for it.  In my email client, wouldn’t it be great if I could update contact info based on incoming email?  Google makes recommendations to me based on my preferences and it’s a little creepy but it works well.  Our students are asking for a lot of this kind of predictive functionality.

Adam:  “trust capital,” how do we think about the privacy of our users?  In IT, we frequently jam a bunch of data and features together, but we don’t often think about the ethical considerations of doing so.  Emergency management is something we’ve been considering, i.e. “mustering.”


  • What happens when things don’t work?  MARTY:  depends on the thing, i.e. is it just a free salad?  Probably not a problem.  ADAM:  unless it’s 20,000 students wanting a free salad!  MARTY:  sometimes getting accurate info from faculty is not easy.  ADAM:  we had an issue with Peoplesoft data where a few students did not have enough credits to graduate, now THAT’S a major error.
  • Is there a point of diminishing returns for personalization?  MARTY:  if you can build a platform that’s cost-effective, then it makes sense.  ADAM:  what’s the goal, and how does your strategy meet that goal?  You have to be able to measure this in a way that shows you’re driving value.
  • Should students be required to purchase modern smartphones?  MARTY:  out of 1,800 admitted students, only 30 did not have a smartphone.  The overall cost for subsidizing is relatively small, but provide ways for students to get them for themselves.  ADAM:  no, it should not be a requirement.

By Paul Schantz

CSUN Director of Web & Technology Services, Student Affairs. husband, father, gamer, part time aviator, fitness enthusiast, Apple fan, and iguana wrangler.

%d bloggers like this: