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In this paper, we describe the results of an effort to first understand the value of personalizing a Web site, as perceived by the visitors to the site as well as by the stakeholder organization that owns it, and then to develop a strategy for introducing personalization to the ibm.com Web site. We started our investigation by conducting literature reviews, holding brainstorming sessions with colleagues around the world, and performing heuristic usability evaluations of several relevant Web sites. We adopted a User-Centered Design approach and conducted a number of usability studies applied to the subset of the ibm.com Web site that business customers use for all aspects of purchase, service, and support of computer equipment. These studies employed a number of low- and medium-fidelity prototypes that we developed for this purpose. Our proposal for personalizing ibm.com consists of a set of 12 personalization features, selected for the value they offer to customers and to the business.
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