Mass customization e-commerce

My first Interaction Designer job was in a service e-commerce research project. I then designed an information architecture for purchasing service contracts. That was in 2006.

The information architecture joins mass customizable product models with contextual recommendation. As a result, the design works for a variety of complex products. Kone and Tapiola were pilot companies in the project.

Rows of the table (image above) represent product combinations. The leftmost column shows relevance points for each combination of products.

The wireframe shows an insurances product model. Specifically, the image is from a situation, where a musician stores her instruments and other property at various locations.

Until now, the problem solved by this information architecture remains. That is to say, it is still a challenge to understand and compare insurances.

“Future work”

It would be fun to transfer the information architecture to a modern, mobile first interface design. For example, illustrations for rows and progressive disclosure would yet clear the layout.


My thesis builds on Mikko Heiskala’s master’s thesis. He had first developed a new type of configuration model. It contained information about context and needs besides product features. I did later the user interface work, and connected Mikko’s theory to recommendation.

Antti Latva-Koivisto was the supervisor of my thesis. I value especially high Antti’s points early on, when I wrote project synopsis. Back then, I needed then to fit together requirements of four different stakeholders. That being the case, Antti’s insights were invaluable.

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