User Interface Personalization (Further Course)

Target Groups and Required Skills

The course is aimed at students, professionals and anyone else who has sufficient technical skills to install software and basic web development skills (HTML, CSS, JavaScript and JSON).

Learning Platform

The course is hosted on edX. You can also find a single-page version of the content (without quizzes) on

Course Duration and Effort

Duration & estimated effort per week: four weeks, 3 hours per week.

The course has been available as a self-paced course on edX since December 2017.

Short Description

In this course, you will learn the fundamentals of user interface personalisation in the context of web sites and web applications. You will learn how user interface personalisation can be used to adapt web pages to a diversity of needs, especially the needs of people with disabilities. The course will explain the difference between adaptable and adaptive user interfaces, and why adaptable user interfaces have been only moderately successful.

You will get an introduction to the Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII) framework and its infrastructure of automatically adapting a user interface to a user’s needs and preferences. (Optionally, you will also learn how to make an example web application adaptable by connecting it with the Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII) framework.)

Long Description / What You’ll Learn

  • What is the difference between adaptable and adaptive user interfaces?
  • What are some common approaches to user interface personalisation?
  • What features of web pages and web applications can be adapted to support diverse needs, especially the needs of people with disabilities.
  • How do I develop or adapt a web site / web application so it becomes adaptable and personisable?
  • What is the Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII) framework and how does it support personalisation?
  • How do I use Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII) framework to make a website adapt to a user’s needs and preferences?

Course Team

Christophe Strobbe, Hochschule der Medien / Stuttgart Media University.

Gottfried Zimmermann, Hochschule der Medien / Stuttgart Media University.

Course Structure

Module 1:  Introduction to Personalisation

  • Examples of (user interface) personalisation.
  • Goals and structure of the course.
  • What are adaptable interfaces, adaptive interfaces and personalisation?
  • Why is automatic personalisation needed? How is it relevant to accessibility?

Module 2: Understanding Personalisation on Web Pages and Sites

  • Demos of personalisation on the Web
  • Identifying adaptable features in a web site or web application. How can such features be described in a formal way?
  • Features to be covered in weeks 2 and 3 include
  • More complex user interface changes, e.g. providing a simplified user interface.

Module 3: Hands On: Personalising a Web Interface

A hands-on task will require learners to make a sample website pesonalisable. This task will require good skills in HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

Module 4: Introduction to GPII

  • What is the General Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII)?
  • Demo(s) of personalisation on the desktop.
  • Understandings needs & preference terms in GPII. Needs & preference terms describe how software settings should be tweaked to fit the needs & preferences of the user; they don’t describe the user’s abilities or disabilities.


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How to Register

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Open Educational Resources

The content from this course is available as a set of open education resources.