Providing Customisation Guidelines of Mobile Phones for Manufacturers

"If people are able to customize their own mobile phone, which feature do they like to customize most?" I was having this question in the year 2010, and then did a research with Prof. Pilsung Choe in Tsinghua University. We analyzed 288 questionnaires and found out, the most reason a user wants to customize his phone, is that he wants to use it more easily. "Text message", "battery", "contacts", "software updates", "display size" were highly require to provide customization options.


Customisation of mobile phones is a process of producing products according to individual needs on design, cost, and easiness of the phones. With the aim of identifying the most important features in customising mobile phones, 288 questionnaires were collected and analysed. The result showed that ‘text message’, ‘battery’, ‘contacts’, ‘software updates’, and ‘display size’ were highly required to customise. Among six factors (physical design, technical design, cost of entertainment, cost of information, cost of durability, easiness of use) obtained from a factor analysis, the most important reason for users to customise mobile phones was that they wanted to use a mobile phone easily. Cost of durability and cost of information were also important motivations for customisation of mobile phones. Finally, this research showed that gender and user experience were significant factors for customisation. 


This was a project I did for the Student Research Training program in Tsinghua University during my second year in bachelor. At that time (2010), the smartphone was just beginning to come into our lives. I was always having the idea, if at a certain time, users could build up their own mobile phones according to their personalized tastes and favors. So I talked to my tutor, Prof. Pilsung Choe, if we could have a research in this direction. As he agreed, we began this research by surveying people's attitudes towards the personalized smartphone. I then analyzed the data and together we drew some meaningful conclusions as to provide several design guidelines of mobile phones for the manufacturers.

Mar. 2010 - Nov. 2011


2 Industrial students, 1 professor


  • Team leader
  • Preliminary idea generation
  • Literature review
  • Questionnaire design
  • Questionnaire distribution and collection
  • Data analysis
  • Paper writing and revision 


Choe, P., Liao, C., & Sun, W. (2012). Providing Customisation Guidelines of Mobile Phones for Manufacturers. Behaviour & Information Technology, 31(10), 983-994. Link

Full text pdf could be downloaded here.

Learnings & achievements

  • Questionnaire design
  • Data analysis (inter-correlation analysis, factor analysis, multiple regression analysis, t-test, post-hoc ...) of questionnaire
  • 1 SCI-indexed journal paper publication
  • Departmental scholarship for the paper

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© Chen Liao, Last update on May 19th, 2017