Deep dive: Building a personalized customer view

Go behind the scenes with PSV as we delve into why personalization matters, the challenges it presents, and the journey we undertook to create a personalized customer view experience for Pano that truly empowers users to get to know their customers in a matter of seconds.
Jason Walkow
August 21, 2023

This post is a part of our Deep Dive series where we give a behind the scenes look at what it’s really like building a great product with a small, passionate team. I’m Jason, Head of Design at Plain Sight Ventures, and resident design nerd. Feel free to reach out to me at if you want to connect about design things or coffee or running or really just anything!

We know that our product Pano is incredibly powerful. Having a tailored snapshot of your customer in seconds empowers anyone and everyone within the organization — customer-facing or otherwise — to understand a customer’s needs in a flash, without having to dig across multiple apps. But in testing with our users, we found that not everyone in an org agrees on the relevancy of certain data. For customer success, important metrics might be NPS or CSAT scores, while an account manager may be more concerned with recent payments and subscription status. Relevant data for one role isn’t always relevant for the next.

So how do we ensure that the right data is being surfaced for the right roles? The answer lies in personalization. In this deep dive, we delve into why personalization matters, the challenges it presents, and the journey we undertook to create a personalized customer view experience for Pano that truly empowers users to get to know their customers in a matter of seconds.

Why a personalized dashboard?

Personalization isn't just a buzzword; it's a necessity in getting the right information as quickly as possible. Highly technical or not, we all appreciate tailored experiences from apps and services that resonate with our unique preferences and needs. However, achieving personalization at scale presents its own set of challenges. It requires striking a delicate balance between automation and customization, ensuring that users can easily navigate and interact with the customer view in Pano while enjoying a personalized experience and not experiencing doom…or as we call it, data overload.

Never start from scratch

There are great examples of incredible personalization design everywhere. And big teams at big companies have spent millions (billions?) building, testing, and iterating to discover what works best for customization settings. So when setting out to design Pano's personalized dashboard, we drew inspiration from some of the industry's finest: Apple, Asana, Notion, and others who use a modular approach in shaping their vision of a personalized experience. We aimed to capture the seamless navigation and user-centric design that these products are known for.

Stepping into our user's shoes

To truly understand what Pano users needed, we took a step back and put ourselves in their shoes. What's the simplest path to success for someone using Pano for the first time? Is the customization the most valuable feature, or is our assumption of relevant customer data a better quick-start? These questions guided our design process, ensuring that every element added served a purpose, removing complexity and confusion along the way.

We knew that alerts should remain at the top of the customer view — these highlights give our users immediate insight to any possible “need-to-know” items on their customer. Developing and maintaining this hierarchy lended itself to rapid iteration on the layout of the customer view, and helped us lay the foundation for easily moving, resizing, and swapping data points.

Pair-designing, pair-programming, pair-winning

Collaboration is the heartbeat of innovation. In the case of Pano's personalized customer view, it was co-designed with input from both design and development (aka me and Jeremy Clarke), balancing user experience and technical feasibility. Doing so allowed us to work hand-in-hand (not literally, but virtually?), pushing through roadblocks and enlightening both sides with restrictions or opportunities for delight. This is where the magic often happens — when you join forces and set aside the afternoon to push ahead.

When you’re building a solution with a small team and a “speed over perfection” mentality, iteration is key. We embraced this philosophy, designing screens and building same-day to gauge how the dashboard felt in practice. These quick iterations helped us identify pain points and opportunities for improvement. With each iteration, we inched closer to a customer view that seamlessly blended personalization, usability, and innovation, and allowed us to create a personalized experience for Pano that adapts and evolves as users engage with it, ensuring that the insights delivered are always relevant and insightful.

A Personalized Future Awaits

The journey of designing and building a personalized customer dashboard for Pano was a labor of love, guided by a commitment to enhancing the snapshot experience for our users and working towards a truly tailored customer view. Through user research, drawing inspiration from industry leaders, understanding user perspectives, and collaborative design, we've paved the way for a truly personalized future for Pano - where insights meet innovation, and customers' journeys are more enlightening than ever before.

To learn more about Pano, check out And stay tuned for more deep dives with the PSV team!

Thanks for reading!

Jason Walkow

Jason Walkow is Head of Design at Plain Sight Ventures. In his free time, Jason enjoys running, eating at the newest spots, and anything coffee-related.

Get the latest stories delivered to your inbox