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Soft Customization vs Hard Customization

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Soft customization is the configuration of software to make products and services unique. This can be controlled by the producer or configured by customers themselves.
Hard customization is physical customization of components. This can occur at the factory as a process of mass customization. Alternatively, products can be designed with interchangeable parts that allow customers to perform physical customizations themselves.

Soft Customization vs Hard Customization

Both soft and hard customizations result in unique items to serve different markets, preferences and customer requirements. Soft customization is a configuration process driven by information technology. Hard customization is a physical process of manufacturing unique items or reconfiguring components.
It should be noted that soft customization and hard customization aren't mutually exclusive.

Example

A mobile device is designed as a series swappable components that allow customers to create unique devices. The device's software allows customers to configure functionality and interfaces with hundreds of options and skins.
Soft Customization vs Hard Customization
Soft Customization
Hard Customization
Definition
Software configurations that produce a unique product or service.
Physical configurations that produce a unique product or service.
Example
A vehicle that offers different interfaces such as an expert interface for enthusiasts and a minimal, easy-to-read interface for accessibility.
A toy with interchangeable parts.

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