Can DITA support content personalization and user segmentation?

Yes, DITA can support content personalization and user segmentation through the use of conditional processing, metadata, and other techniques.

Content personalization involves tailoring content to meet the specific needs and preferences of individual users or user segments. User segmentation categorizes users into groups based on characteristics like roles, interests, or demographics. DITA, with its structured and modular content approach, provides the foundation for implementing content personalization and user segmentation strategies. This involves the use of conditional processing and metadata.

Conditional Processing:

DITA allows you to apply conditional processing to content elements, making it possible to include or exclude specific content based on predefined conditions. This enables content creators to create variations of content that are relevant to different user segments. Conditional processing in DITA can be achieved using conditional attributes or profiling attributes.


DITA supports the use of metadata to describe content components. Metadata can include information about the content’s intended audience, language, or other attributes. By utilizing metadata, you can categorize content and target specific user segments. Metadata can be used in combination with conditional processing to deliver personalized content.


A software company uses DITA for its product documentation. The company has a user base that includes both novice users and experienced developers. To personalize the documentation for these user segments, they employ DITA techniques:

Conditional Processing: They use conditional attributes in DITA to mark content that is specific to developers. For example, they add a conditional attribute like audience="developer" to code examples and advanced technical topics. When generating documentation for novice users, content marked with this attribute is excluded, ensuring that only user-friendly content is presented.

Metadata: Each DITA topic is tagged with metadata specifying the target audience, such as audience="novice" or audience="developer". This metadata helps in categorizing topics for user segmentation. When users access the documentation, the system identifies their user type (novice or developer) and uses metadata to serve relevant content.

User Segmentation: The software’s online help system categorizes users during registration or based on their interaction with the software. Novice users are tagged as “novice,” while developers are tagged as “developer.” When a user logs in or accesses the documentation, the system identifies their segment and delivers documentation personalized to their needs.

By implementing these DITA-based strategies, the software company ensures that both novice users and developers receive documentation tailored to their skill levels, resulting in a better user experience and improved product understanding.