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The statement is taken from here. Here is the context:

"Stick to the integrity of your design. The market will constantly push you towards cheaper, easier, less difficult to accomplish. It does not always pay to customize an experience."

Does it mean "It is not always profitable to follow the trend."?

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Here "pay" may mean "be profitable" or "be successful" or "achieve the design goals" or all of these together. In general this sentence means that changing the design on the fly, to accommodate short-term demands or "easy ways out" is often a poor idea. I don't think 'customize" was actually the best word for his meaning, but the meaning does come across, in my view.

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    I think in the context it may also mean that allowing the online students/consumers too much flexibility--or ability to "customize" their learning experience--results in worse outcomes. – Katy Apr 28 at 21:07
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Customisation means to change something to suit a specific person. A "customised experience" would be where each customer or client gets bespoke treatment.

Your statement is saying that this kind of business does not always pay, and that it might be more profitable to just give every customer the same experience.

I don't think it means to follow a trend, unless you mean that there is a trend for businesses to give a customised experience for their clients. That isn't really the case, as most large corporations these days follow a very strict business model. Certain fast-food chains, for example, make sure that customers get the exact same experience whichever branch they visit - that is quite the opposite of a customised experience.

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