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The design of the user interface plays a major role in encouraging users to tailor an application. This paper focuses on a particular design issue. The question is how to support users in finding those functions which allow tailoring of an application. An empirical investigation shows that this is a major problem when users try to tailor applications. In order to tackle this problem the concept of direct activation is developed, which simplifies the finding of a tailoring function at the moment a tailorable function needs to be modified. To evaluate the effectiveness of the concept of direct activation in supporting tailoring activities, the concept has been implemented and an evaluation study carried out. The results of this study support the assumption that direct activation eases tailoring activities. Finally, the potentials and limitations of this concept are discussed.