Back again with another recap of the STLUX conference sessions! My previous post in this series covered Practical Interaction Design for Developers, a session by David Ortinau. Where that session discussed how developers can educate themselves about user actions and expectations in regards to the design, this session covers another aspect of a user’s expectations for your site: its performance. Given by Duncan Jimbo, here are my notes from Getting Started with Website Performance.
Website performance is the delay perceived by a user between an action and a response. Your website’s performance is your business, because poor performance costs you money.
Nearly 60% of users expect a site to load in 3 seconds or less, and 71% of mobile users expect the same results or faster than its desktop counterpart. Read the rest of this post »
St. Louis had a user experience conference last month (yes, I am very timely) called STLUX, and I’m starting a series of blog posts to recap some of the sessions I attended. Instead of the typical essay type of blog post, these will be a more in depth breakdown of my notes, which come in a bulleted format. Enjoy!
This is the first in the series, covering the session by David Ortinau called “Practical Interaction Design for Developers.”
All in all it was a great presentation. I always enjoy listening to David speak, because he has a fantastic presence and passion for the topics he presents.
Stay tuned for my next session summary on fixing your website’s performance!
At the recent Adobe Summit in Salt Lake City, one of the most interesting presentations I saw was delivered by John Bollen of MGM resorts. As the Chief Digital Officer for MGM, John is responsible for supporting the guest experience through technology. During his presentation, John brought up an interesting challenge. At MGM, they realize that their guests are never the same guest twice. What that means, is that a single customer might visit an MGM resort multiple times under different circumstances. For example, they may visit on an outing with their friends, then again on a business trip with colleagues, and later on a leisure trip with their family. The key to delivering a great experience for each visit, is understanding which mode a guest is in, and providing the appropriate interactions.
The challenge John described is what I refer to as The Dynamic Customer. While you may have a good understanding of your customer’s needs, behavior and motivation, you can’t expect them to engage with you in the same way every time. Customers are people. And people are dynamic. They are emotional, sometimes irrational and largely influenced by their environment. To provide the right experience at the right time, you need to take into consideration the customer mindset and provide interactions that are appropriate for the situation.
Take for instance, my experience with our local drugstore. I always seem to find myself running to the store with my kids to pick-up a gallon milk, a prescription, or whatever last minute item I need. However, when I have a sick child with me, the last thing I want to do is get them unbuckled, drag them into the store and then try to get them back into the car. On one such visit earlier this year, I was going to the drugstore to buy some Motrin for my son, who was with me in the car. I thought, wouldn’t it be great if I could just get the medicine that I needed through the pharmacy drive-thru window? Surely that makes perfect sense. So I tried to do exactly that. Unfortunately, my store did not offer any OTC medicine through the pharmacy window. Needless to say, I was not a happy customer that day. The drugstore did not consider my situation and provide an appropriate experience. On the other hand, all of their other customers did get to experience a sick, screaming child being carried through their store…
In this instance, it seems that my situation was not unique. The drugstore has recently added some of the most common over-the-counter medicines to drive-thru pharmacy window, including children’s Motrin. Now they’re thinking about The Dynamic Customer, and so should you.
I took my daughters to The Barbie Dream House Experience at Mall of America the last weekend. The experience is a 30,000 square foot life size doll house created with 20 pounds of glitter and 100 gallons of pink paint.
This session had a nice abstract that set some high expectations for a case study.
Creating a dynamic platform to support global digital marketing programs? PwC and USG developed a strategic plan and roadmap to deliver an integrated solution that enables local markets to take advantage of the global investment, from digital asset management, assets and product data, to developing country-specific workflows, while also ensuring brand compliance and consistent analytics and measurement. This scalable, Adobe Marketing Cloud based solution provides USG with the framework to target its marketing and optimize experience based on real-time data. Learn how USG and PwC collaborated to develop a cloud-based platform based on Adobe Experience Manager, Adobe Analytics and Adobe Tag Manager, and DAM. In this session: – Learn how starting with a Mobile First mentality drove the experience design – Discuss global analytics dashboards – Explore marketing automation platform integration, and hear how USG is leveraging the platform for their employee intranet This session is for digital marketers.
USG is a building manufacturer. They had a large impact in the recent downturn and needed to deal with that plus making changes in how the company dealt with the market. They had a lot of challenges including an outdated site, outdated technology, no clear user experience, no analytics or decent benchmarks. On top of that they were in the midst of going global
The old site was a bunch of links focused on their products and not much. It had little valuable information.
Thomas Boudalier, VP of Engineering for Adobe Campaign and Francois Laxalt, Senior Product Manager, both gave a session on where Adobe Campaign is going in the next little bit. While we saw some demos of a fully integrated Marketing Cloud including Adobe Campaign, we know it hasn’t been released yet. Of course, those in the audience wanted to know about more than just a SaaS version. Marketing automation is seeing a lot of change so Adobe Campaign has more to show.
Francois started with a number of trends driving change in the industry.
This is the era of the empowered consumer and you have to EARN their trust.
Consumers also want more options for privacy and how much you interact with them.
With the digitzation of marketing, addressable channel have proliferated. Large companies like P&G plan to shift their ad spend to addressable channels. At the same time, legacy channels like TV are becoming more addressable.
You have a couple challenges
All the channels, CRM, third party data, websites, and a marketing database gives you a lot of data.
Stat: In 2011 71% of CMOS said they felt underprepared to deal with the data explosion. Now that statistic is 80% (IBM)
First party data is king. It delivers the best ROI, allows you to match anonymous and known data, and you own the data.
Adobe Campaign rides the cusp of this trend.
Marketing is where the action is right now. They follow a couple of driving philosophies
.Next is the next generation of Adobe Campaign. Goal number one is to make it a first class member of the Marketing Cloud. At the same time, they want to continue as a first class campaign product
Demo time: Note that this was the alpha version. It’s due out in Q3
They officially announced the beta program in the session.
You can apply today. The program will start in May.
They now have the campaign management assessment tool. It’s at adobecampaignpro.com
Change Management is more than sending out a few messages before go-live. However, communicating constant and varied communication is a significant component of any adoption effort, and adoption is a critical component of any implementation.
So often, we fail on our projects because we send the wrong messages to the wrong people at the wrong times. In their recent blog in the Gallop Business Journal, David Leonard and Claude Coltea address this specific issue.
The authors remind us that by over-focusing on front-line employees, who are inundated with many messages from many sources each day, our messages, along with many others, get lost in the shuffle. While it is important to communicate with front-line employees at specific and critical points in a project, we’re better off directing a majority of our communications to the managers, whose primary job is the activity of their front-line employees. These managers can provide an appropriate filter as they already have the front-line employees’ ears, are able to focus their employees on specific actions and are ultimately accountable for delivering on those actions.
Organizations today are challenged to do more with less. While an overused phrase, the fact remains that more things are being hurled at employees each and every day, with change being but one of the many items that are being shot-gunned to end users. However, change initiatives may be the most important (and hardest) of the items for employees to grasp, and so our communications must be powerful, comprehendible, and most importantly, simply received. The importance of sending the right message to the right audience at the right time cannot be emphasized enough.
Do you find yourself in situations where your messages just are not getting through? Are there times where, despite your best efforts, you find that awareness and action by your target audience is just lacking? If so, this message may be an important one for you to consider.
One of the daily & major tasks of a front end developer is to write HTML prototyping. And when it comes to writing reusable, editable and modularized html for a large enterprise application, we are often lost as to where the different fragments of code are and a small change made to a div classname in the footer of the html, needs to be done across all the html pages its included in.
One solution to solve this agony is to rely on PHP and use of its ‘includes’ for static html prototyping. But is that what we want to do ? All the filename extensions are then .php while it does not contain a single line of php code and we need to depend on either a LAMP, MAMP or an XAMPP server running locally and also on the server where the site needs to be hosted. Thing of the past. Enter JEKYLL – a simple,blog-aware, static site generator that takes a template directory and spits out a complete, ready-to-publish static website suitable for serving with your favorite web server. This post details about how easy it is to setup Jekyll on your local environment and convert an existing php based prototype or start writing a new html prototype based off the Jekyll tool.
Setting up Jekyll is easy and straightforward if you have Ruby and RubyGems installed on a Linux, Unix or Mac OS X machine. For details on installing Jekyll on a windows machine, please follow this link for instructions – Jekyll windows setup.
Open up a terminal window and enter
sudo gem install jekyll.
Now navigate to the folder where you want your new prototype to be created and enter
jekyll new test-site
test-site folder and type
jekyll serve. The Jekyll server stars running, open up a browser and go to
http://localhost:4000/. You will see a page that says ‘Your New Jekyll Site’. Congrats! You have setup your first Jekyll site.
PROTOTYPING WITH JEKYLL
We will now take the example of creating a static html page containing a header, footer and some content in the body.
Open up the
test-site folder. Create an
_includes folder inside your
test-site folder. You may delete the
_posts folder as we are not using Jekyll to create a blog site. Now, create four html files,
scripts.html inside the
_includes folder. Enter the html code relevant for these four components of our site- header, footer, styles (all the css includes go here) and scripts (all js includes go here). We now have all our includes ready!
_layouts folder, create another html file called
home.html and its contents would be a standard html document as below (click on the image to enlarge):
We have our layout html ready which now can be included in any html file.
Inside index.html of the
test-site folder, include the
home.html layout at the top of the file as below:
And then write any html that has to go inside the body of
Restart the Jekyll server and you should be able to see the new
Any changes can be now done to the
_layout folders without making any change to the actual html file they are included in. To avoid starting the Jekyll server after making each edit to an html file, start the Jekyll server using
jekyll serve --watch. We need not restart the server every time an edit is made. The server automatically detects the changes and refreshes the browser page with the new changes. All the compiled code goes into
_site folder, whose contents will go for deployment into the production server.
We now learnt how to create a static html prototype using Jekyll and how easy it is to make changes, with the different html components modularized and residing in their own space. More details on Jekyll and its features can be found on its site -http://jekyllrb.com/
Put in a comment below if you find any issues setting up Jekyll or if you used any other html prototyping tool and how different that is from Jekyll.
As a B2B marketer with a previous organization, I was tasked with consolidation of websites for my division. My CMO set the goal of having a unified brand experience for the entire company and my division was the first to adopt the “one-company” brand. To provide a bit of context, my organization was a large company that had grown through acquisition. We had 20 websites to consolidate for my division — some of which had not been touched for several years. It’s also hard to admit this, but we had no meaningful plan to effectively engage with our online customers. This is something that’s a big “no-no” in marketing today! I needed help building a game plan – something that would provide the strategy and technology processes I needed to drive success – but I didn’t know where to find that. Fortunately there are some options for marketers today.
At Adobe Summit this year, the Perficient booth will be focused on building compelling marketing “Game Plans” for both prospects and clients. The goal is to find those key components and critical next steps that clients must take to enhance their digital marketing initiatives – whether they are focused on customer experience or on the technology that glues the experience together. As a marketer, I find our solution expertise unique. Our in-house digital agency and web content management practice work in concert to help marketing and IT stakeholders work effectively together. We accomplish this by providing these stakeholders with key insights and analysis which supports the creation of digital marketing solutions that enhance customer engagement and drive revenue across all channels and touch points…something I could have used several years ago!
Robert Sumner our WCM practice director said it best, “If marketers want to truly understand who their customers are, what those customers want from the company and how to provide value, aligning their digital marketing strategies with their customer experience management strategies becomes crucial to achieving solid ROI results. We’re pleased to have the opportunity to participate in the Adobe Summit as the desire to address this evolution is native to Adobe’s approach with its Marketing Cloud solutions, and specifically with their Adobe Experience Manager solution.” Read more here.
If you are at Adobe Summit, I invite you to join us at booth 208 to help layout your digital experience game plan. We’ll have our experts on hand to demonstrate how we’ve helped our clients to create a more compelling, personalized digital experience across touch points including legacy websites, mobile sites, social networks, customer transactions, and in-person or contact center interactions. Visitors to the booth can learn how best to integrate the right digital marketing tools with traditional web content strategies, including Adobe Experience Manager.
See you in Utah!
Creating universal solutions is the goal, but in the global internet we all have different needs. Some languages need more space than others for all the characters to convey the message. A good example of this is the English phrase “Gifts and Apparel” in German “Geschenk- ind Bekleidungsartikel”, 32 characters compared to 17 for english, almost twice as many. As you can imagine there is a need for more space. Read the rest of this post »