How to Optimize Digital Experiences in Drupal
Digital experience or DXP is among the latest buzz words to have captured the attention and entered into critical conversations among marketers, website managers, IT professionals, and at times, even the entire C-Suite.
There’s, of course, good reason for heightened interest in digital experience. More often than not, the first interactions that customers and constituents have with companies and public sector entities these days are via digital channels. Quality DXP functions as an essential driver of loyalty and can serve as a significant contributor to the bottom line.
In an environment in which online engagements are rapidly outpacing in-person interactions, DXP matters a lot, and Promet Source we approaches initiatives to optimize DXP from multiple angles. Here are the top four:
1. Question assumptions concerning customer and constituent needs.
Web designers, developers, and all those who are closely connected to the site can easily fall into what we call the “curse of knowledge.” In other words, those on the inside can have far different perspectives on user objectives and the relative ease of navigating to needed information than the people who actually use the site.
Promet Source takes a human-centered design approach to web design, and this entails stepping back before a line of code is ever written to to engage in a depth and breadth of inquiry in an effort to understand the full extent of answers to questions such as:
- Who visits the site?
- What kinds of information are they seeking?
- How can we ensure that the site’s navigation feels easy and intuitive to users?
The process of engaging key stakeholders in various human-centered design exercises, along with research among targeted persona groups, helps to effectively move toward an empathetic focus on optimizing the digital experience. The results reveal new possibilities on multiple levels.
This overarching emphasis on empathy for the user often results in a reorientation of the entire site architecture. Even when the outcome is more subtle changes, the impact is always significant and a critical component of ensuring an optimal experience of the site.
2. Understand the open source imperative.
In an environment in which the bar is on a sharp upward trajectory and user expectations are constantly evolving, open source software represents an essential advantage. The systems and tools that operate your CMS need to drive -- not put up a barrier -- to best-in-breed approaches.
Proprietary solutions that were developed at a particular point in time in response to a particular competitive environment and available technology solutions represent inherent limitations.
As an open source CMS solution, Drupal is powered by partnership, collaboration, community, shared innovation. As such, neither data nor code-based solutions are held hostage by the constraints of a particular solution or provider. Drupal sites avoid vendor lock-in with an inherent agility due to a services and support structure that enables flexible deployment models.
Recent Acquia stats point out that 98 percent of developers prefer open source tools for reasons that include:
- The software evolves faster,
- The code is trustworthy and auditable, and
- The software can be adapted to accommodate specific client needs and expectations.
A survey conducted by Red Hat reveal additional perspectives on open source advantages, citing the following top three:
- Lower cost of ownership,
- Better security, and
- Access to the latest innovations.
Drupal is the open source CMS of choice for more than a million websites around the globe – supported by a vast community of users and developers who are continually enhancing and extending the platform. There is not a proprietary CMS platform that can begin to compare.
3. Keep in mind that websites are just one piece of the DXP puzzle.
Back in the day, there were basically just two channels from which digital interactions with customers and constituents occurred: email and websites. The rapid proliferation of mobile, social, and apps has turned DXP into a crowded arena that calls for a constant coordination and a focus on integration.
An Acquia e-book: The DXP Vision: Open Content and Unified Data, points out that visitors find it annoying when their experience with a brand is disjointed from one channel to the next. They also have expectations that personal preferences will be acknowledged from one visit to the next and factored into the experience. As a result, a sharp focus on integration, along with diligent monitoring of the customers’ experience of all channels needs to be a top-of-mind activity.
4. Be prepared to pivot quickly.
Within every organization, priorities, perspectives, and products are constantly evolving, and keeping websites updated at the same pace is often a challenge.
Digital experiences quickly lose credibility, though, if content is not up to date, relevant, and on-brand across all channels.
Promet’s Provus platform for Drupal stands up to the evolving requirements of for an enterprise-grade CMS, by providing marketers and content editors with drag-and-drop content editing capabilities so that they can easily build pages switch up layouts, without relying on IT or outside technical support.
Provus offers several advantages over other Layout Builder page building solutions. Among them:
- Access to a myriad of components that are incorporated into Layout Builder,
- Drag-and-drop page building capabilities, and
- Free availability via GitHub, as the only open source Layout Builder page building solution that’s also easy to install and implement.
The final and arguably most overarching requirement for DXP optimization: align with a highly ranked development and support partner that offers a wide spectrum of expertise and is devoted to your success over the long haul.
Interested in learning how Promet fits that description and what we can do for you? Contact us today.