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Digital doesn’t stand still

So to help you keep on top of new trends we’ve launched 4 brand new training courses to add must have skills to your digital armoury:

UX masterclass

As well as training courses our Directors, Trenton and Pete, have been hard at work developing a UX for senior management masterclass to share their substantial knowledge on user experience:

If you have any questions about our new masterclass or courses just get in touch - we’d love to hear from you.

What is Sitecore and how can it help you?

Marketing departments everywhere are ablaze with talk of Sitecore, the amazing new ‘experience platform’ that will revolutionise their web presence. But what is it and how can you make it work for your organisation?

Sitecore refers to itself as an ‘experience platform’. In essence, this means it’s a very advanced content management system (CMS) capable of powering not only your web content but also your:

  • E-marketing
  • E-commerce
  • Blogs
  • Social integration
  • Testing platform
  • Web analytics, and more…

The platform is built in ASP .NET so any organisation already running Windows servers should have no difficulty making the switch. However, if you’re tied to an Apache configuration then you’ll require some additional investment in back-end tech.

It’s clearly designed to appeal to corporate users as the user interface is heavily based on Windows (they stole it from Sitecore, apparently) with which most large organisations are likely to have familiarity. While significantly more complex to use than something like Drupal, once fully understood the level of functionality offered by the platform is staggering.

Sitecore as a CMS

For us, Sitecore is like Lego. It’s modular so you can create anything you like then easily reuse it across pages and move it within a template. Want to move your newsletter module higher up the page? No problem – simply drag it into place within your template. There’s no need to create duplicates of content areas anywhere, even across different sites, making everything simple to maintain and fast to load.

Audience segmentation

This is where Sitecore really comes into its own. The platform is able to build audience segments and map users to these based around patterns of use. Some of these patterns include:

  • On-site behaviour
  • Geographical location
  • Sales history
  • Device they accessed your site on

This allows you to tailor page content and messaging to user profiles and boost site conversion by developing more sophisticated user flows.

The ability to tailor content in this way dovetails beautifully with well-considered UX design as this functionality can provide much richer experiences for your audiences. For this reason it’s paramount to appoint a UX agency that  has experience working with Sitecore and understands how to structure the design process to maximise impact.

Testing and web analytics

Another area in which Sitecore performs well is its ability to allow web editors to run and maintain A/B and split tests. No longer will you have to contact your web agency to ask them to run a test on the site – everything, including the reporting, can be managed from a simple interface within the platform. This ability to test rapidly and frequently will help to improve site conversion while simultaneously cutting agency development costs.

The platform also offers a wealth of insight via a selection of customisable reports and dashboards in the back end.

CRM integration

Not only can you personalise content on-site but Sitecore will integrate with most large CRM’s to capture all details against sales leads. Your customer experience is no longer limited to just a website but can be extended across a customer’s whole journey with your organisation.

Everything, including the kitchen sink

Sitecore development agencies will tell you that they can do anything that you want and – to an extent – this is true. Sitecore is fully customisable to meet any requirement, both on the front and back end. With over 1,300 classes and 5,000 methods plus a rich, extensive developer framework; pretty much anything you require can be achieved.

Remember, user experience design is not just confined to the customer facing areas of the site but can also be applied to admin areas making it easy for editors to add content quickly and easily.

Developing a Sitecore project

There is a learning process associated with the ‘experience platform’ so while previous experience working with the technology is crucial, client involvement is also heavily required. Webcredible have worked extensively with Sitecore over the years and for us, the real interest is how the platform changes what is possible in customer experience design. It allows us to provide a richer more personal experience not only on the website but throughout the whole customer lifecycle.

While we can provide substantial expertise on the capabilities of Sitecore we would advise you start slowly and get to know the platform, developing usage in-line with your requirements. If you want to learn more about user-centred design and Sitecore, get in touch.

On Friday 26th September at 11:30am Webcredible opened its doors and welcomed the great and good to join us for a Macmillan Coffee Morning with a difference at our London Bridge offices.

Rather than host a coffee and cake morning we thought we would have a Macmillan picnic – giving staff and guests the chance to enjoy a yummy lunch followed by some scintillating conversation as well as cake and a cuppa, of course!

The Webcredible team went to great baking efforts for the in-doors picnic, perhaps they were motivated by the chance to win a sought after prize in the bake-off competition? We made a Vine showcasing pretty much all of the culinary treats that were on offer.

There were three clear bake-off winners:

 

  1. Hua’s Singapore style rice vermicelli noodles with egg and prawn came in first place. They were snapped up so quickly we didn’t even get a chance to take a photo!
  2. Second place was Zoe with her delicious Irish soda bread that went down a treat
  3. Joint third with Zoe’s second dish (Tiffen) were my red velvet cupcakes

Winners could choose their prizes, Hua chose to take home an apron, Zoe oven gloves and I took home the tea towels!

The reason for us baking and getting together with local businesses was in the name of a very good cause – Macmillan Cancer Support– a fantastic charity. We raised a total of £200 in two hours which we’re really pleased about.

Thanks to all who baked, ate and donated, we are looking forward to hosting the next Macmillan Coffee Morning next year and we hope you come along too, don’t miss out!

The amazing augmented reality app which we conceived and designed for Dulux has been shortlisted for a number of awards:

The Dulux Visualizer is an augmented reality app that puts colours on walls in real time. It’s an innovative first in the industry and has been recognised as such. We really enjoyed working on the Visualizer with Dulux, String and Tessella, and are hopeful that it’ll win more awards!

Read the case study for more on how we developed the idea, customer experience and design for the app.

We attended the Tech Market View (TMV) annual IT Trends presentation last night. TMV provides authoritative research and analysis on the technology scene and their opinions are very well respected.

The theme of the evening was ‘The Race for Change’ and the audience included the great and good from the likes of CGI, Accenture, TCS and Capgemini. We were there as guests of CGI who we collaborate with as part of their SME Accelerate program.

Across all the presentations (public sector, financial services, enterprise software etc.) there were 2 reoccurring themes TMV stressed as being critical to IT success:

  • IT transformation is a symphony not a solo. Key partnerships with experts are necessary for large IT projects to succeed
  • Fantastic customer/user experience is critical to winning the ‘race for change’ (This was mentioned a lot)

Hallelujah! It’s incredibly encouraging that niche skills and UX are finally on the radar for IT influencers. Hopefully this focus will help the industry design products and services that are truly appropriate, usable and less likely to hit headlines for the wrong reasons.

Webcredible has a long history of using UX methods to design enterprise software and mission critical business applications. In our experience if you incorporate the user in the process you substantially lessen the chances of internal users repelling against changes and rejecting solutions intended to make their lives easier.

Thanks to Tim Gregory & Steve Thorne from CGI for your hospitality.

Case studies

Our success stories

  • UCAS

    UCAS's Track portal is award-winning, achieving a 95%+ satisfaction rating across its 750,000 users

  • Hotels.com

    Hotels.com gained a much stronger competitive advantage due to a great mobile & tablet strategy

  • Pearson Education

    Pearson Education has embedded user-centred design into all their digital design processes

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About us

We're a user experience agency (UX agency) that creates people-centered, efficient and delightful digital experiences.

Get in touch on 020 7423 6320