Leveraging user experience within the Sitecore customer experience platform

Delivering digital services is becoming more and more intertwined between technology, methodology and resources. But a critical factor in delivery is the often overlooked customer success. In spring this year, a small group of Sitecore MVP’s, including Valtech’s own Dominic Hurst, got together to share their experiences and knowledge on how to leverage user experience guidelines within the Sitecore customer experience platform – Alison Sainsbury


So how did you get involved?

Over the last few years, I have built up a good relationship with the SBOS team at Sitecore. At the 2018 MVP summit, I finally got a chance to speak with Alison Sainsbury in person and it went from there. The summit and the Sitecore slack strategy channel is a great opportunity for a strategist to connect with people. We are often the sole strategist in a project, so we need to work, share and learn together.


What did you think you could bring to the table?

I’ve been working in UX for 18 years; even before I knew it was called UX. Over those years I have covered a variety of roles including design, user research and data insights. Throughout my career, my role has ultimately been to understand the business, the users, the journeys they take and to ultimately make this experience better.

I’ve learnt a lot about what works, what doesn’t but it comes down to setting a groundwork and that’s what I wanted to share.


Who is the white paper aimed at?

The white paper is for a lot of different people and roles. Certainly designers, marketeers and even C-level. A lot of the paper is around a culture shift, so that hits all people.


You mentioned groundwork, do you want to explain a bit more what’s needed at the start of a project?

I can’t stress enough about knowing where you want to get to; ie what is success? To do this you need to do work together (teams, clients, agencies alike) to understand the organisation; its objectives and its goals. You can then start to look and pinpoint existing data, begin to segment and analyse it, to leverage what you don’t know.


Leveraging what you don’t know, can you explain?

Most organisations think they truly know their customers, but the reality is they don’t. That’s not through lack of trying but through lack of cohesive data. We need to understand both the macro and micro conversions and how they impact each other; this is often the unknown.

We thus need to build up a picture of our different users, what they do (or don’t), how their journeys map out and flow and importantly when and where users convert in that journey.


The paper discusses personalisation, but how do you begin to personalise?

I have talked several times on how organisations can start to personalise; the key being to start simple but on the pages that matter. But this paper we wanted to give some tangible examples of common design patterns/ micro-interactions and show the readers how to personalise these. So forms, content-rich pages, galleries, search and even the infamous carousel.

Sometimes it is hard to who what to personalise even if you know where too. Hopefully, this whitepaper has done this and inspired the Sitecore community.


Any last tips?

Yes. A fundamental step that runs alongside the initial measurement framework groundwork, is the technical/ data audit. It’s a big step to get people aboard with CX but if the Sitecore implementation isn’t ready for it, then it’s a dead duck. Buddy with your tech guys and girls. Show them the plans, the ideas. We need to make sure the infrastructure is going to work with us not against us. Think about your version of Sitecore, switching xDB on, designing for componitisation and much more.

The full white paper is available to download on sitecore.com.

Sitecore UX4CX Whitepaper


Posted in Sitecore, User Experience

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