Posts about User Experience and User Interface

5 Handy Tips To Help Marketers with Design Thinking

Posted by Jessica Fender on Jan 11, 2020 11:34:00 PM

The world evolves at a swift pace and things change daily. Given this, customers evolve too, and their demands also change by the day. These dynamics provide a way of feeding into marketing, and this is where innovative solutions from design thinking come in. 

Design thinking is a systematic approach that allows people to get solutions to their problems. In the marketing context, it involves the process of innovative and step-by-step thinking that will allow you to arrive at holistic and creative solutions to a particular problem or issue. 

There is a need for marketers to craft models and strategies that fit well with today’s consumers. The marketing content that consumers would likely prefer today is different than the content they consumed or preferred at least a year ago. 

This speaks of how innovation and creation are essential in this area and further reinforces how vital design thinking is. The systematic approach that design thinking follows is a proper and optimal methodology for generating solutions. 

Going about design thinking requires putting some of these aspects into perspective:

  • Understanding the consumers and the target audience
  • Focusing on solutions
  • Approaching solutions from multiple angles
  • Remaining focused
  • Using visuals

We will explore these 5 tips and understand how they can help a marketer put things in a better place.

#Tip 1 Understand the Target Audience

It is challenging to come up with solutions or strategies for a particular group of people without understanding them well. This is like going in blind and inadequately knowing what to solve. Since design thinking is all about procedures, steps, and systems, it is important to understand the target audience. 

Recognizing user behavioral patterns, trends, likes, and preferences give an informational advantage. By understanding the consumers, you get to know where the marketing challenges exist and what can be done to address them accordingly. 

Indeed, there can be no substantial ideation process without the prerequisite information about the customers. Information will help to form the base of knowledge or facts at hand, which in turn, will help to shape and influence the creative and design thinking process. 

#Tip 2 Focus on Solutions

The marketing scene is dynamic. Challenges have existed for some time, and there has been a shortage of tangible & lasting solutions. In some cases, the continuing shift in consumer preferences quickly obsoletes existing marketing strategies. This explains why you need to have a solution-oriented or problem-solving mindset. 

As a marketer, you need to ensure that your innovations and creations solve a particular problem. These could be solutions to previously existing problems or solutions to anticipated challenges. 

 

Notebook and a phone                                          Image Source: picjumbo.com from Pexels

Having a solution-oriented mind is, therefore, an incredibly important ingredient in the design thinking process. This helps come to a conclusive solution while keeping the company's goals and technology constraints in mind.

#Tip 3 Approach Solutions From Multiple Angles

Sometimes, you come across many solutions, which is good but then it can make you confused also at the same time. You can sort the ideas coming up in your mind by listing each one of them down and figuring out the best one as per their effectiveness.

Design thinking is a systematic approach that uses several variables as inputs and factors in considerations to create solutions. Analyzing these options from several different angles is critical but implementing the best as per the necessities can lead to desired results. 

#Tip 4 Remain Focused

It is possible that in the process, you might think of other aspects related to marketing but not exclusively associated with the solutions to your marketing problems or challenges. Having a sense of focus is thus an essential part of the design thinking process as it assures you of proper and accurate results. 

A keen sense of focus is important as it can help in the cultivation of clear objectives as well as a much-needed sense of direction in the marketing design thinking process.

#Tip 5 Visuals Can Aid the Process

Most people synthesize visual information faster than written information. This is so because visual information is easy to understand, and does not consume much time to review compared to written information. This is why academic writing services and other educational resources like TEDx have been adopting more visuals and video content to make things easier for readers.

In the same vein, the visual representation of information can help you to understand the information more easily and accurately.

Hence,  given the multi-pronged nature of marketing strategies, they help in addressing a broad array of problems and aid the design thinking process hugely with the use of visuals.

Bottom Line

There is a level of dynamism that comes with marketing. Indeed, customer preferences and tastes change daily. 

Thus, it calls for constant innovation and creativity from marketers. Design thinking can help marketers arrive at customized and innovative solutions when it comes to product marketing and publicity. Given the systematic and step-by-step process design thinking offers, marketers can harness it to craft solutions that will work for them. 

 

 

**This post is written by our guest author Jessica Fender. She's a blogger and Chief Content Officer at OnlineWritersRating.com.

Interested to write for us? Drop a mail at guestpost@srijan.net with your awesome ideas

Topics: Web Design, Web Development, Digital Experience, User Experience and User Interface

The Fundamentals of Caching in Drupal 8

Posted by Panshul khurana on Jan 6, 2020 7:10:44 PM

It is known that page load time is one of the important aspects of search engine result position. Site speed is what stands between the website and the potential user.

Caching therefore plays an essential role in optimizing websites to deliver high-performance. Not only does it help support faster load times than otherwise possible, but it also helps in reducing latency. The information can be stockpiled at every level right from the original server to intermediate proxies to the browser.

Drupal encompasses numerous tools for caching content that can work for your site exceptionally and it’s important to know what they are and what they do. This blog will elucidate the caching mechanism in Drupal 8.

Drupal 8 Caching Modules

By default, Drupal 8 comes with 2 modules for implementing caching-

  • Internal Page Caching:
The Internal Page Caching module when enabled, stores the complete page information even if the user visiting the site hasn’t logged in. Future anonymous visitors will then observe that the same content is loaded extremely fast since the page wasn’t put together from scratch. This module is useful for websites with a lot of unregistered users
  • Internal Dynamic Page Cache:

The Internal Dynamic Page Cache module is designed to cache small sections of each page for all users whether they are logged in or not. Whenever the page content is requested by the same or different user, the module can pull in those individual parts to speed up the building of the page on the fly.

Understanding Caching At Different Layers

Caching in Drupal takes place at three separate levels: application, component, and page. Given below is the detailed description of each-

  • Application-level Caching

Application-level caching is in-built in Drupal. However, you won’t see it in action until you scrutinize Drupal’s internal code. It is active by default and won’t even show older, cached pages.

The application-level caching in Drupal ensures that the cached pages are separately stored from the site content (which goes into the database). You can’t set this up, except for guiding Drupal where to save cached pages explicitly. 

Drupal stores its external and internal data structures efficiently to enhance repeated users’ access when performing application-level caching. This isn’t the information that a site visitor sees in itself but forms a critical factor in constructing any page. The only level of refinements that can be made at this level is improving where this cached information is stored, like using Memcached instead of the database.

  • Component-level Caching

Component-level caching works on front-end components such as blocks, panels, and views. For example, you might own a website having dynamic content but a single block remains constant. In fact, you may have the same block widely scattered across dozens of pages. Caching it can deliver improved performances significantly.

Though component-level caching is generally disabled by default, however, you can make it active with some simple configuration changes. You can initiate with identifying blocks, panels, and views on your site that remains the same across to later cache them strenuously. You will notice a strong speedup for authenticated users.

  • Page-level Caching

As the name suggests, this page-level caching caches, stores, and delivers the entire page to the user. One of the most effective types of caching,  it shoes static HTML pages to users to improve site performance almost immeasurably.

Page-level caching gives you enough space to customize where you can use any number of caching servers, including Varnish, or CDNs like CloudFlare to deliver cached pages from servers close to the users’ location. 

CDNs help you in bringing your site closer to your users. However, it only works for anonymous users by default. Fortunately, this drives huge traffic to any website.

A typical Drupal application comprises of all the layers mentioned above. However, to better understand the flow and learn how to debug a caching issue, a flowchart is given to illustrate how content is cached at different layers-

 

Flowchart of how caching works in Drupal 8Learn more about caching from here-

 

Cacheability Metadata in Drupal 8. What is it?

Cacheability metadata is used to describe the thing which is rendered with respect to its dynamism. Сaching properties could be applied to any object and one can easily change the default cache settings of these three properties-

  1. Cache Tags  
  2. Cache Contexts  
  3. Cache Max-Age

 

  • Cache Tags: 

Tags are used to nullify cache entries when something on the site undergoes modification. (nullifying or invalidating means that the cache entry won’t get used, and will be reconstructed the next time that piece of content is rendered). Drupal comprises multiple cache tags to explicate all sorts of different scenarios from individual nodes and blocks, to site configuration settings, and menus. 

For example, the cache tag ‘node:5’ gets invalidated any time the Drupal content node with ID 5 gets modified.

So, whenever content gets cached which depends on something related to node 5,  the cache entry keeps track of that tag; then, saving the node causes that cache entry to get invalidated. This implies that any time you save something in Drupal, a relevant tag gets invalidated.

The tag for the same will look like this-

Syntax : “node:5” 

node_list: List cache tags for node entities

 

  • Cache Contexts: 

Contexts are quite different from tags. Cache contexts are stored alongside cache entries and are designed to let content vary depending on what circumstances or situation it is showcased in.

For instance, you have a site with users of several different roles, and one block on the site is meant to show content differently depending on what roles the user seeing it has. This can’t be implemented through cache tags alone. However, it won’t be a good idea to leave the block completely uncached, instead, it can have the “user permissions” context applied to it. This way, the block can be cached multiple times- specifically one time for each combination of roles that the users see the block have. This way, an administrator can see something different from an editor who will see something different from a user who has both roles.

Commands shown in for caching tags

  • Cache Max-age:

Cache max-age is the last step to handle cache invalidation. You have to simply set the time on how long the content should be cached for. This can vary from 0 seconds (to not cache content at all) to as long as you want. 

Presuming that all of the tags and contexts being used are working as intended, this can be put to indefinite (default state in Drupal) since those can cover most scenarios where cached content might need to be created.

Given this, there is still no mechanism that notifies your Drupal site about the change in content, and therefore, no-cache tags can be invalidated and no context is helpful (as the content doesn’t vary by the situations in which it is displayed).

However, if you set a max-age of 3600 on the page, then it will cache its content for up to one hour before automatically invalidating, at which point the next person who views the page would get a brand-new updated version (fresh with new content from the remote service) which would then get cached for another hour. This way, you can leverage all the benefits of caching without causing your site to stop updating itself with content from the remote service. 

Summing Up-

Caching lets you retrieve data instantly without having to request it from the source. Given that, it makes up a significant part of website speed optimization. If you want to ease surfing experience for your users on the site, then enable the cache for the same. Drupal 8 has enhanced its caching capabilities considerably.

Topics: Drupal, Planet Drupal, User Experience and User Interface, Drupal 8

Empowering E-commerce Sites with Drupal Solutions to Boost Conversions

Posted by Urvashi Melwani on Dec 13, 2019 3:36:37 PM

Acknowledged as one of the most popular online activities, online shopping is considered one of the key contributors in taking up global e-commerce sales to 3.53 trillion US dollars in 2019, with e-retail revenues' projected growth of approximately 6.54 trillion US dollars in 2022.

Desktop PCs are still the most popular devices among users for placing orders; however, mobile devices, especially smartphones are getting up to speed to deliver seamless digital experiences.

Drupal has modernized itself from being just a pure WCMS to a full-grown e-commerce site builder 

As more enterprises have taken their core businesses on the internet, Drupal has adapted itself well enough from being a pure website content management system to a full-grown e-commerce site builder. 

Though e-commerce is not yet a part of Drupal’s core, it extends its support in the form of contributed modules. The e-commerce community in Drupal stays active by introducing revolutionary features to help build simple, powerful, and intuitive sites.

This blog illustrates those e-commerce modules which smoothens enterprise mission-critical operations that drive business results and have a direct impact on the bottom line.

But Why Drupal?

In case you have already ventured into e-commerce or are planning to, you should never underplay the essential role of the technology as it takes on a critical role in helping you reach millions of customers digitally and make your company rise and shine into a vibrant & flourishing business.

Considering that fact, Drupal can prove lucrative in creating a stable online store with its ability to provide an attractive and clean design, leading to engaging user experience and increased conversions and revenue.

Read on to find out why you should capitalize on Drupal only to make it big in your e-commerce venture-

  • Implicit SEO Tools

It helps you out in taking your Drupal-powered website on the top ranks of the search engine results

A lot of e-commerce websites become lost in the shuffle and fail to garner the attention of people from various sections of society. However, with Drupal, you require minimum support of SEO experts as it already comprises of SEO Checklist module, built-in URL optimization, advanced.htaccess, and other analogous useful tools. Thereby, it helps you out in taking your Drupal-powered website on the top ranks of the search engine results.

  • It Is Powerful and Multi-skilled WCMS

Today, making customers place their orders is not the ultimate goal of e-commerce sites. Rather it is to engage them through blogs, forums, community, articles, and reviews around products to attract the new ones and at the same time, keep the existing ones loyal towards the brand. 

These features can be easily integrated and administered to your e-commerce site with a groundbreaking system like Drupal.

  • Seamless Integration With Third-party Solutions

Drupal allows effortless and seamless integration with third-party solutions, like Acquia Lift for enabling personalization on your site to deliver customized results to users, or Smart Content module for Account-Based Marketing. All this can be done through the RESTful API. Or you can also employ the Feeds module, which lets you import content from external data sources.

  • Fast Deployment

Drupal ensures that you get many capabilities and functionalities fresh-out-of-the-box without paying exorbitantly

The type of framework you handpick for designing your e-commerce site also relies on the speed of the deployment of the end solution.

Drupal, with more than 40K modules, ensures that you get many capabilities and functionalities fresh-out-of-the-box without paying exorbitantly. Simply put, Drupal provides all the tools utilized by the most renowned marketplaces of the world successfully for a long time.

  • It Is Secure

There are more than 45,000 developers lending their support to the community & making every effort possible to combat all security risks that may occur, ensuring that the information in your store, as well as your client’s data, is out of reach of intruders and malicious attacks.

  • Seamless Mobile Experience

Drupal-based pages are already created with responsive web design guidelines in mind and are adapted to modern smartphones, thereby; saving you from creating separate mobile-specific websites. Further, it can deliver content directly to mobile apps.

Drupal Modules To Help You Get Your E-commerce Site Going

The most suitable modules that can help you build your out-of-the-box e-commerce site swiftly are listed below-

Drupal Commerce module makes a great fit for small and large businesses alike as it is highly flexible, scalable, and customizable. Users can create several types of displays and product categories with this module and simultaneously manage the payment procedure and orders efficiently.

Get your Drupal site up and coming with Commerce Kickstart in an accelerated way with its built-in configurations and modules, making the whole procedure of launching an online store quick and easy.

Those running their site on Drupal 7, two versions of the module are available: both 1.x and 2.x. For those running their site on Drupal 8, you’ll need the Drupal Commerce 2.x installer.

It provides you the flexibility to tailor more complex shipping scenarios while your business grows at every stage

Chances are high that if you are selling products online, you are shipping them too. 

So, instead of setting a constant shipping price, let this module calculate a cost for shipping based on the customers’ location at the checkout stage.

Commerce Shipping can also be integrated well with other shipping modules, like Commerce Flat Rate or Commerce UPS. Indeed, it provides you the flexibility to tailor more complex shipping scenarios while your business grows at every stage.

Keeping track of your customers’ transactions has now become easier with Drupal’s e-commerce Invoice module, where you can generate invoices for each purchase, for yours and your customers’ records.

 It has an abundance of invoice templates from which you can select the one that best suits your needs. Also, you have the option to view and download your invoices in PDF format, as needed.

Enterprises can boost their revenues per order with cross-selling and upselling techniques. Both Commerce Recommender and UberCart Recommender are the Drupal modules that you should install to enable cross-selling on the Drupal Commerce and Ubercart platforms, respectively.

Both modules help in triggering personalized messages and product recommendations for web users

Both modules help in triggering personalized messages and product recommendations for web users. The suggestions are based on users’ current orders and previous purchases.

This module also comes in handy when the user is new on the site and the software doesn’t have any prior purchase history to refer to for making any suggestions.

In such a scenario, these cross-selling modules analyze the purchase history of other users who previously bought the same product in the current order and hence recommend products that these users ordered in the past.

Even though phenomenal growth and new trends are being observed in leveraging social media, email marketing remains an undivided strategy of any online marketing plan. 

Marketing and sales campaigns are regularly employed by sending emails to people on subscription lists. 

The Mailjet module works on Drupal Commerce for running email marketing campaigns while the MailChimp E-commerce module supports both Drupal Commerce and Ubercart.

To get started with the module, you need to first signup with the respective company. The services are free, however, the email volume should be kept below a certain threshold. 

Both modules enable site administrators to create email campaigns, personalize the marketing messages, and track campaign efficacy. 

 

Learn more about the modules from the video

It is adept in automatically tweaking the display format of price information based on the location of each online shopper

E-commerce gets its customers on its radar from the farthest and remotest countries of the earth, with all having different local currencies. Thus, the online store should be capable enough of converting product prices for customers as per their geographical location. Besides, the freshly converted local amount must be showcased in a format that conforms to the customers’ regional convention.

This module specializes in converting world currencies based on stored exchange rates. Besides, it is adept in automatically tweaking the display format of price information based on the location of each online shopper.

This module identifies the visitors’ IP address to recognize his or her geographical location (the country) of the user and store it in its database.

You can also perform your lookup on the data via a function to use the data in the way you want to. Besides, it automatically updates the IP-country database and admin spoofing of an uncertain IP or Country for testing purposes.

The technology behind maintaining this database is for establishing a link between IP address and Country is hosted and maintained by ARIN, the American Registry for Internet Numbers, therefore the database is 98% accurate

With the aim to remarket the product to the customer that he or she left in the shopping cart, this module saves the product for a later purchase. Products added to the wishlist display image of the product, add to cart button, stock, and price.

It also comes with a wishlist page showcasing a similar interface to Commerce’s Shopping Cart and a block.

Recurly, when integrated within Drupal, relieves you from subscription billing service and management. It can work alongside your existing payment gateway or merchant account or you can use the included Recurly Gateway.

With basic integration from Drupal, it includes receiving push notifications from Recurly.com. It also comprises of built-in pages for users to view invoices, subscriptions, and to upgrade/downgrade their subscription level.

Customers can easily and securely make payments in your Drupal Commerce shop without needing to leave the site

The Commerce Stripe module integrates well with Drupal commerce to support the tokenized payment gateway. This way, customers can easily and securely make payments in your Drupal Commerce shop without needing to leave the site.

The Physical Field module provides an API for storing and controlling physical measurements. It supports all kinds of unit conversions-

 It lends its support to measurement types like Area, Length, Volume, and Weight.

It also supports these following field types-

  1. Physical measurement: Stores a single measurement and it’s unit.
  2. Physical dimensions like length, width, and height along with its unit.

Commerce Stock assists in stock management for Drupal Commerce stores.

The other features include enabling and disabling the add to cart form, checking the cart form submit, checkout submit, and review submit, stopping the user from checkout in case the order contains out of stock items, and advanced configuration of the add to cart button for more control.

This module adds coupon functionality to Drupal Commerce through integration with the Commerce Discount module. You can add any number of coupon codes to a discount. Customers need to enter coupon code during checkout to activate the related discount. If there are some terms and conditions on the discount that prevent it from being applied to the order, the customer will be notified of the same.

Otherwise, the discount will be applied and the customer will see that the coupon has been redeemed.

This checkout progress block has been added to the core. It adds a block visible on the checkout pages to find out on what step of the checkout process the user is currently on. The status is an unordered list with each checkout page title being an item. 

The Commerce Message module integrates order-specific messages into it, such as order paid, product added to the cart, admin comment, order confirmation sent after checkout complete. A history view option appears to display all messages for a given order

Commerce File module widens the Commerce License ability to sell access to files. Whenever a user buys a product, he or she gets access to all files attached to that product’s commerce_file field.

This adding up of new files to the commerce_file field makes them available instantly to all the users who have an active license.

This module facilitates you to add new customer profile types for the Commerce module using a UI. So, in case you want another customer profile type other than the default billing pane in Commerce, then you can now easily do so by using this module. 

Similar to that of adding fields to the billing profile type and controlling how the fields are displayed, you can add new profile types to the ones you create here too, using this module.

In the End

Drupal does not only work as a driving force for content but also makes up an essential element in designing your e-commerce site. You can leverage the best of both the worlds- Drupal’s flexibility as a CMS in combination with e-commerce, to suit your business no matter at what stage it is!

Further, knowing about the ideally-suited modules as per your requirements can help you in kicking off the ideal site, or to improve the site that you already have. Either way, you’ll need developers to install these modules for you.

Srijan Technologies can assist you in taking your site up a notch. Whether you have decided to switch to Drupal, or fine-tune your existing site; it can help you to assure the success of your e-commerce site. Talk to us now!

Topics: Responsive Sites, Drupal, Planet Drupal, Retail & Commerce, User Experience and User Interface

Customized Progressive Web Apps Solution With Drupal

Posted by Kimi Mahajan on Dec 9, 2019 5:40:47 PM

With users expecting reliable, fast and engaging experiences from apps they use, even a short lapse in loading time is convincing enough to move onto its next available alternative.

An app loses 20% of its users for every step between the user’s first interaction until the user starts to use the app.

Nowadays, Progressive Web Apps are offering higher customer engagement bringing better mobile experience, thus offering better business financial gains than the native apps. Drupal proves to be a great platform for creating PWAs. Let’s understand the what and why of PWAs and how native-app like experience can be delivered on your Drupal site.

What are PWAs?

Progressive Web Apps combine the best of the worlds of mobile and web functionality. With application-like interface, PWAs offer the same engaging experience of a native app, but with the convenience of a web browser.

PWAs are quick, don’t need to be installed and once added to a smartphone home screen, they continue to upgrade silently in the background. It would not be wrong to say that they are web pages which ‘live’ on a user’s home screen.

pwa infographic

Unlike an app, a user doesn’t necessarily need to find, download and install a PWA. They can immediately start using a PWA upon finding it.

Here’s a quick round up of its amazing features:

  1. Device independent: They can work on any device, taking advantage of existing features available on the device and browser.
  2. Responsive: PWAs are responsive and fit the device screen size.
  3. Appearance: A PWA looks exactly like a native app, and is built on the application shell model, with minimal page refreshes.
  4. Instantly Available: A PWA can be installed on the home screen, making it readily available.
  5. Secure: Because PWAs reside on a user’s home screen, they are made to be extremely safe by hosting over HTTPS to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks.

You can take a feel of PWA yourself by navigating to mobile.twitter.com and access the fast and responsive PWA of Twitter, which has the capability to work even offline.

example of PWA for twitter

How Does PWAs Benefit?


Native apps have been useful for eCommerce conversion as they are known to perform 20% better than websites. However, they are costly to create and are a risky investment as they need to be found in an app store, downloaded, installed and then used.

Here’s a typical consumer app funnel for native apps:

This graph clearly shows there’s a 10–30% dropoff in every step starting from finding the app in the app store to sharing it in the network.

gartner prediction for PWA by 2020

Gartner predicts that progressive web apps will replace 50% of general-purpose, consumer-facing mobile applications by 2020.

PWAs have an edge over native apps in terms of boosting user retention as a user prefers easy to use less data consuming app with improved performance and usability, rather than its website. As per Google Developers, the conversion rates for AliExpress and Safari increased by 104% and 82%, respectively, upon using PWAs.

Housing.com opted for PWA to increase their average page-load time to bring a significant boost in the conversion rate. Also, poor connectivity and the prevalence of low-end devices was hindering its growth.

housing.com example

The development team of Housing.com then built a PWA called Housing Go, which helped a 38% increase in total conversions, with visitors spending 10% longer on the site, many of them returning often.

But should every web app be a Progressive Web App? And if yes, even a native app functions similarly. Then what’s so unique about PWAs?

To decide whether to go for PWA or not, it is important to identify your customer base and their action trends. The needs should be analysed before opting for PWA, such as cross browser support, most often used functionality which needs to be facilitated in offline mode.

How Do PWAs Work?

Developers can create this functionality with the help of Service Worker and Web App Manifest specification.

pwa working

Source: Bluechili.com

The 3 components of a PWA are:

App Shell: App shell is stored and served from the cache and provides HTML, javascript and CSS to power your application UI.

Service Worker stores the resources in the browser cache when the page loads for the first time. It returns the response to the user post checking the cache when the user visits the app next time. A component of JavaScript code, it manages push notifications and helps build a web application which can work offline.

Web Manifest is a config JSON file which has the metadata of the icon for the installed app, related background color, and theme of the site when downloaded.

Adding Progressive Web App Functionality To Drupal Through React

For Drupal 7 websites, the functionality can be implement by simply enabling the Progressive Web App module. For Drupal 8, one needs to customize service workers apps and apply an easy patch (check the issue). Once done, then go to admin/config/system/pwa and configure the settings. This will implement the 'Add to homescreen' functionality to your website as shown below:

pwa add to homescreen

Add to home screen option available on the website

Though PWA can be developed with front end frameworks like Angular, React, etc., we at Srijan make it possible by creating custom blocks using Drupal 8 Block API. This can be done by embedding React JS application file in its library file.

This way, we place our react block on required space on the same Drupal page, so the entire page doesn’t have to be React or Drupal only. 

The advantage of using this approach is that it doesn’t unnecessarily increase the load of the application, and makes it load quickly and smoothly. Also, it doesn’t hamper SEO rankings.


We help ambitious enterprises modernize their web experience and build digital solutions. Contact us today to explore the possibilities and get the conversation started.

Topics: Drupal, Architecture, User Experience and User Interface

Drupal 8 Image Optimization Modules To Scale Your User Experience

Posted by Rohit Tiwari on Nov 30, 2019 6:30:00 AM

Given the facts and figures in this study, there are more than 58 percent of people who prefer their smartphones over desktop or laptop to browse information on the internet. And when those responsible for the development (at the backend) decide to go ahead without any changes for the mobile, the users start getting annoyed. So much so, that 39% of them stop engaging if images don’t load or take too long to load.

In this blog, we will explore some of the awesome Drupal 8 modules for image optimization and how they can help websites reach their desired user experience. 

Drupal 8 Modules For Image Optimization 

Fortunately, Drupal 8 has many useful and out-of-the-box image optimization modules that makes it most appealing among website owners also who look forward to upgrading to Drupal 8.

Read on to find out about those modules that can help you in image optimization-

Responsive Image Module

The Responsive Image module in Drupal 8 encompasses an image formatter and breakpoint mappings to deliver responsive images using the HTML 5 picture tag. It comprises of fallback support for Internet Explorer 8. To get images in IE8 that are not tweaked for a mobile interface, you’ll need to configure the fallback in your display to use your desktop image size rather than “automatic”.

How to Set Up Responsive Images in Drupal 8

Following steps will help you in easy setup of responsive image module-

Step 1: Enable the responsive image module

One of the major changes in building responsive images in Drupal 8 from Drupal 7 is the responsive image module being part of Drupal’s core - there is no need to download an extra module. However, this feature is not enabled by default.

  1. To enable the responsive image module, go to "Admin" > "Configuration" (/admin/config).
  2. Click the checkbox next to "responsive Image".
  3. Click "Install".

Step 2: Setup breakpoints

If you are using a default theme like Bartik, there is no need to create a breakpoints.yml file. Default themes already have this file.

If you have a custom theme, go to your editor. In the root of your theme directory, create a file called "yourthemename.breakpoints.yml".
 
Your theme directory is usually found at "/themes/custom/yourthemename".
 

Step 3: Setup the image styles for responsive images

We need to create several image sizes for different breakpoints. Add one image style for each breakpoint you create at your_theme_name.breakpoints.yml.
 

Step 4: Responsive image styles

We will now assign the image styles with the breakpoints, to create the Responsive Image styles.

Go to ‘Home > Administration > Configuration > Media’ (/admin/config/media/responsive-image-style) and click on ‘Add responsive image’.

 

Below mentioned is the result of how a responsive image style, once set up,  can turn the tables.

  Devices 

Without the Responsive Image  Module 

With the Responsive Image Module 

Desktop

1-526074867869569249

 

next 1

 

Tablet

3,2

 

7-8

 

Mobile

last second

 

lasttttt

 

 

ImageMagick Module

Drupal by default comes with the GD2 image manipulation toolkit which helps the image cache module to create different sized alternatives of the same images. While GD does most of the work, it lacks some important features like converting/supporting gif with image style, & supporting of some extra image formats like TIFF. At this point, we need to use ImageMagick to extend support for gif format with an image style.

Follow the given steps to start with ImageMagick-

1) Install the module by running the following command 

Composer require 'drupal/imagemagick'
2) Enable the module with following path  ‘yoursite/admin/config/media/image-toolkit’

3) Select the ImageMagick image toolkit and configure the image quality to 100%.

By implementing the module, the following improvements can be observed:

1) The gif image format support is now enabled when used with an image style.

2) 20-40% decrease in image size

 

Please refer to below table for detailed output-

Image Format/ Toolkit

GD2 Toolkit

ImageMagick Toolkit

PNG

1.car

 

2.carr

 

JPG

3,carrrr

 

4.carrr

 

GIF

5.screen

 

6.screen

 

Note: ImageMagick is preferable over the GD toolkit due to the functionalities it provides.

WebP Module

WebP format is one of the image formats developed by Google, capable of reducing the image size by 20-50%. Some of the dependencies which WebP module had before being used in Drupal are as below:

1) At least one image library (GD2, ImageMagick.). In our case, we are using ImageMagick.

2) Images to be rendered using a responsive image style as the WebP module works with <picture> tag only. Any image which is not rendered using picture tag is not converted to WebP form and remains in its original format.

Note: In some browsers, WebP format is still in testing mode. WebP module detects the unsupported browser and renders the original format image instead of WebP format.

Use the below steps to get started with WebP - 

1) Install the module by running the following command

composer require  'drupal/webp'
2) Enable the module and go to path ‘yoursite/admin/config/media/webp/settings’

3) Configure the image quality to 100%.

Below are the improvements that can be noticed on the site alongside a decrease in image size by 20-25% - 

Please refer to below table for detailed output-

Image Format / Configuration

With ImageMagick and without WebP

With ImageMagic and WebP

PNG

2.carr-1

 

White second

 

JPG

new brown 2

 

brown fina;

 

GIF

6.screen

 

5.screen

 

Note: Please note that the size of the gif image remains the same in both cases - with and without WebP. The reason is that WebP does not support gif images on some browsers. Hence, we have excluded the gif by applying a patch on the WebP module.

Summing up:

The bounty you get against the efforts you put in is the website images that look vibrant and crisp on all touchpoints, while still downloading efficiently. Users won’t leave your sites disgruntled anymore as images won’t take forever to download; making a huge difference to your engagement ratio, conversions, and other sales activities.

Drupal is a powerful, robust, and scalable website content management system that ensures every element on the website functions well to deliver a seamless digital experience to users. Using its modules, you can surely manage the images efficiently witnessing the boost in site performance.

 

(Co-authored by Sumit Kumar)

Topics: Drupal, Planet Drupal, User Experience and User Interface, Coding and Tutorial

A Beginner’s Guide to Psychology Principles in UX Design

Posted by Jessica Fender on Nov 29, 2019 7:00:00 PM

Understanding user behavior is paramount when designing any type of product, be it digital or traditional. The way people perceive certain things will affect how they interact with them, the pleasure that is driven from said action, or the overall experience they have. 

Before diving into the actual development of a digital product, UX designers need to plan their every step by maintaining a user-centered perspective. They need to think like the users, identify their needs and what stimulates a particular action or reaction. For that, there is one single type of science that we can use – psychology

This does not mean you need a master’s degree in behavioral science to deliver great digital experience. But by understanding some of the most basic psychology principles, you can elevate your design and provide users with enjoyable experiences. 

three rectangular boxes with another three boxes inside

Understand the Basics of Human Attention

In simple words, attention is the ability to process the information around us and select what stimuli we react to. Sometimes, these reactions happen automatically, like when someone calls our name, while other times we get to decide what we want to react to, often called the focus. Right now, your brain processes a huge number of stimuli, such as the light in the room, the sounds we hear, or the voice in your head that reads these words. However, your decision at that particular moment might be to focus on the voice. 

When it comes to visual attention, there are two ways people can choose to direct it. The first one, spatial attention, refers to focusing on a particular region, such as the main page. The second one, feature-based attention, dives even deeper and shifts focus to one single element; a particular color or word, for example. 

But attention is a limited resource, which means UX designers need to focus on not overloading the mind. This brings us to Hick’s Law, which states that the more choices someone has, the higher the cognitive load. To put it simply; the more choices you give to a user, the harder it will be for them to decide which action to take. On the other hand; limited, but more clear options, will lead to a much better user experience and drive satisfaction. 

However, there comes a time when you need to feature a large number of options, and you can’t afford to cut back on any of them. In this case, you can break the process up into steps similar to that of the menu bar of an eCommerce store.

Gestalt Laws of Perceptual Organization

Commonly referred to as the Gestalt Principles, these laws present the fact that human minds tend to group elements in certain ways, for a much easier way of processing stimuli around us. Basically, the mind does this to help break up complex schemes or images. Try looking at these Rainmeter skins, for example, and how designers managed to group different elements on the desktop for better UX. 

Since every person is different, you might be tempted to think that the way we group these elements is different or random. In reality, they all fall under 5 principles:

  • Proximity: This principle refers to the fact that we tend to group elements that are close to each other and perceive them as one single item
  • Similarity: Elements that look alike, probably because of color, shape, or some other feature, are tend to be grouped together
  • Continuity: Our minds are designed to follow paths. So, you can use the principle of continuity to guide the user towards a certain element on a page.
  • Closure: Our brain is used to process a whole image better than multiple bits. So even though an element is missing, you will still perceive the bigger picture as an entire unit
  • Connectedness: The simplest out of all 5 principles - this refers to the fact that we have a tendency to group items that are connected, kind of like a big painting fragmented into three separate sections.

We Favor What We Find Familiar

Another psychology principle, called Jakob’s Law suggests the fact that people tend to favor experiences they find familiar. How can we leverage this to deliver a good UX design? Well, it means that people are more likely to react positively to websites or apps that look similar to those they have been using before. 

However, this does not mean you should go ahead and copy Uber’s interface if you are designing a rideshare app. It only means that you may want to keep the same principles.

To apply Jakob’s Law, you need to first identify the leaders of the industry and see what elements they have in common. Think of it as a spin on a traditional recipe. A hamburger without a bun and a patty is no longer a hamburger, but this does not mean you can’t add lettuce, cheese, or your secret sauce to it. 

By keeping the key elements together that users are familiar with, you can avoid confusion and succeed in meeting user expectations. Paper writing sites, for example, focus on maintaining a few basic elements, such as the type of services they provide, samples, and contact information as visible as possible, because these are the main features that people look out for.  

Don’t fear that keeping a familiar structure will limit your chances to provide innovative features. By conducting market research, you will be able to identify the areas in which can do something different. 

 

A person using tab and desktop

Get Familiar with UX Writing

Besides images and other visually pleasing elements, effective UX designs need to correctly incorporate texts also. While we might be used to guide ourselves based on graphic elements, such as icons and pictures; the text helps with call-to-action. 

Try to imagine an app that is solely based on graphic elements. No written information, no guidelines, no help menu, nothing. Would it be easy for you to navigate through it? But, most importantly, would it be easy for someone else who is not as tech-savvy as you are, to work their way around it?

The text needs to be incorporated into the development process since its early stages, to ensure they blend and go well with the rest of the design elements. Otherwise, developers might have to rectify the initial design to ensure that it fits the text elements.

Bottom Line

A few basic psychology principles can help you go a long way in the UX design process. By understanding how the mind of the user works, you will be able to shape up your design and influence the way people interact with the app. Still unsure? Try observing these principles in the apps or websites you visit every day and see if they have any role in how you interact with them. You are in for a surprise.

 

**This post is written by our guest author Jessica Fender. She's a blogger and Chief Content Officer at OnlineWritersRating.com.

Interested to write for us? Drop a mail at guestpost@srijan.net with your awesome ideas.

Topics: Web Design, Customer Experience, JavaScript & UI/UX, User Experience and User Interface

Balancing Personalization and Brand Consistency With Drupal

Posted by Urvashi Melwani on Nov 28, 2019 2:02:10 PM

Getting what you have been looking for or even before you realize its need lets you experience the real power of personalization.

Great consumer experiences are what make up a brands' value. However, the problems that marketers face is that very few people show interest in buying complete, off-the-rack, & pre-defined customer journeys. 

Studies also show that consumers do want personalized messages provided it’s done right- i.e, not overly grisly or overly intrusive. 

This might prove challenging for brands in regards to decide on how far to take it and what may go beyond the line, but ultimately brands need to figure this out to deliver a seamless user experience.

The new technologies have also led to the disruption of the traditional paths of purchases. Gone are those days when people used to visit shops! Nowadays, it’s one click and service is provided at their doorstep.

Therefore, it’s critical for enterprises now more than ever to find out ways to stand-out in the crowd by focusing on customer engagement and building a more open and transparent relationship with them.

Personalization is the key factor in delivering engaging and custom experience to the users. Drupal, an open-source platform, can help enterprises in delivering relevant content tailored to their visitors to showcase them their value, convey their message and keep them on their site. The longer they are on the site, the likelier they are to engage in whatever way you need.

What Is Web Personalization? What Are Its Benefits?

Personalization is the practice of presenting web visitors with the relevant content that is customized and unique at the same time to each one of them 

Personalization is the practice of presenting web visitors with the relevant content that is customized and unique at the same time to each one of them as per their likes and dislikes. Enterprises can enforce personalization by gathering the data of their visitors and creating buyers’ persona to know more about their preferences, age, buying nature, and many other things, to deliver a user-centric experience at every stage of buyers’ journey.

B2B companies and online retailers have already realized the importance of personalization as it helps them make product recommendations, send personal messages, discount offers, and many more. Check the benefits mentioned below-

1. Personalized CTA= Increased Activity on Site

 

CTAs or call-to-actions are one of the finest and interactive ways to entice your visitors and let them take action on your site

CTAs or call-to-actions are one of the finest and interactive ways to entice your visitors and let them take action on your site. A catchy and carefully crafted CTA can encourage your website visitors to take a free trial, read an article on the site, take the survey, and even watch a demo they may otherwise have been least interested in. 

4 computers interconnected Shopping sites like Myntra and Jabong use soft CTAs through both the products catalog and also the information is displayed alongside engaging visuals.

This prevents people from leaving the site and instead re-engages them with the platform to improve their probability of purchase.

As per research by HubSpot, personalizing CTAs can boost website performance up to 202% better than generic CTAs.

 

2. More Relevant Content Recommendations

Irrelevant content recommendations on the website can leave any visitor disgruntled and ultimately cause them to leave the website. This can be avoided when visitors are fed with the content, products, or services that interest them and are fresh, concise, and relevant.

This will not only cease them from leaving the website but also reduce the bounce rate or exit rate. A simple way to enhance users’ loyalty and ultimately see an improvement in retention rate.

Google, out and away, is the most apposite example here. The search engine produces accurate data as per users’ browsing history, takes note of their behavior, and uniformly shows content that matches their preferences and priorities.

3. Better Qualified Leads

 

Leads that are properly taken care of, categorized, and shown relevant content, are more likely to enter your sales funnel

Leads that are properly taken care of, categorized, and shown relevant content, are more likely to enter your sales funnel. There is a higher chance of them buying or subscribing to your products or services than new visitors on your website.

For example, to channelize large enterprise clients speak to its sales representatives, Vyond, a SaaS DIY video maker, compels these enterprise visitors to contact them for custom enterprise pricing by mentioning it clearly on their pricing page alongside personal, business, and professional plans- which visitors can directly buy through its website.

4. Increased User Engagement on the Website

Personalization workflow shownGive your visitors what they demand and you will see them sticking around on your website for a longer time. The noteworthy examples of these are YouTube and Netflix where engagement can be measured through the higher watch time. Users are provided personalized OR recommended content options or like Amazon.com which shows multiple product recommendations under “you may also like section”.

5. Increased Conversions

 B2B companies who have been practicing this approach have seen a significant rise in sign-ups, lead generation, and general conversion

Incorporating web personalization helps businesses enhance their online sales and conversion rates provided they nurture their leads with quality content. B2B companies who have been practicing this approach have seen a significant rise in sign-ups, lead generation, and general conversion.

Integrating web personalization gives enterprises qualified leads in addition to serving up what it's buyers want. 

Taking Forward Web Personalization With Drupal

The significant drop in the face to face interactions makes it apparent that digital experiences have already filled that void and have become the expectation rather than the exception.

The advancement in technology has also revamped the way the content should be personalized

However, it’s on enterprises and businesses to improve and evolve the digital experience of every visitor having unique characteristics and browsing behavior- ultimately putting an impact on their engagement metrics and conversion rates.

The advancement in technology has also revamped the way the content should be personalized. For Drupal users, Acquia Lift has been playing a constructive role in eradicating the notion, one-size-fits-all and thereby enabling marketers to speak directly to individuals for addressing their unique needs. 

Acquia Lift is a marketing solution that enables you to fragment audiences based on their age, interest, and search history, to deliver them personalized and unique experiences across any channel or device.

Optimized for Drupal, it allows enterprises to utilize customer data and customize content distribution to cater to their target audience’s specific wants and needs.

Similarly, the Smart Content module built for Drupal 8 can be incorporated easily within any data source to facilitate enterprises in delivering segmented content via Drupal admin, as per industry, buyer stage, location or other crucial segments.

It ensures the personalization of any anonymous websites in real-time. Marketers can leverage browser conditions, cookies, or third-party APIs to display various content for anonymous and authenticated users. 

In addition to this, Acquia Mautic is a marketing automation tool that enables organizations in multi-channel communications at scale- irrespective of the size of the organization, and at the same time customizes the experience for individual contacts; thereby saving time, eradicating errors and improving efficiency by automating all such cumbersome and repetitive tasks.

It’s modern and highly flexible design provides the team members the freedom to move quickly & adapt easily to changing business needs. And since this is also open, it can be easily customized for each user’s specific needs.

Brands can automate, personalize, and assess the entire customer lifecycle from an open platform and integrate customer experience tools seamlessly

Users, as a result, will witness innovation at a faster pace, increased agility and flexibility, and better integrations. It will also facilitate brands to automate, personalize, and assess the entire customer lifecycle from an open platform that is scalable and hence can seamlessly integrate with the latest, and most groundbreaking customer experience tools.

Features of Acquia Mautic-

1. Multi-channel campaigns

Comprises of an intuitive visual builder that makes it easier to integrate automated campaigns. You can also send emails, text and web messages.

2. Website tracking

It can prove an effective way of knowing your visitors and accordingly creating their buyers’ persona to deliver personalized experiences.

3. Email marketing

Comprises of creative and flexible templates to help marketers deliver and optimize effective emails.

4. Landing pages

Facilitates you to customize individual landing pages in the way you want-tweak content, change design layout, or whatever you like.

5. Dynamic content

Leverage buyers’ persona to deliver a real-time personalized experience on your website and in your emails through relevant and high-quality content to individuals in your audience.

6. Integrations

Native plugins, integrations, and open APIs enable you to connect Mautic to all of your business-critical technology solutions.

 

Watch this video to further understand about personalization via Acquia Lift-

Modules To Enable Personalization on Your Drupal-powered Website

Drupal modules simplify the task of marketing teams in boosting the level of personalization on their websites. Check how-

1. Engagement 

Engagement module enables enterprises to attach engagement scores based on the various interactions with website visitors; primarily via rules module or API calls. 

Once this module is enabled, each RedHen Contact in the system is given an auto-calculated engagement score field, whose value is 0 by default until you create some type of engagement scores through the configuration interface and attach cases or examples of those scores to contacts in some way.

This way, you will be able to re-assess the value of a particular type of interaction by changing the score at a future date, and all the past interactions would reflect the new value.

2. Personalization

It adds highly configurable implicit and explicit personalization to Drupal websites based on geolocation and taxonomies

Various males and females shown next to each other                                        Source: Econsultancy

Though designed for larger content-heavy websites but works effectively for any, this personalization module adds highly configurable implicit and explicit personalization to Drupal websites based on geolocation and taxonomies.

This implies that you can deliver relevant content to your visitors that are aligned as per their interests based on their location and behavior on your site, which further can help you in building buyers’ persona of them. Besides, it comes with a “suggested content” block and numbered listing to indicate developers call the functions of the modules directly to retrieve users suggested content and personalize their experiences.

3. Acquia Content Hub

It is a cloud-based, centralized content distribution and syndication solution that compels customers to publish, reuse, and consolidate content across a network of Drupal websites.

Note about Acquia Lift Support-

Acquia Lift currently extends support to Content Hub 1.x for content personalization. If you wish to do content personalization with Lift, download and install Content Hub 1.x. If you only want to do content syndication, it’s recommended to install 2.x. In case you intend to both content syndication and personalization, use 1.x.

4. Shareaholic
Provides enterprises an easy-to-use dashboard to attract new users, grow traffic, commercialize their content, gain values and insights, and monetize their traffic

All-inclusive content development and monetization platform, Shareaholic encompasses related content recommendations, promoted content, social sharing, following, site monetization apps such as affiliate linking, and social analytics. This module makes it a no-brainer for any website- big or small, to attract new users and grow their traffic, commercialize their content, gain values and insights, and monetize their traffic, through a powerful but easy-to-use dashboard.

This module is actively developed by GitHub and maintained and supported by Shareaholic.

5. Contextly 

Contextly aids publishers in keeping readers busy with reading and by suggesting interesting content recommendation widgets at the end of posts and in sidebars. 

It also provides an elegant way to 

  • Add links to the body of stories’
  • Choose related posts without links
  • Add sidebars into the body of posts.

The service which doesn’t tax your database has a free tier for personal bloggers and paid tiers with extra features, including in-house ads, for publishers of all sizes.

Features of the module-

  1. Provides support to all Contextly features, encompassing sidebars, widgets with related links, easy UI to add links to the post without any hassle.
  2. Sidebars are added into the Drupal text formats system
  3. Configurable position of the Contextly widget on the node page
  4. Few selectable Contextly-enabled node types and taxonomy reference fields are sent to the service.

 

6. Setka Editor 

 

Setka module ensures quick integration with the Setka Editor that facilitates users to create an easy-to-understand editorial design tool 

Setka module ensures quick integration with the Setka Editor that facilitates users to create an easy-to-understand editorial design tool for creating beautiful layouts that attract, engage, and convert. 

This installation process lets Drupal replace text area fields with Setka’s page builder, to further ease and accelerate the designing of editorial content.

 

Now you can also design highly-impactful layouts and deliver great content experiences with Setka Editor and it’s features-

  • Grids

Re-structure your content in a refined way to improve its readability and gain control over every element on your page in just a few seconds with this grids system.

  • Interactive design

Show some level of creativity in your designs that obligates users to spend more time on the content and the website. Add animation, anchors or full-width and background images to your layouts on the fly to make your post more engaging.

  • Alignment and indents

A couple of clicks and your content’s horizontal and vertical alignment & indents is fixed.

  • 100% customizable inline icons library

You can easily upload, edit colors, and adjust your icon library with ease. The icons, when brought in use, automatically adjust to font sizing.

  • Post styles

You can specify your post stylings in Setka’s Style Manager. Pick your text formats and fonts, choose the colors and go creating dividers. You can create as many post styles you like - your rest of the site’s look will remain intact.

  • Reusable templates and design elements

Create & save post templates to reuse these design elements as “snippets” with just one tap.

  • More freedom with typography

There are hundreds of Google fonts to choose from and connect to your Adobe TypeKit or simply upload your custom fonts. 

  • Seamless production process

Setka Editor ensures easy designs. That’s why it has made its tool work seamlessly within your editorial, technical, and content building processes. It ensures a hassle-free experience by providing features like- True WYSIWYG, Mobile-friendliness, Team collaboration and rights management, Extra customization through code, and SEO best practices.

Summing up

As per a report by eConsultancy, there are only 32% of members who witnessed that their current CMS is capable of driving personalization, which implies that there are still plenty of companies who are struggling to incorporate personalization in their customers’ journey and are unable to decide on technologies to be used for effectively carrying out this process.

There are also 63% of people who are already irked by the way brands continue to rely on passe’ techniques of exploding them with generic messages repeatedly. 

Simply put, businesses should now adopt new, improved technologies to personalize websites not only to increase leads and conversion but also to content website visitors and earn their loyalty by giving what they want.

Topics: Drupal, Personalization, User Experience and User Interface

5 Enterprise Customer Experience Challenges & How To Solve Them

Posted by Rodney on Nov 28, 2019 12:43:05 PM

Today, in an ever-competitive online landscape, customer experience is the core concern for outperforming your rivals — but it’s particularly significant for enterprise businesses. Companies that grow sufficiently to reach the enterprise level have already nailed the fundamentals of their operations: their price points, value propositions, and promotional copy. They need to do more.

Of course, the larger your business becomes, the harder it gets to achieve lofty customer experience ambitions. Let’s take a look at 5 customer experience challenges that are common at the enterprise level, and set out how to overcome them:

Getting Departments Working Together

The typical startup will have essentially one department accounting for various tasks. Marketing, customer service, supply, HR.. it’ll all be handled by the same core group of people. At the enterprise level, each area will most likely have its own distinct department, which massively helps with efficiency and quality but causes some issues when it comes to providing a cohesive experience (cohesion is big for CX — people like internal consistency).

 

The solution: get your applications running together using a system like APPSeCONNECT. Widespread integrations make it possible to continue working with disparate solutions while ensuring that information can be shared very easily, helping to handle high-value customer requests and achieve broad consistency.

Dealing With Support Requests

Handling support requests when you run a small business isn’t too bad: you can generally take your time, knowing that you have enough slack in your schedule to accommodate, and find a great solution. It’s different at enterprise level. The typical enterprise business gets far more support requests than it can handle internally, leading to messages going unanswered and clients becoming frustrated.

 

The solution: combine a well-programmed live chat chatbot with a small set of competent support assistants. The chatbot can handle most basic queries very efficiently, and anything that requires escalation can go to a human. This allows you to maintain a 24-hour business presence without spending too much (you can use virtual assistants to save money).

Reaching Customers Across Multiple Channels

Given the various technological wonders available to them, shoppers like to have options: they like to be able to buy wherever they are and no matter what devices they’re using. For instance, if someone wants to order through a Facebook chat, for instance, they should be able to. While most companies have learned that it’s vital to be mobile-responsive, plenty still don’t know how to approach multichannel selling.

The solution: invest in an eCommerce platform with multichannel (or even omnichannel) capability. Provided you choose sensibly, it won’t take prohibitively long to get the required integrations set up, and everything after that should be reasonably simple.

Justifying Substantial Investment

Customer experience doesn’t automatically sound like something that deserves investment. Sales sounds more essential, because people can see the clear value in those. Running a business at the enterprise level often means trying to keep various leading figures happy, and if the person handling the investment doesn’t really understand what CX is all about, they’ll be unlikely to approve a substantial budget for it.

 

The solution: patiently explain to anyone who needs to hear it that great customer experience has a massive ROI (use analytics to bolster the case) The more you polish your site, the more visitors will go on to convert and become loyal customers — loyal customers who’ll spend more and bring in valuable referrals.

Meeting Varying Needs and Expectations

Different customers have different preferences, obviously. Some people like to receive a lot of marketing materials, while others prefer to be left alone and seek out products or services when they need them. Some like upselling and cross-selling options, while others get annoyed by such efforts and feel unfairly pressured. This is so much worse at the enterprise level — and you have to make an attempt to keep everyone happy.

 

The solution: use personalization tools to track customer preferences and deploy materials, features and options only when appropriate. If you make it so that someone can simply tick a box to say that they don’t want any product recommendations, for instance, you’ll allow your customers to customize their own experiences.

Each of these CX challenges can be quite frustrating at the enterprise level, but every one of them can be solved through the smart use of software solutions. 

 

**This post is written by our guest author Rodney Laws. He's an Editor at Ecommerce Platforms. 

 

Interested to write for us? Drop a mail at guestpost@srijan.net.

Topics: Personalization, Chatbots, MarTech, User Experience and User Interface

Get Personal With Customers Through Account-Based Marketing (ABM)

Posted by Urvashi Melwani on Nov 21, 2019 3:47:15 PM

Gone are those days when traditional inbound marketing practices worked wonders. Today, the one-size-fits-all approach does not prove effective for companies trying to appeal to well-heeled clients and companies. 

Perhaps, this approach has served B2B marketers well for so long but now this digital era has taken over and led to the battle already where everyone is going head over heels to grow traffic and generate more leads. 

One inverted triangle and one normal with text written                                                            Source: Acquia

 

What is the solution then?

It is account-based marketing (ABM) indeed! An action-plan approved by both large and SMBs to help them aim at high-value accounts with customizing or rather personalizing campaigns and raising awareness.

The illusion of (some) control over what visitors are engaging with is powerful, and has a positive effect on visitor psyche. Perhaps, that why personalization works so well. 

Drupal 8’s API-first architecture makes integration easy to implement account-based marketing

This blog will give you deep insights on how Drupal and ABM can benefit enterprises in increasing customer engagement, and what all the tools are there for the same.

Benefits Of Account-based Marketing

Here are some of the ABM benefits listed-

1.  Clearer Path To ROI

 

Account-based marketing is accurate, focuses on personalized targeting, and is measurable too

Account-based marketing is accurate, focuses on personalized targeting, and is measurable too. Considered as appropriate in B2B marketing tactics and strategies for the highest ROI, it is the one that ensures less waste and so the risk.

This practice makes it easier to streamline sales and marketing for consistent marketing that grows accounts.

  1. Faster Sales Process

Due to the involvement of several stakeholders in making a final purchase decision, the whole process gets stretched. As a result, this slows down your typical sales and marketing process. However, ABM provides you the opportunity to nurture your primary decision maker particularly, along with all relevant potential customers, to facilitate and hasten the sales process.

  1. Efficient Use Of Marketing Resources

ABM redefines your marketing efforts on the major accounts to drive the most revenue

ABM redefines your marketing efforts on the major accounts to drive the most revenue. These initiatives let you optimize your most valuable resources: time and money. The integration of sales and marketing efforts can let you focus your marketing team directly with sales to target and produce content for key accounts and build a successful communication with sales.

  1. Right Targets to Get Right Leads

As per this report, there are almost more than 45% of the bad leads that are of no use to marketers even after additional cleaning,  and hence leads to wastage of resources, money, time, and effort.

ABM is a breakthrough marketing practice that helps in hitting on the right lead instead of low-profit or low-level clients 

ABM is a breakthrough marketing practice that helps in hitting on the right lead instead of low-profit or low-level clients that might give you only a small percentage of revenue. ABM has the unique ability to target the right accounts, i.e, large accounts that have the possibility of closing down soon; resulting in right leads and more revenue than those hundreds of the wrong leads combined!

Quick look on the basics of ABM. 

Getting Started With ABM? Tools You Can Consider

Getting rid of age-old marketing tools to embrace the ABM personalization tools, or simply finding a way to seamlessly integrate them into your workflow can be one of the best decisions you can make for better customer engagement.

With tools such as Engagio that help account-based marketers to initiate lead-based marketing strategies for reviewing performances, there are also tools like Terminus that emphasize personalized account targeting, engagement insights for the sales team & ROI tracking. 

Integrate is also one such useful tool that lets you combine and manage several lead generation platforms in one place and save your time and effort of moving back and forth from one platform to another. Uberflip is no less and focuses on delivering the right content to the right audience at the right time. It uses an AI component that acts as a recommendation engine for content delivery to enhance customer experiences. 

How Integrating ABM and Drupal Can Result In Increased Lead Generation, Retention, and New Market Growth?

In this era of “the customer is the king”, it has become extremely difficult for the companies to get noticed and break through the noise.

However, when Drupal 8’s API-first initiative is combined with ABM, enterprises get access to a whole new line of solutions to deal with the problems that have been surfacing for so long, such as relevant lead generation, retention of customers, and new market opportunities.

ABM requires sales & marketing teams to work closely together in pinpointing and selecting individual companies to target and treat each of these accounts as its very own market to see stronger results.

ABM and Drupal collectively understand that audience identification is the key to the personalization and unmatched experience

Drupal is an ultimate martech stack based on open-source and has been built in such a way that it integrates well with all other tools seamlessly. The use of API structure in Drupal allows the use of the latest javascript to create wonderful apps and deliver exceptional digital experiences in real-time.

ABM and Drupal collectively understand that audience identification is the key to the personalization and unmatched experience and therefore, ensures focus & flexibility to target only those accounts which are well-suited as per organizations’ competency. Ideally, Drupal manages content and the ABM platform ensures identification and recommendation.

Today with ABM, any company that has been using marketing automation technology and CRM software can automate much of the tedious work required for mining potential customer data and personalizing the marketing messages to meet the specific needs of the targeted accounts. In addition to this, an ABM strategy makes it smooth and efficient for enterprises to see how much of the money the company is spending on marketing is directly converting into closed sales and revenue or not.

Modules That Fuel Personalization Through ABM & Drupal Integration

Here are some Drupal modules and tools that support ABM for refined digital experiences-

1. Acquia Lift

Amalgamation of the potential of Lift and the capabilities of Drupal allows marketers to select the level of sophistication that fits their needs and budgets

Web Personalization is the key to successful customer experience. An effective personalization pulls and analyzes customer data, and accordingly suggest content to deliver the right experience to the right customers. For similar reasons, Acquia Lift provides the three-step approach, i.e., crawl, walk, and run approach for web personalization. 

Have a look at these three approaches-

Crawl personalizations can be started instantly from a content and data perspective. These are considered as low effort (means general, easily gathered data and personalization that can be ongoing), of varying impact, and with fast results.

Walk personalizations need additional content and more data collection for further defined segments. Considered as a medium to the high effort ( data that requires multiple visits and additional content creation), delivers results with moderate impact. 

Run personalizations demands more content, more personalization activities, and more data for further defining segments. They require high effort ( requiring data collection and integration from other systems, moderate to large-scale content generation, and more analysis and resources to build and implement rules) with high impact during an extended period.Multiple colored boxes with text insideSource: Acquia                                      

Doing it the right way, with the right technology, can only deliver results that will drive customer experience and your business forward. So, Acquia Lift when combined with powerful solutions, like Drupal, results in a powerful yet easy-to-use platform that augments real business results. Acquia Lift facilitates enterprises in understanding their customers and improving engagement with relevant content for unmatched contextual digital experiences.

The amalgamation of the potential of Lift and the capabilities of Drupal allows marketers to select the level of sophistication that fits their needs and budgets to build unified customer personas, based on data like device type, geolocation, and browser history. Following this, Lift delivers personalized content to relevant customer segments through drag and drop Drupal interface.

Acquia Lift offers following features-

1. Simple campaign creation

Marketers can easily create personalized campaigns in just three steps

2. No coding for testing and targeting

Fueling the creation and launch of personalization without any technical skills.

3. Well-defined personalization campaign types

Enterprises can set a/b tests, target personalizations to specific crowd or suggest content across a series of sessions to deliver the best possible experience.

4. Enhanced scheduling

Assists marketing teams aligning personalizations to events, promotions, sales, and press-related activities.

5. Multi-lingual personalization

Personalize in multiple languages by automatically localizing content as per the detected location.

6. Real-time operation and insights

Caters a dashboard from where activities can be reviewed in real-time for both optimizing and validating marketing investment.

  1. Smart Content Demandbase

The Smart Content Demandbase is a targeting and personalization platform to deliver a personalized experience to each visitor on the website in real-time

The Smart Content Demandbase is a targeting and personalization platform to deliver a personalized experience to each visitor on the website in real-time.

It gives enterprises insights on buyers’ persona and so the ability to optimize your ABM at scale.

With Demandbase, marketers can target website content to companies that fit pre-defined criteria based on attributes and metrics like industry, revenue, customer status, or products purchased. Following are its features-

A. Coordination among different channels

Creating and managing target account lists in the Demandbase ABM platform can be done via enabling the third-party system to ingest these lists. This way, they can be used in a coordinated fashion across virtually any channel (email, direct mail, content syndication, etc).

B. Monitor and fragment target account audiences

Audience lists can be easily managed by fragmenting the data brought into the Demandbase Platform through these integrations. This way, opportunities through CRM can be pulled in for increasing the ROI of ABM programs and at the same time use it for boosting account profiles with contact data and both online and offline engagement data, to provide a comprehensive framework of target accounts.

C. Innovation through collaboration

Collaboration with other hundreds of smart, innovative companies who are building capabilities to benefit ABM marketers will grow only in the coming times. The Demandbase ABM Ecosystem will facilitate clients to benefit from such innovations alongside future capabilities that Demandbase delivers.

D. Seamless data integration

In a world where martech stacks are overflowing, siloed data comes up as a huge challenge for every CMO in achieving the desired ROI. With the enablement of complementary solutions to pass data between systems, the Demandbase ABM Ecosystem can eliminate the risk of buying decisions and enable the marketer to get to value quickly.

  1. Smart Content Module

Marketers can leverage browser conditions, cookies, or third-party APIs to display various content for anonymous and authenticated users

The Smart Content module builds for Drupal 8, can be easily integrated with any data source to facilitate enterprises deliver segmented content- via Drupal admin, as per industry, buyer stage, location or other crucial segments.

It is a toolset that enables the personalization of an anonymous website in real-time. Marketers can leverage browser conditions, cookies, or third-party APIs to display various content for anonymous and authenticated users.

However, it has limited functionality on its own as it is designed to work in conjunction with other modules to boost the power of personalization.

Two of its components are-

1. Smart Content Blocks

Smart content block lets you insert a smart content block on any page to hide/show/swap content within that block, as per the conditions defined by a content administrator. These blocks can be added anywhere, and even in multiple regions on a single page.

2. Smart Content Segments 

You can create, save, and manage a set of conditions, knowns as segments with it. These blocks can use any segment(s) to display the corresponding content.

Smart content lets an API with available data be used as conditions to boost your personalization strategy and better leverage the tools you already have.

Final Words

Drupal and ABM take personalization to the next level collectively and also empower sales and marketing teams. The results obtained are - increase in customer engagement, relevant leads and prospects, enhanced customer retention, and hence sky-rocketing ROI. 

If your enterprise is looking for inculcating Drupal and ABM platforms, then you are in the right place! Srijan has helped its clientele in maximizing their ROI and it can help you too. Contact us now!

Topics: Drupal, Personalization, Planet Drupal, User Experience and User Interface

Integrating Marketing Automation With Drupal Can Drive Faster Response Time To Customers

Posted by Urvashi Melwani on Oct 25, 2019 2:16:24 PM

In this digitally altered scenario, where every millisecond is crucial for the marketing industry to deliver customer responsiveness and enhance productivity, enterprises should start leveraging the marketing automation system earnestly & in a full-fledged manner to take their game to the next level.

 

The digital integration of marketing automation tools will create a huge difference in the upcoming times for marketing communication

After all, marketing automation is an efficient marketing strategy that draws together your different content with demographic information of your customers, to help you convert these potential leads at the most feasible time. 

The digital integration of marketing automation tools will create a huge difference in the upcoming times for marketing communication. As a result, these software tools and technologies will make it easier to incorporate seamlessly with a Drupal-based website through custom modules.

Now, let’s take a deep look at this blog which provides insights on marketing automation, it’s benefits, and available Drupal modules to make the work of marketing teams easier manifolds-

Know What Is Marketing Automation

Marketing automation facilitates organizations to consolidate, streamline, and automate tasks with the help of modules and tools that were earlier bulky, repetitive, and consumed a large chunk of time, such as emails, social media, analyzing the audience, and pushing them the right content at the right time.

 

Marketing teams can view a centralized dashboard and also tweak their strategies to enhance the overall ROI of the organization

Marketing teams can view a centralized dashboard and also tweak their strategies to enhance the overall ROI of the organization

This way, marketing teams can view a centralized dashboard and also tweak their strategies to enhance the overall ROI of the organization. These time and cost-saving effects keep increasing along with the growth of organizations in size and complexity.

Benefits of Marketing Automation


Various elements being pointed out by element in the centreThe benefits of implementing marketing automation tools are manifold for overall business as well as for marketing teams as well. Below is the list of benefits of marketing automation-

1. Reduce your staffing costs

Marketing automation tools let your team set up lead nurturing and marketing campaigns that can be automatically triggered based on certain defined criteria.

Within the few months of the setup of automated campaigns, your business can easily send thousands of personalized emails each day on autopilot.

2. Grow revenue

Once your company starts automating your cross-sells, up-sells, and customer follow-ups, you can observe an increase in your customer lifetime value. And when combined with better lead management and prioritization, it will possibly increase your sales activity too to boost your ROI.

3. Improves accountability of sales and marketing teams

Marketing automation ensures that the obstacles are identified well on-time with its tangible processes, and aerial view reporting of the company’s projects.

In case, the marketing team is unable to convert the identified leads into “sales-qualified leads”, it will get instant and impartial feedback for improving their nurturing campaigns.

This feedback mechanism not only reduces heated arguments but also lets staff members take the onus of their part and hence perform it more diligently.

4. Less repetition and more focus on creativity

 

When manual work is replaced with automated rules and campaigns, enterprises naturally free up their team members’ time to emphasize more creative tasks

When manual work is replaced with automated rules and campaigns, enterprises naturally free up their team members’ time to emphasize more creative tasks.

This clearly improves team members’ productivity & efficiency and simultaneously bestows them with the joy of enjoying creative work every day instead of performing mundane repetitive tasks. 

5. Refine your marketing processes

Enticing customers in this digital era is no more a cakewalk. If you want to engage customers with your services, then visualize their entire journey and work around making such worthy marketing strategies to gradually refine your leads targeting and nurturing process.

This whole journey will indicate to you about the leads that are falling off during the nurturing process, and hence, make refinements to those areas accordingly.

6. Target potential customers across various channels

 

Marketing automation lets enterprises reach customers in a personalized way across different online and offline channels

Personalization has become a newfangled solution now to show customers that companies do take their interests in likes/ dislikes. Marketing automation lets enterprises reach customers in a personalized way across different online and offline channels.

The services these tools offer range from multi-channel targeting, email, social, phone calls to text messages, and postcard targeting.

7. Schedule posts and campaigns ahead of time

Marketing automation tools give an edge to companies where they can easily schedule the different posts for different segments of their audience, based on the evaluation and insights gained on audience type.

Marketing teams can add variations in the content to send it to different sections of their audience, making it more personalized as per customers’ needs and interests.

8. Get reality check- what’s fruitful and what’s not

 

Marketing automation tools can help you figure out the campaigns that worked and for what segment of customers as per the data obtained through CRM

Marketing automation tools can help you figure out the campaigns that worked and for what segment of customers as per the data obtained through CRM. This level of detail enables you to create in-depth statistics reports, and hence, emphasize weak links for better results.

Implement Marketing Automation With These Drupal Modules


8 written inside Drupal logoHere is a complete list of the best Drupal marketing automation modules that you can incorporate in your website to reap its benefits-

1. Marketo MA

The Marketo MA module can help you incorporate the tracking capabilities of Marketo along with the ability to collect lead data during user registration and form submission.

Features include-

  1. Adds Munchkin tracking code to your webpages
  2. Collect lead data using Marketo’s Munchkin Javascript or API integrations.
  3. Ability to determine which user actions trigger lead capture
  4. Stipulate how user profile fields should align with Marketo fields

2. Marketo

Marketo is one of the prominent marketing automation modules in Drupal that offers consolidation of various Drupal components and the Marketo email marketing system.

It provides a framework by which Munchkin javascript can be embedded into your pages and an API as well for linking the tracking cookie and lead information. 

3. Eloqua

Eloqua is an automated marketing tool that streamlines all your stem-to-stern sales processes like, demand generation, revenue performance management, etc. 

It further boosts the sales processes by capturing a substantial amount of quality data of your customers’ sales leads and re-post the form submissions to the platform, provided you have an Eloqua subscription, to begin with.

4. Pardot

Well-known for its marketing and customer-relationship management tool, Pardot uses Pardot Analytics to collect details of your potential and current customers. For example, it can track whether a potential client was involved or discouraged by a particular price. Enterprises can also upload links and files to analyze if these particular sites are accessed or not, and so can create a list of links accordingly which customers can use to find other products that might interest them. 

Pardot offers a top-notch path based tracking system which can be leveraged throughout a Drupal-powered website.

Learn more about Pardot’s feature from here-

 

5. HubSpot

The HubSpot module integrates with HubSpot API and Webform to submit Webforms directly to HubSpot’s lead management system. HubSpot’s JavaScript tracking code can be directly embedded into your Drupal website.

HubSpot mentioned in a boxFor example, a Webform based contact form on the website can submit its data to HubSpot, where marketing teams may already track potential clients and contacts; or Webform-based e-newsletter signup could transmit the lead to HubSpot’s targeted marketing system, allowing you to use your formerly existing email campaigns.

6. Poptin

With Poptin, you can create amazing popups, options, and forms in no time. 

Poptin popup plugin tracks the behavior of website visitors and accordingly shows them the right content at the right time.

This, as a result, increases leads, gets customers to subscribe to a newsletter, increases their engagement and retains visitors that are just about to leave website using exit intent technology and many other triggers.

7. Mailchimp

This module provides collaboration with MailChimp, a well-known email delivery service. The module provides the following features-

  1. Allows website users or visitors to choose the email lists which they want to be in and out
  2. Lets marketing teams generate and send MailChimp email campaigns from the site
  3. Marketing team and users both can view a history of emails they have been sent from Mailchimp
  4. Ensures that the email delivery service is efficient, simple and precise


8. Personalize

Personalize module comes with an array of extendable plug-ins and APIs to tweak Drupal content for giving it a personalized touch. Two fundamentals of this module are-

  1. Personalizing content should be easy for anonymous users as it is for authenticated users
  2. Personalization should continue to work even when the pages are fully cached (including in varnish and CDNs).

9. Loopfuse Integration

No matter whether you are running SMBs or MNCs, you can integrate this module on your Drupal website with LoopFuse Oneview to automate marketing processes. It facilitates enterprises to automate web activity tracking, lead qualification and lead scoring activities. 

Know more about marketing automation from here:

 

10. Silver Pop Engage

Silver Pop Engage module caters to the sophisticated marketing automation product capabilities by integrating its Web Tracking API and XML API to allow tracking a user through various flows and levels of processes.

An anonymous user is allocated a distinctive cookie value as a result of which whenever they trigger any custom events, it gets stored in Silverpop’s Engage database. 

With the Engage Marketing Automation product, you can:

  1. Elevate the number of leads entering your pipeline and nurturing them until they are sales-ready
  2. Easily create multi-track drip campaigns driven by leads’ behavior
  3. Implement relevant communications and follow-ups constantly to keep your potential customers occupied
  4. Use several scoring models to score as per specified behavior and demographics.
  5. Establish a substantial marketing ROI by measuring the influence of campaigns.

11. Wildfire Email Marketing Platform

Wildfire is an email marketing system that incorporates completely into your website to allow the marketing team to send intuitive bulk emails to the subscribers in just a handful of clicks.

Any normal Drupal content can be put straight into an email hassle-free. The module also offers mail templates, list management, content management, and job tracking tools that are present in your Drupal website.

The marketing team has to just choose the stories that they want to include in their mail and rest WildFire takes care of. However, the prerequisite to use this module is to have an account with Wildfire HQ to perform a mail-out.

12. Automatr Marketing Automation

This is currently the only marketing automation tool and the first one as well that is specifically built for Drupal and other open-source platforms. It installs the basic integration code for Automatr on your Drupal website.

Below are the features it offers-

  1. Employs cookie and IP information to track every visitor on the website. It registers each page visit and download
  2. Keep a record of form submissions and tie them to the respective visitors so that you can analyze their actions.
  3. Showcases consolidated visitor history. 
  4. Powerful reporting
  5. Deploys SendGrid (highly efficient email distribution cloud) on the back end. And it is included in the cost.

13. Salesforce suite

This suite of modules supports integration with Salesforce by aligning Drupal entities such as users, nodes, files, with Salesforce objects such as contacts, organizations, and opportunities to perform more actions other than simply pushing or pulling information from Drupal to Salesforce or another way round.

Changes can also be made in real-time or independently during the scheduled runs.

Conclusion

To sum it up, marketing automation amalgamated with Drupal is the way ahead for businesses to design and deliver excellent experiences. It will facilitate enterprises in evaluating the levels of engagement which their site provides to the potential and existing customers. 

As consumers become more demanding and data growth breaks out, progressive companies will look forward to emerging technologies to lead in an era of intelligent and automated customer experience. 

However, the success of such content management and marketing automation solutions will depend on the ease of adoption and its ability to scale across millions of customers/ across locations while ensuring that errors and bugs are being fixed on a timely basis.

Topics: Drupal, Personalization, MarTech, User Experience and User Interface

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