Experience management platforms like Liferay, AEM, Episerver to name a few, allow companies to manage their digital experiences across multiple channels from one central repository.
These platforms go beyond traditional content management by giving additional features like WYSIWYG editors, drag/drop experiences, pre-built content widgets, social media elements, business intelligence, enhanced personalization and A/B testing features, implying faster go lives across all digital touchpoints, promoting consistency.
Experience management platforms are powerful tools that underpins insights from your customers including brand perception and expectations when interacting or transacting with your digital footprints.
Experience management platforms - Value Propositions
Tech team agnostic: Marketing teams can operate these platforms without lots of support from technical teams, meaning businesses save on time and cost.
Delivers consistent experiences as any changes are centrally managed and pushed to all mediums, saving time, cost and reducing unaligned touch-points that create inconsistency.
Provides unified view of platform data and facilitates real-time variant testing.
Some drawbacks of experience management platforms
No single platform comes equipped with everything a business needs to keep up with ever-changing customer needs and expectations.
Some platforms are bloated with features leaving the teams managing them unsure what does what or why. This can lead to poor execution.
Complex aspirational design are often not supported by a platform’s underlying architecture which can be formulaic.
Some thoughts on overcoming these issues
When working with experience management platforms all teams must be involved in creating and maintaining the experience. This means design, engineering and marketing teams should collaborate to comprehend exactly how the platform in question delivers consistently great user experience over time.
Here’s our top tips on how to do this:
Form a shared vision of the design and technology constraints you’re working within.
Functional test and usability testing to assess the experience works for all segments of users
Continuously innovate and improve on the experience you’ve defined - the inherent power of experience management platforms allows you to do this with ease.
Getting to know experience management platforms
While it’s unfair to expect designers to know all of a platform’s capabilities in full, an understanding of core functionality is a must. Here’s a few basic need-to-know platform features where some working knowledge comes in handy:
Supported design mechanism: Although experience management platforms are continuously improved not all the latest tropes of visual design may be available. Most platforms support multiple design structures such as responsive, fluid designs etc..Comparing and contrasting existing implementations and evaluating platform features will help you design within the realms of the possible.
Supported data types: Not all platforms support all data types, when it comes to content design it’s important to know what can be added with ease to bring your experience to life.
OOTB widgets: Modern platforms come with pre-built widgets that can be used as is, and components like sliders, carousels, commerce banners etc. This saves you time and effort but you’ll also want to explore bespoke modifications to their design where possible.
Template management: Platforms come equipped with pre-defined templates for specific page types. These can be adapted or modified to an extent, understanding what is readily available will speed up page design. The new designs that you create can also be templatized for re-use across multiple brands.
Personalization: A native aspect of these platforms is Personalization and re-marketing, understanding the features means you can design alternative routes, layouts, flows and content based on the journeys and actions a user takes. Being aware of them helps you improve.
Code flexibility: Understanding how much the components and templates can be modified in code allows you to design the right solution the first time around avoiding time and cost intensive rework.
Collaboration: the key to experience management platform success
With the right platform know-how experience designers, engineers and marketers can create experiences that work with one team with a shared vision for design, implementation and optimization. Together they can choose where to challenge the platform and customize for moments which provide customer delight that add the most customer value.
With a majority of the experience implemented leveraging native features from the platform, marketers will be empowered to manage the experience on an ongoing basis and make requests to designers and engineers about future iteration in the right way. This brings marketing, design and technology teams together - building relationships that will save future frustration.