This was my third time at Sitecore Symposium as a speaker and it is interesting to compare the experience year-over-year-over-year, especially at the same venue the second year running! Plenty of buzz Velir’s booth with our theme of storytelling and how we can use Sitecore to better communicate those stories and foster human connection in a digital world. Some of the highlights were talks by Platon, Dr. Rana el Kaliouby, and Paige O’Neill.
As usual, it was great opportunity to learn more about the latest release of Sitecore and what’s on the future road map. Some themes emerged that I am really excited about.
Looking forward to installing Horizon (Sitecore’s author experience overhaul initiative) as part of next Sitecore release which promises anew interface that will be more intuitive, reduce context switching between Experience Editor and Content Editor, and integrate page level analytics to provide better context for making decisions.
ContentHub promises platform maturity, owning more of the creative process and end-to-end tasks so content authors need not work in as many solutions. In particular, CMP is and its evolution will be something to watch. And finally, machine learning is beginning to be applied for practical use in the authoring and personalization space via Sitecore AI. Some call it magic, we just call it science.
Overall, I walked away encouraged and excited to be part of what comes next!
This year, along with Dominic Hurst of Valtech, I was very fortunate to have presented at the Sitecore Symposium in Las Vegas, Nevada. Both Dominic and I have worked on a variety of Sitecore installations and over the years have noted some mutual industry observations:
- The role of the Content Author in modern CMS solutions has evolved into a multi-dimensional job. Too often these every-day heroes have to fight inflexible and uninspiring solutions to overcome the even smallest tasks
- Many organizations spend the lion’s share of their budgets on CMS implementation, yet pay little attention to the efficiency of the operational processes that enable it
- Poor authoring experiences can lead to UX erosion over time. Bad AX → Bad UX → Bad CX
- Content authors are rarely empowered to aid in design, personalization, and performance analysis
Together at the Symposium we decided to address these observations and present our top 10 tips for organizations to empower their content authors to deliver real value on a daily basis. Many they can enact right away. Below are links to 10 blogs posts that cover each of these points in greater detail. We hope you enjoy these posts and, of course, please reach out to either of us to continue the conversation. Dan – @sitecorelations; Dominic – @dh_analytics)
- Provide access to non-explicit fields in Experience Editor
- Simplify rich text embeds
- Make it easy to do the “right” thing
- Optimize data template architecture for greater usability
- Dynamically nest local components with pages
- Use branch templates to create structured content models
- Get your content authors involved in the design process
- Be a custodian for chang(ing content)
- Embrace governance, add guard rails not gates
- Combine the authoring experience with analytics
Special thanks to Nicolai Winch Kristensen of Sitecore for coordinating and moderating our Sitecore Symposium presentation. May the force be with you!