'Personalization: Case study with EVMS-TERMINALFOUR's Neil O'Neill discusses how to personalize your website using Site Manager and looks at East Virginia Medical School (EVMS) as an example of personalization.
Personalization: Case study EVMS- TERMINALFOUR t44u 2013
The Aviva Stadium Dublin, 21-22 November 2013
• Types of Personalisation
• Problems you can solve with Personalisation
• Some items to note – Fundamentals
• Case Study: Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS)
• Hits & Tips for delivering Personalisation
• User Interface Customisation
• Geographic (either GeoIP or set explicitly by user)
• User selection
• Login based
• Campaign based
• Cater for International Audiences
• Increase Campaign Conversions
• Messaging to broad
• Home page trying to talk to too many audiences
• Fundamentals of personalised website are the
same as any website
• Clarity of content
• Ease of Navigation / IA
• Clarity of Message
• Simplicity is key
• If you have one “bad site” then setting up ten
personalised variants will give you ten times
• Relative brand consistency
• Be in control of your content
• Clearly segment your target audiences
• Identify campaign targets (before and after
Eastern Virginia Medical School
Personalisation through PHP, not
through Site Manager
MySQL server containing their user’s
cohort structure and saved
bookmarks for users
The requirement was to implement a level of
personalisation on a per content basis, an updated
design and a new PHP based calendar.
• Certain content types needed to be visible to
different users based on the user’s cohorts.
• Implementing the faculty/staff directory from
the public site to this private site.
• Bookmarking functionality was to be included.
• Content types were to work across both public
and private sites.
• User logs in and is authenticated through LDAP.
• Using LDAP attributes the user will be assigned a list of cohorts
based on whether they’re staff, students etc. as well as what
degree, and what year they’re in.
• These cohort values are stored in session variables and are used
when deciding what content they can see.
• A ‘Cohorts’ element on a content type is used to restrict the
piece of content to particular users.
• PHP is then used on page request to only display content that
matches the cohort level(s) of the user.
A cohort should inherit all the
access rights of its parent’s.
A user may also be a member of
a higher level if they are to have
more generic access
Most content on the
page is personalised
for the user.
available to person
logged in shown
On page load each individual
block is stacked vertically until
a maximum height is reached,
then a new column is started.
Only forms relevant to person
logged in will be available
within search & listing
Bookmarking can be attached
to any page element.
Pagination is handled by a
jQuery plugin on page load.
Personalised for each user – control
panel to amend/update & tag
Uses the PHP
applicable to the
user are shown.
Reuses the faculty and
staff directory from the
public facing website.
• Key Points
• Client can now get relevant content to users in a more efficient
manner as non-relevant content won’t be seen
• Many content types can now be used between the public and
private sites allowing greater reuse and flexibility
• Code Deliverables
• PHP calendar
• Personalisation on a content by content level
• Developed a pagination plug-in
• Needs to be tied into just a few target
• Otherwise just setup have a new site!
• Try to deliver that “familiar touch”
• Needs to be subtle, not “in your face”
• Need to keep it simple
• Any author can add personalized content
• Personalisation can add value to web experience
• Drive more conversions
• Deliver a more compelling story
• Generally “more useful”
• Basics still apply
• Content / audiences / navigation / messages
• A bad homepage will be ten times as bad with ten personalization
• A number of techniques exist
• Navigational / Content driven / Geographic