Gather does internet world 2013

Paul May 2nd 2013

IW2013; Internet world is one of the largest exhibitions in the UK for online and digital businesses.

So what did we learn?



You've probably heard of responsive design and responsive sites, enabling us all to view online content from pretty much any kind of device.  If you've not heard of the term sit and play with your web browser window size now. It's quite common to expect your site to be at least mobile friendly these days and responsive content pushes on a little further using media queries to make things look, well pretty.  You may have also heard about adaptive design; a slightly different form of web development which creates an additional layer for us to care about.


Both responsive and adaptive design methodologies take care of the content layer and presentation layer; through HTML markup and CSS.  The extra one in adaptive design takes the form of client side scripting, where by using javascript libraries such as jQuery or Sencha we can completely redesign an interface or content to fit best on the visitors device.


What we learned at IW-2013 was the impact that this kind of design (adaptive) has, not on the general look and feel of a site, but on the ROI such a methodology can have on m-commerce sites.  By taking some time to rethink your content for mobile (rather than making it "just fit") you can see a massive return through higher customer clicks to purchase, and an increase in mobile visits all together.  Build it and they will come!



At IW2013, the big guys in terms of content management were those lovely folks down at Sitecore; a content management system built using .NET.  One of their biggest selling points of Sitecore their personalisation and targeting features, allowing a site administrator to classify visitors by numerous statistics thus creating a unique and more personal experience. For example, lets say a user had been to the page before.  A simple modification to content would be to change a 'Welcome' message to 'Welcome Back'.


Sitecore takes this a little further allowing you to customise content based on location, paths through the site, social network connections etc.  It also comes with a scoring mechanism, which makes it easier to setup personalised content and when it should be displayed.  For instance a site administrator could create a new page layout, giving it a required visitor score of 10.  Instead of choosing from paths through the site they are now able to create a website action (such as a click, pageview, or being signed into a social network) giving it a score within that campaign.


Somebody else was watching

Upon returning from the exhibition we were keen to see if this sort of personalisation and visitor targeting could be implemented easily within Pimcore; an open source content management system that Gather is very experienced in using.  Pimcore itself has been in version 1.4.10 for a few months, though in the nightly builds we have since seen and been playing with a new feature that has appeared within the system. 'Personalisation and Targeting'.  Let's just say it's very powerful stuff...share this page using your twitter account and you'll see what we mean ;)

Author Paul Technical Director

Technical Director & Co-founder of Gather. Paul is a Manchester born computer scientist with broad full stack web & mobile application skillset, he has helped shaped Gather's technology, and build many large scale web applications.