Improving your author experience with the SXA
16 November 2016
Ioannis Verikis
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Foreword by Amar Patel, Business Director:


Welcome to the first in a series of blog posts that seek to explore the new Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA) from the point of view of various stakeholders in an SXA project. We begin with the author.  Creating a great author experience is arguably the single biggest factor to ensure success and high adoption of a Sitecore platform rollout within marketing teams and the SXA has the potential to transform this experience. We hope you enjoy the series which has been researched and written by one of our budding Digital Academy Interns. For those needing a quick update, check out our SXA Service Offerings.


Enjoy more control and peace of mind


When it comes to creating digital experiences, technical content creators and developers are traditionally involved throughout the entire process. However, when taking the accelerated approach by using the SXA, authors are given a great deal of power. With customisable templates and out-of-the-box reusable components you no longer need to rely on back end developers to create sites, landing pages and campaigns. With the SXA you know that your work can be published faster and more easily than ever before, as you only need to configure, not develop the elements of your site.


Coding is taken out of the equation

You can now enjoy closer and faster collaboration with your entire team, without depending on developers to publish new experiences. Simply using drag & drop, wireframes and entire webpages can be created in only a fraction of the time otherwise needed, enabling you to reach your audiences faster.

The SXA reduces time to market, because it already knows the tools you’re likely to use. One of the greatest features available is the Toolbox.  This is where you’ll find the SXA’s exhaustive list of components that are ready to use, waiting to be customised by you for your audiences.

Digital Execution activities run in parallel

The SXA fundamentally changes the way digital experience teams work. Creating fully functional prototype experiences becomes a pivotal part of the process early on. If you’re an agency or designer, you can get input from your clients throughout the entire journey from ideation to the go-live phase. Or, if you are part of a marketing team, you can get buy-in from the entire team by showing them exactly what they are going to get.  Long gone are the days where authors could only share half-developed versions of experiences, waiting for other team members to catch up. This is how a typical site production project would unfold without the accelerated approach:


linear-site-production.jpg


Using the SXA means that you can create and refine experiences much more quickly and work towards releasing them to your customers at an accelerated pace. The two-phase ‘design then develop’ process is a thing of the past. These two traditionally consecutive phases can now be done in parallel, bringing the excitement of the go-live date a lot closer, every time. The following graphic shows what can now done in parallel:


parallel-site-production.jpg



Format is separated from content, so you can work on what you do best, while enjoying great collaboration with your designer team. What’s more, using the SXA’s Sticky Notes, you can post important information on a prototype for everyone on the team to see, such as an imminent change or a request for an additional piece of content from another author.

For those working already with Sitecore, the SXA delivers a new, highly effective way of working with content and creative. For those who are new to Sitecore and are just joining us on the accelerated path, the SXA introduces a fundamentally new approach to creating digital experiences.

BYOC: Bring Your Own Content

Since content can now be added much earlier in the process, you’ll find that some of the frustrations of dependencies on other team members are eliminated.  You can now work in your own time.  Save all of your emotional energy for what is important: creating fantastic, relevant and engaging content. Not writing the code, or waiting for somebody else to write it.

The SXA gives authors the power to genuinely collaborate on a project, integrating the technology your brands use and creating a manageable architecture for the digital experiences you craft for them. It will also inspire you to make processes more efficient, to handle data and assets more effectively and to cater for all the channels that are involved.

All you need worry about in future is content. Keeping all of the above aligned with the SXA creates the basis for scalable and repeatable powerful customer experiences delivered at the right time and on the right devices.

To find out more about further benefits of the accelerated approach using SXA, keep your eye on the the Cog Blog for the next in the series.   If you want to learn more or get going now, we can help you get started, or get in touch with Amar Patel to chat about the challenges you face.


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