A Framework for Designing with Consumer Knowledge – A Checklist Aside

As a UX skilled in right this moment’s data-driven panorama, it’s more and more seemingly that you simply’ve been requested to design a customized digital expertise, whether or not it’s a public web site, consumer portal, or native utility. But whereas there continues to be no scarcity of promoting hype round personalization platforms, we nonetheless have only a few standardized approaches for implementing customized UX.

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That’s the place we are available in. After finishing dozens of personalization tasks over the previous few years, we gave ourselves a aim: may you create a holistic personalization framework particularly for UX practitioners? The Personalization Pyramid is a designer-centric mannequin for standing up human-centered personalization applications, spanning information, segmentation, content material supply, and total objectives. By utilizing this strategy, it is possible for you to to grasp the core elements of a recent, UX-driven personalization program (or on the very least know sufficient to get began). 

A chart answering the question Do you have the resources you need to run personalization in your organization? Globally, 13% don’t 33% have limited access, 39% have it (on demand), and 15% have it dedicated.

Rising instruments for personalization: In response to a Dynamic Yield survey, 39% of respondents felt assist is out there on-demand when a enterprise case is made for it (up 15% from 2020).

Supply: “The State of Personalization Maturity – This fall 2021” Dynamic Yield carried out its annual maturity survey throughout roles and sectors within the Americas (AMER), Europe and the Center East (EMEA), and the Asia-Pacific (APAC) areas. This marks the fourth consecutive 12 months publishing our analysis, which incorporates greater than 450 responses from people within the C-Suite, Advertising, Merchandising, CX, Product, and IT.

For the sake of this text, we’ll assume you’re already aware of the fundamentals of digital personalization. A superb overview might be discovered right here: Web site Personalization Planning. Whereas UX tasks on this space can tackle many alternative types, they usually stem from related beginning factors.      

Frequent situations for beginning a personalization undertaking:

  • Your group or shopper bought a content material administration system (CMS) or advertising and marketing automation platform (MAP) or associated know-how that helps personalization
  • The CMO, CDO, or CIO has recognized personalization as a aim
  • Buyer information is disjointed or ambiguous
  • You might be working some remoted focusing on campaigns or A/B testing
  • Stakeholders disagree on personalization strategy
  • Mandate of buyer privateness guidelines (e.g. GDPR) requires revisiting current consumer focusing on practices
Two men and a woman discussing personalization using a card deck. They are seated at a round table in a hotel conference room. The workshop leaders, two women, are at a podium in the background.
Workshopping personalization at a convention.

No matter the place you start, a profitable personalization program would require the identical core constructing blocks. We’ve captured these because the “ranges” on the pyramid. Whether or not you’re a UX designer, researcher, or strategist, understanding the core elements can assist make your contribution profitable.  

The Personalization Pyramid visualized. The pyramid is stacks labeled, from the bottom, raw data (1m+), actionable data (100k+), user segments (1k+), contexts & campaigns (100s), touchpoints (dozens), goals (handful). The North Star (one) is above. An arrow for prescriptive, business driven data goes up the left side and an arrow for adaptive user-driven data goes down the right side.
From the bottom up: Soup-to-nuts personalization, with out going nuts.

From high to backside, the degrees embody:

  1. North Star: What bigger strategic goal is driving the personalization program? 
  2. Objectives: What are the precise, measurable outcomes of this system? 
  3. Touchpoints: The place will the customized expertise be served?
  4. Contexts and Campaigns: What personalization content material will the consumer see?
  5. Consumer Segments: What constitutes a singular, usable viewers? 
  6. Actionable Knowledge: What dependable and authoritative information is captured by our technical platform to drive personalization?  
  7. Uncooked Knowledge: What wider set of information is conceivably obtainable (already in our setting) permitting you to personalize?

We’ll undergo every of those ranges in flip. To assist make this actionable, we created an accompanying deck of playing cards for instance particular examples from every stage. We’ve discovered them useful in personalization brainstorming periods, and can embody examples for you right here.

A deck of personalization brainstorming cards (the size of playing cards) against a black background.
Personalization pack: Deck of playing cards to assist kickstart your personalization brainstorming.

Beginning on the Prime#section3

The elements of the pyramid are as follows:

North Star#section4

A north star is what you might be aiming for total together with your personalization program (huge or small). The North Star defines the (one) total mission of the personalization program. What do you want to accomplish? North Stars solid a shadow. The larger the star, the larger the shadow. Instance of North Begins would possibly embody: 

  1. Operate: Personalize based mostly on fundamental consumer inputs. Examples: “Uncooked” notifications, fundamental search outcomes, system consumer settings and configuration choices, common customization, fundamental optimizations
  2. Characteristic: Self-contained personalization componentry. Examples: “Cooked” notifications, superior optimizations (geolocation), fundamental dynamic messaging, custom-made modules, automations, recommenders
  3. Expertise: Personalised consumer experiences throughout a number of interactions and consumer flows. Examples: Electronic mail campaigns, touchdown pages, superior messaging (i.e. C2C chat) or conversational interfaces, bigger consumer flows and content-intensive optimizations (localization).
  4. Product: Extremely differentiating customized product experiences. Examples: Standalone, branded experiences with personalization at their core, just like the “algotorial” playlists by Spotify resembling Uncover Weekly.


As in any good UX design, personalization can assist speed up designing with buyer intentions. Objectives are the tactical and measurable metrics that may show the general program is profitable. A superb place to begin is together with your present analytics and measurement program and metrics you possibly can benchmark in opposition to. In some instances, new objectives could also be acceptable. The important thing factor to recollect is that personalization itself isn’t a aim, slightly it’s a means to an finish. Frequent objectives embody:

  • Conversion
  • Time on activity
  • Internet promoter rating (NPS)
  • Buyer satisfaction 


Touchpoints are the place the personalization occurs. As a UX designer, this can be considered one of your largest areas of accountability. The touchpoints obtainable to you’ll depend upon how your personalization and related know-how capabilities are instrumented, and must be rooted in enhancing a consumer’s expertise at a specific level within the journey. Touchpoints might be multi-device (cellular, in-store, web site) but in addition extra granular (net banner, net pop-up and so forth.). Listed here are some examples:

Channel-level Touchpoints

  • Electronic mail: Position
  • Electronic mail: Time of open
  • In-store show (JSON endpoint)
  • Native app
  • Search

Wireframe-level Touchpoints

  • Net overlay
  • Net alert bar
  • Net banner
  • Net content material block
  • Net thực đơn

For those who’re designing for net interfaces, for instance, you’ll seemingly want to incorporate customized “zones” in your wireframes. The content material for these might be offered programmatically in touchpoints based mostly on our subsequent step, contexts and campaigns.

Contexts and Campaigns#section7

When you’ve outlined some touchpoints, you possibly can think about the precise customized content material a consumer will obtain. Many personalization instruments will refer to those as “campaigns” (so, for instance, a marketing campaign on an internet banner for brand spanking new guests to the web site). These will programmatically be proven at sure touchpoints to sure consumer segments, as outlined by consumer information. At this stage, we discover it useful to contemplate two separate fashions: a context mannequin and a content material mannequin. The context helps you think about the extent of engagement of the consumer on the personalization second, for instance a consumer casually searching info vs. doing a deep-dive. Consider it by way of info retrieval behaviors. The content material mannequin can then enable you decide what sort of personalization to serve based mostly on the context (for instance, an “Enrich” marketing campaign that exhibits associated articles could also be an acceptable complement to extant content material).

Personalization Context Mannequin:

  1. Browse
  2. Skim
  3. Nudge
  4. Feast

Personalization Content material Mannequin:

  1. Alert
  2. Make Simpler
  3. Cross-Promote
  4. Enrich

We’ve written extensively about every of those fashions elsewhere, so in the event you’d prefer to learn extra you possibly can take a look at Colin’s Personalization Content material Mannequin and Jeff’s Personalization Context Mannequin. 

Consumer Segments#section8

Consumer segments might be created prescriptively or adaptively, based mostly on consumer analysis (e.g. through guidelines and logic tied to set consumer behaviors or through A/B testing). At a minimal you’ll seemingly want to contemplate how one can deal with the unknown or first-time customer, the visitor or returning customer for whom you will have a stateful cookie (or equal post-cookie identifier), or the authenticated customer who’s logged in. Listed here are some examples from the personalization pyramid:

  • Unknown
  • Visitor
  • Authenticated
  • Default
  • Referred
  • Position
  • Cohort
  • Distinctive ID

Actionable Knowledge#section9

Each group with any digital presence has information. It’s a matter of asking what information you possibly can ethically accumulate on customers, its inherent reliability and worth, as to how will you use it (typically generally known as “information activation.”) Thankfully, the tide is popping to first-party information: a current examine by Twilio estimates some 80% of companies are utilizing at the very least some sort of first-party information to personalize the shopper expertise. 

Chart that answers the question "Why is your company focusing on using first-party data for personalization?" The top answer (at 53%) is "it’s higher quality." That is followed by "It’s easier to manage" (46%), "it provides better privacy" (45%), "it’s easier to obtain" (42%), "it’s more cost-effective" (40%), "it’s more ethical" (37%), "our customers want us to" (36%), "it’s the industry norm" (27%), "it’s easier to comply with regulations" (27%), and "we are phasing out 3rd party cookies" (21%).
Supply: “The State of Personalization 2021” by Twilio. Survey respondents have been n=2,700 grownup shoppers who’ve bought one thing on-line prior to now 6 months, and n=300 grownup supervisor+ decision-makers at consumer-facing corporations that present items and/or companies on-line. Respondents have been from the USA, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.Knowledge was collected from April 8 to April 20, 2021.

First-party information represents a number of benefits on the UX entrance, together with being comparatively easy to gather, extra prone to be correct, and fewer prone to the “creep issue” of third-party information. So a key a part of your UX technique must be to find out what the perfect type of information assortment is in your audiences. Listed here are some examples:

Chart showing the impact of personalization across different phases of personalization maturity. It shows that effort is high in the early phases, but drops off quickly starting in phase 3 (machine learning) while at the same time conversion rates, AOV, and ROI increase from a relatively low level to off the chart.
Determine 1.1.2: Instance of a personalization maturity curve, exhibiting development from fundamental suggestions performance to true individualization. Credit score: https://kibocommerce.com/weblog/kibos-personalization-maturity-chart/

There’s a development of profiling with regards to recognizing and making decisioning about completely different audiences and their alerts. It tends to maneuver in direction of extra granular constructs about smaller and smaller cohorts of customers as time and confidence and information quantity develop.

Whereas some mixture of implicit / express information is usually a prerequisite for any implementation (extra generally known as first social gathering and third-party information) ML efforts are sometimes not cost-effective immediately out of the field. It’s because a robust information spine and content material repository is a prerequisite for optimization. However these approaches must be thought-about as a part of the bigger roadmap and should certainly assist speed up the group’s total progress. Usually at this level you’ll associate with key stakeholders and product house owners to design a profiling mannequin. The profiling mannequin contains defining strategy to configuring profiles, profile keys, profile playing cards and sample playing cards. A multi-faceted strategy to profiling which makes it scalable.

Whereas the playing cards comprise the place to begin to a listing of kinds (we offer blanks so that you can tailor your individual), a set of potential levers and motivations for the model of personalization actions you aspire to ship, they’re extra invaluable when considered in a grouping. 

In assembling a card “hand”, one can start to hint all the trajectory from management focus down via a strategic and tactical execution. Additionally it is on the coronary heart of the best way each co-authors have carried out workshops in assembling a program backlog—which is a tremendous topic for one more article.

Within the meantime, what’s necessary to notice is that every coloured class of card is useful to survey in understanding the vary of selections doubtlessly at your disposal, it’s threading via and making concrete choices about for whom this decisioning can be made: the place, when, and the way.

Cards on a table. At the top: Function is the north star & customer satisfaction is the goal. User segment is unknown, the actionable data is a quiz, context is a nudge, campaign is to make something easier, and the touchpoint is a banner.
Situation A: We need to use personalization to enhance buyer satisfaction on the web site. For unknown customers, we’ll create a brief quiz to higher establish what the consumer has come to do. That is typically known as “badging” a consumer in onboarding contexts, to higher characterize their current intent and context.

Any sustainable personalization technique should think about close to, mid and long-term objectives. Even with the main CMS platforms like Sitecore and Adobe or probably the most thrilling composable CMS DXP on the market, there’s merely no “straightforward button” whereby a personalization program might be stood up and instantly view significant outcomes. That stated, there’s a frequent grammar to all personalization actions, similar to each sentence has nouns and verbs. These playing cards try and map that territory.

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