Getting Started with the DX Engine
You have created a Conscia account and have received an email confirming that you have been granted access to a sandbox environment.
Accessing the Experience Studio
To access the Experience Studio, simply navigate to the following URL:
Take note that your "sandbox customer code" is the name immediately following the base URL. For example:
https://admin-staging.conscia.ai/[sandbox customer code]/experience/channels
Getting Acquainted with Experience Studio
This guide provides several examples of sandbox configurations to help get you familiar with the Conscia platform. Keep in mind that while your sandbox environment may have different Channels, Data Templates, Components and connections, the steps to create and configure each of them remains the same.
When you first log into the Experience Studio, you'll be presented with the following home dashboard:
From here, you can navigate to the various Components. Let's get started with exploring each Component in greater detail.
Within your sandbox environment, you will be configuring Experience Rules for each Component that delivers dynamic content or data to the frontend. You will find that different Components give you different options for configuring business logic. For example, static Components source a single content record from the system of record whereas dynamic Components source a set of records based on a criteria.
Here's an example of a sandbox environment containing three (3) different starter Components.
- Sourced from Contentstack
- Component Type:
Contentstack - Static Record List
- The Banner Component pulls the list of banners that are hand selected by the business user.
- Sourced from Contentful
- Component Type:
Contentful - Dynamic Record List
- The Featured Blogs Component is sourcing content dynamically from Contentful based on the customerSegment passed in the query to the DX Engine.
Featured Product List
- Sourced from BigCommerce
- Component Type:
BigCommerce - Product List
- The list of products is dynamically sourced from BigCommerce based on the customer's real-time context.
Let's dive deeper into how a Component is configured. To review the configuration of a Component, for example the banner Component, right click on it and select 'View/Edit Configuration'.
When looking at a Component, you'll notice that each has a name, description and type. when looking at the banner Component, you'll notice that the 'Component Type' is 'Contentstack - Static Record List'. This Component uses Conscia's sandbox Contentstack instance and is tied to the "Banner" content type in Contentstack. Looking further in the configuration, we can see that the Component leverages the "Contentstack for Partners" connection and is binded to the staging environment.
Now let's review how experience rules are constructed and how you can pull personalized content from a source such as Contentstack.
To get started, navigate to Experience Rules page.
Here you will see the list of Experience Rules that are configured to show content on different channels and experiences based on the user's real-time context.
Right click on one of the rules on the right hand side of the dashboard and select 'Edit'.
Each Experience Rule is composed of three main elements:
- Allows you to define the Rule Name, Schedule, and the Priority of the rule
- Tagging using a campaign code to aggregate information from multiple experience rules
- Defining a rule as an A/B test
- Outlines what type of Component the experience rule is based on.
- Defines which type of trigger the rule has. This can be either a global or default rule or triggered by specific criteria that a business user defines.
- Allows the selection of the content record(s) to return or, in the case of dynamic Components, a filter criteria to refine the list of records returned from the source system, which in turn returns multiple records.
Creating a New Experience Rule
Let's take a look at the Featured Articles Component in the Landing Page and add a rule that applies to a specific context.
Navigate to the MANAGE EXPERIENCES > EXPERIENCE RULES dashboard
From the left navigation, click on the 'Web' Channel
Expand out one of the Templates in your sandbox
Select one of the Component
Create a new rule by clicking on the 'create record' button in the ribbon that appears to the right, just above the grid.
In the form, provide the following information
- Provide a Rule ID and Name for the rule.
- Enter a priority number if this rule should win over other rules (lower values take priority)
- Enter a campaign code if you'd like to associate this rule into a campaign
- Check the Enable A/B Test if you'd like to personalize content in the form of an A/B variant.
- Select the 'Active' checkbox.
- Global rule - checking this box will set the rule as the default rule which will always run unless another rule is triggered with a higher priority.
- Real-time Context - Clicking on the edit button will bring up the canvas in which you can build a context criteria that must be satisfied for this rule to run. Feel free to try out a few different combinations and see how this impacts the target response.
- Since this is a dynamic record list Component, you can use type-ahead search to find and select the target content tag from Contentful. Note that this search is querying the data directly from the backend datasource.
- The UI functionality of this section is dependant on the APIs of the connecting partner. In most cases, a typeahead functionity is available.
- Hit submit to save the rule
Tagging Experience Rules to Campaigns
When creating an experience rule for the rendering of a personalized experience, a “campaign code” can be associated with the rule. Campaign codes can be thought of as tagging the experience. With this approach, a campaign code can be shared across multiple rules allowing the Track API to aggregate analytics tied to experiences. These aggregated analytics can then be rendered as part of a dashboard focused on the nature of the campaign.
Triggering the A/B Variants
When a rule is define as an A/B test, the target experience will update to allow the business user to define multiple experience variants. Each experience variant carries with it a 'relative weight' that is used by the personalization engine to determine how often the experience variant should be shown. The frequency at which an experience variant appears is based on the variants relative weight divided by the sum of all the relative weights. So, 2 variants with weight of 1 each, would show 50% of the time (1 / 2 = 50%). All of the experience variants defined as part of the rule will be triggered when the trigger condition in the previous section is met.
In the example shown here, two (2) experience variants have been setup and will each showcase 50% of the time. The first variant will dynamically return all Contentstack entries with tag = mobileappmac, whereas the second variant will dynamically return all Contentstack entries with tag = blackfriday. Notice that each variant also has an "identifier". This is a unique value that is passed to the reporting engine to bucket reporting metrics to the appropriate variant.
When A/B test Components are created, analytics dashboards are available to monitor the progress of the A/B campaign. Dashboards can be tailored to showcase the different metrics configured as part of Conscia’s Track API.
Previewing a Page
When a template is created AND the contents of the orchestrated / personalized experience are rendered in a front-end outside out the Experience Studio, Conscia has the ability to incorporate the rendered front-end as a preview directly inside the Experience Studio. This allows business users to easily preview the front-end experience directly inside the Experience Studio application without the need to navigate away.
Previewing a Personalized Version of the Page
In addition to the ability to preview a rendered front-end, business users can also configure the calling parameters used for the preview. This allows different experiences personalized to the viewers context to be triggered and returned in the preview. To do this, users can simply expand the “Context” section of the preview modal and select a context and context value from the list of those available
Selecting a context (or combination of context) will cause the rendered preview to change based on the respective experience rules that match the triggering context.
In the example above, you can see that the “Customer Segment”, “Location” and “Device” are all available contexts that are made available. Selecting “United States” causes the rendered preview update based on experience rules that fire when “location = US”.
In the next step, we’ll associate this template with a channel.