This is part 2 of the Xperience by Kentico at 20,2023 feet blog post series. Make sure to read part 1 first!
Imagine flying in a jet at 20,023 feet as a Digital Marketer. Visualize yourself flying over a new landscape that looks completely different than the last you saw. Now substitute that landscape for a new digital experience platform called Xperience by Kentico at that same altitude. What would you see as a marketer who needs to quickly get their job done? Is it a breath of fresh air?
Xperience by Kentico Landscape for Digital Marketers
If you look to your left, out the port side windows, you will see the brand new user interface that Xperience by Kentico offers for digital marketers, content editors, and admins. This new admin UI will most likely be the first thing that you notice because of the new design system that Kentico rebuilt the software with. It is impressive, intuitive, and sleek. I'm really appreciative of work that the Kentico UX team put into the visual components of the admin tool. It's familiar enough to those that have previously used Kentico Xperience, but offers a leaner, cleaner look.
About the only thing that hasn't changed heavily is the Pages app. This is a good thing in my opinion because it reduces the learning curve of how to use Xperience. If you have used Kentico in the last 5 or so years, then you will immediately be conformable with Xperience. The way you create content, edit it, publish it, and preview is mostly unchanged. One thing that did trip me up was a slight move of the Preview button when editing a page. That has moved to the top right of the interface.
But most importantly Xperience is much much faster on the admin tool side. When running the software on my laptop, the Pages app pretty much loads instantly. Gone are the seconds (and sometime minutes) of waiting for a white page to load up when navigation through the Pages app. It is very refreshing to use the system when it loads so fast.
This speed increase is again due to the fact that Xperience by Kentico is a modern software product. It gains the benefit of performance from the way it was built on .NET 6/7 and React. This technology stack is basically just better, faster, and stronger. I believe that content editors will see the largest benefit from this factor since they spend large amounts of time inside of the admin tool creating content.
I can't stress this point enough. Xperience by Kentico is fast. Really fast.
Since Xperience is such a new product, I haven't actually received that many questions from my clients on the actual digital marketing features yet. Frankly, none of them have used it yet, and neither have I in a production sense. I guess this would equate to having a mostly empty business class cabin on our flight. There's a whole lot of promise, but we just don't have enough frequent flyer miles to sit there. I am excited to get there though.
Xperience by Kentico: Still Getting There
I do want to make one thing clear, not everything is 100% positive from a digital marketing standpoint. There are some limitations with Xperience when it comes to content while it is in this beta state. First being the idea of localization. Many marketers need to be able to produce digital properties in different regions and languages around the globe. As of time of writing, Xperience does not offer a scalable localization solution. This is a priority for Kentico to add, but it is not there yet. Second, multisite management. It's the same story, again, it's not there yet. The public roadmap for Xperience actually shows this pretty well.
Xperience by Kentico: Digital Marketing Features
As we keep cruising at 20,023 feet, I'll just list the new features of Xperience by Kentico that are targetted at marketers and comment a little on them. The features include:
- Improved Page Builder for visual content editing
- Content Hub for content item re-use
- Cross-channel gated content
- Web & Headless channel management
- Email channel management
- Improved Media Library management
- Cross-site visitor tracking
The above new features can still be combined with the fact that the new DXP from Kentico offers a flexible forms engine, content personalization ability, contact/visitor tracking, segmentation of visitors, and email templates. This means if you have basic digital marketing needs, Xperience can still work. More is coming as each refresh happens with the product as well.
Xperience by Kentico: Content Hub
Arguably one of the biggest differences in Xperience will be the new Content Hub. The full documentation on the new Content Hub shows the full feature well. Below is a preview of it. The hub gives marketers the ability to have content items that are not purely related to the standard Content Tree in the Pages app. The point of this new approach is to enable content re-use and delivery of content that may not require hierarchy. It is very close to how Headless CMS organize and structure content management and delivery. Basically Xperience by Kentico now has two main ways to organize content. I'm very excited about this new feature.
Clicking on an item gets you to the edit mode for that item:
The Xperience by Kentico Content Hub features provides a quick way to edit each item. This can be tied to the new GraphQL based Headless API that Xperience comes with. I will cover that in the next part of the blog post series since it is more of a techincal topic.
Xperience by Kentico: Email
We could not cover Xperience from a marketing standpoint without talking about email. Right now, again, this is just beta, so the email functionality is fairly basic. The system currently allows for a list of email templates and then emails can be generated from those templates.
Clicking on an email gets you to the editor:
Honestly, I wish I could say more about the email system in Xperience by Kentico, but right now that's about it. Again, I expect this to be improved by the time the full release happens later this year.
Your Captain Speaking: Part 2 of Xperience by Kentico at 23,000 feet for Digital Marketers
This is your captain speaking, I'm hoping your enjoying the second leg of your flight as we have reached our cruising altitude of 23,000 feet. The flight will continue on to Part 3 of Xperience by Kentico at 23,000 feet, the landscape for Developers. Until the next part is published, enjoy your in-flight snack and beverage, relax, and the cabin lights will be dimmed once again for this short break, and enjoy the remainder of the flight.