08 Oct Optimize media distribution or treat the last mile of the digital experience
Paradox: while UX design is at the heart of concerns, content delivery performance is still too often underestimated. A last mile, but one that is critical to the success of the digital experience.
A successful digital customer experience is a friction-free experience. In other words, an experience that unfolds at the pace of the user’s wishes. We have a paradox: while UX design is now at the heart of efforts, the performance aspect is still too often neglected. In 2018, a study conducted by Semrush on a sample of 150,000 sites revealed that 82% of them had problems “significantly affecting their performance”, 44% of them being qualified as “critical”.
Surprising since performance, especially when it comes to delivering media – images and videos – is comparable to the last mile of the user experience. Everything may have been meticulously designed, but when this last mile turns out to be tedious, the entire digital experience will be considered disappointing. That’s why digital experience management (DXM) solutions like Wedia’s are carefully addressing this performance issue. This is logical since DXM, it should be recalled, is positioned at the crossroads between content and user contexts. It also makes sense because addressing this issue of content delivery performance brings several advantages.
The “Time-to-Load”, a key criterion for SEO
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is not only a question of semantic targeting but also of performance. Well referenced content is first and foremost content that is quickly displayed. Time-to-Load is now considered one of the main factors that influences SEO. Google estimates that, particularly on mobile phones, a page that takes more than 3 seconds to display loses more than half of its potential audience. It is therefore not surprising to see search engines rewarding technical optimizations that contribute to the speed of content.
Media files and videos, by their very nature, are the first to be affected by this optimization. While the first reflex is to compress them, a DXM solution like Wedia’s provides a finer and more efficient optimization because it is “adaptive”. In practice, media is adapted to the device, the network and the actual bandwidth available to the user. A person connected from their mobile via an average 3G connection will not receive the same media file as someone else surfing from a laptop and a fibre connection. It is not only the resolution and weight of the media that are optimized by the DXM but the file formats themselves.
Speed and security, the two pillars of diffusion
Another advantage of the DXM in light of these performance challenges is its ability to take advantage of modern infrastructures to handle large volumes. Whether the proposed digital experience is based on a large number of media files (e. g. images from an e-commerce site’s catalogue) or has to adapt to high traffic, the DXM can handle it. To this end, it relies on the elasticity of cloud resources and devices such as Content Delivery Networks (CDN) or Enterprise Delivery Networks (e-CDN) to deliver content as close as possible to the audience.
In practice, this treatment of performance is part of a more global treatment of a site or app’s technical compliance. Compliance that extends to security. Ensuring, for example, that assets are only distributed in a well-defined list of countries, or that an embargo is respected for the distribution of sensitive media are just some of the ways the DXM guarantees a good end-to-end control of distribution, from the DAM to the end user. There can be no truly satisfying experience without a good command of this last mile. This is why diffusion, like content scoring, is a key pillar of DXM.