Web Personalization Utilizing Thick Client and Cascade Server

Like the revolutions in social media and responsive design that drive much of today's online development, the central goals of web personalization are improvement of content engagement, enriched user experience, enhanced brand perception, and increased conversion rate. Web personalization is the process by which information about an end-user is utilized to dynamically insert, update, or select content based on user-models. This idea of web personalization has been extremely successful businesses like Google, Amazon and Netflix, which utilize web personalization in dramatic and distinctive manners.  

Google provides highly localized search results for unknown users through geo-location based on IP address (eg Auto repair returns a map of location shops), which improves content engagement and brand perception. Amazon provides recommended products based on past browsers and buying patterns (eg buying a book on glass blowing will cause DVD, book, and blown glass products to appear in recommended product list), which increased the conversion rate for sales. Netflix provide suggested video content based on pass viewing habit and ratings (eg watching Dr. Who will increase the number of British shows in your suggested stream), which improves user experience.

Within higher education, use cases for web personalization include news site suggestion of relevant articles, personalized admission site, and modified library homepage for current students. Cascade Server provides a flexible platform on which to create web personalization system, through which content can be categories, configured, and reused in a personalized web experience. This presentation provides an overview of implementing web personalization with a thick client (jQuery) and Cascade generated content sets and management for an admission site. It will provide example of both environmental and behavioral information based web personalization. This presentation provides a starting point on the road to web personalization.

Bryce Roberts

Bryce Roberts

Senior Director of Digital Technology and Strategy
Emory University

Bryce is the Senior Director of Digital Technology and Strategy for Emory University, Communications and Public Affairs. He holds M.S. in Public Health from UAB and M.S. in Pharmaceutical Science from UF. He is involved with establishing the strategic direction of digital technologies including Emory Cascade Server Framework.