Intelligent Websites

A new study was recently released where a neurobiologist, Joshua Rosenthal, showed that cephalopods can rewrite their RNA to meet the demands of their environments.  They are in essence capable of intentionally genetically recoding their DNA.   That is, figuratively, what our websites do: dynamically redesign themselves to fit each individual user’s environment and preferences.

Website Development Over The Years

Around 20 years ago, most public websites were created using static layouts in basic html.

Around 10 years ago, Xykon started designing and developing “fluid” sites.  “Fluid” is how web developer referred to sites that could expand and shrink to fill any screen regardless of the device being used. Fluid was the precursor to the term “responsive web design.”

 Around 7 years ago, the term “responsive web design” was coined as another way of describing fluid websites and fluid web design structure became the new standard for web developers around the world.  Responsive web design (aka “fluid” site development) had been honed to a science and Xykon continued building sites that worked on desktops, tablets, and mobile phones.

Today, designers and developers are pushing the boundaries on customized experiences, but few are marrying security, user experience, and design like Xykon is.

What Xykon Is Doing

Sumati Mathur, Xykon’s President and CEO, had an idea.  Instead of simply crafting sites that looked beautiful, why not build sites that gave users exactly what they wanted?  This wasn’t exactly a new idea.  It was the holy grail for most organizations: show users exactly what they needed to see in order to further mission-related work.  The strategy, technique, and execution, to achieve this, however, was sorely lacking. 

The chief problem was that it was difficult to design a site to appeal to every user.  

The industry-standard solution was to identify a few key target audiences and create an experience that would appeal to those few audiences, and hope to achieve optimal impact.

But what if, Mathur speculated, web applications could tell what unique visitors wanted as soon as they landed on your site?  If web apps could tap that data, then Xykon developers could, through a bit of creative programming rearrange site content and layout to suit each visitor’s unique tastes making each visual and text maximally effective.

Enter User Metadata

Data about online users is collected by an ever-growing number of companies and used to create highly-detailed profiles.  Most users are unaware of these generated profiles until they wander to a new site and are targeted with ads based on their history of online activities.

The same, Mathur, reasoned, could and should be done for organization’s websites and would render these websites much more effective not just in terms of content and design, but also in terms of security. Knowing who the user was, where they were from, what groups they were active participants of, and their general browsing history, enabled Xykon developers to restrict or open vulnerable site features accordingly. 

Xykon began building websites predicated on these ideas and the websites were astoundingly successful.  Analytics showed that these sites had better uptime when targeted by malicious users, better engaged users, and prompted repeat site visits.  These websites also resulted in increased memberships and donations, more loyal followers, and organic word-of-mouth advertising for their organizations.   

Mathur expects to continue honing this strategy of incorporating a 360 degree view of each site visitor into their website design and defense. She believes that adoption of this strategy will one day become standard, ushering in a new era of intelligent web design.