How thinking event-based saves you time and money

Event-based architecture is undoubtedly the future, but sometimes it's hard to get the 'click' about what it can do for your business. You don't have the feeling it's a match. We tend to see this over and over with our customers. That's why we wanted to create the thing on our website to make people go "ah you can do that!" but wait then I can do x, y, …. for my company" "That's freaking terrific."

We at Design is Dead love to give each other that 'click'. The amazement of what a new piece of technology can unlock and the value it can unleash on society. We hope you do too.

Let me describe the use case that leads to the 'click' (pun intended)

Let's take our Design is Dead website. We noticed that the bounce rate is too high on the homepage. But looking at our analytics, we see a lot of engagement with our Blogs. That's normal. It's the part of our website with the most valuable content. It inspires our customers and triggers future employees to check out our open job offerings.

Our webmaster comes up with a plan: "Why not show the most read blog directly on the home page?" That way, we serve our visitors with the most valuable piece of content that's relevant right now.

And it works, bounce rate goes down, engagement is up. People' click' on the blog post link.

Image of the teaser on the home page
Teaser on the home page
But this comes at a cost:

The webmaster has to do the following steps every single day:

  • Open up google analytics

  • Check the most viewed pages

  • Filter on blogs and sort them

  • Open our Content Management System (CMS), which is Storyblok.

  • Go to the home page

  • Change the featured blogpost

  • Publish

All of this takes 30 min…. every freaking day! 30 min x 20 working days/month x 3 months = 45 hours per quarter to keep this up

We gained increased engagement, but at what a cost! Our managing director is going to go ballistic. As he should.

Even worse, our devoted webmaster gets bored of doing this repetitive task every day and the motivation drips slowly away together with creativity.

How can we fix this unsettling predicament?

Well, you guessed it, Event-based thinking and processing.

We send every page view to google and all that gives us is a visual report, which is basically a black box. The data is handed over to Google for free.

Why shouldn't we send this data to our internal organization as well?

So, we send these page view events to an API we set up and forward it to our real-time data system based on Kafka.

Now we have access to the same granularity of data that Google has. We could also generate a report, but Google analytics is already providing that.

No, we are going to automate everything our poor webmaster has to do.

We build a processor that aggregates all the pageviews towards blogs.

When and only when the processor detects there is a new Blog Post that is viewed more than the last one, it sends a new event throughout the organization, eg. NewTopBlog event.

Now we could send this event as a notification towards our webmaster and already cutting the time to maintain the whole process in half, but why stop here.

We make a small program that listens to the "fact" that there is a new top blog post, communicates it directly to the CMS, and publishes the change on the homepage.

Just like that.

And if you think we only saved valuable human labor, guess again.

Other architectural approaches would have used much more computation power and would also be more brittle.

The CMS doesn't have to calculate anything or fetch information from another service that might be down.

No, its internal state was updated only when it was needed.

A game-changer.

The story ends like we all love to see them end. Happy!

Our webmaster has 30 min extra per day to think about the next improvement on the website, motivation and creativity are up.

Given the 16 hours we spend implementing the use case, our finance department sees a Return On Investment of over 280% in 3 months. Booya!

What more can you ask for?

Now imagine what this level of power can do for your organization.

Because why stop at pageviews, no, all the behavior in your company should be tracked. Payments, invoices, offline customer visits, machine repairs, logistical events, emails, work hours, … anything relevant to your business.

With that tracked, any number of processing can be done, generating any number of business facts. And those can trigger any number of automated actions.

Creating a complete central nervous system for your company.

Please get in contact with us to brainstorm together what this can do for your company!

To get more insights into the technical implementation, we will soon publish a blog post about that. Technologies used are Kafka, Storyblok, Nuxt, Vue in JAVA and JavaScript.