How Housebuild uses Editmode as a unified hub to power their App Copy, Marketing Site, and Emails
Housebuild aims to become the number one online marketplace for anyone in the house building, design, construction, renovating and fit-out market — whether you’re planning for a new home, upgrading a room in your existing home or seeking an environmentally friendly option. They are a one-stop-shop for both individuals and companies operating in Ireland and the UK. Housebuild provides professionals and homebuyers alike with inspiration, interiors and access to service providers. Purchase materials, learn the applicable building regulations and advertise your products — all in one place.
Housebuild Use Cases and requirements
A way to let the engineering team begin converting the team's designs before the copy had been fully fleshed out and approved, in order to reduce the cost of delay and keep the backlog moving.
A way for the product and marketing teams to keep messaging consistent by managing all of the customer-facing copy from one place, and keep abreast of changes with version history.
A way to let the design team see proposed content updates in context (within the screens that they appeared) in order to confirm that they make sense before pushing them live.
A way to let the product and marketing teams make update to content after it had been pushed live by the dev team, without needing to create another ticket on the backlog.
A solution that was very easy to use and understand, for the whole team.
A solution that just worked - when content changes are made they appear immediately, with no guesswork on whether or not it will go live soon or fail silently.
“As both our team and product grew, so too did the number of times and places where we needed to update content. To the non-technical team members, the expectation was that these were 'quick fixes', so as the pace picked up and the changes were taking longer to get actioned (understandably), you could tell that frustration was also rising between the teams. Editmode came at just the right time and completely unblocked us. We found ourselves thinking differently about the design <> dev handoff, and making more updates than we had been beforehand, because it was just so easy to do.”
Kevin McDonagh - CEO, Housebuild
Using the Editmode Content Hub
Housebuild's team went through a phase of friction between the business and tech teams. Content changes had to be funnelled through the PM, who then reached out to the developers to update it — and often needed multiple iterations before being finalized. This created several problems: loss of context of change within the chain of communication, multiple text change requests that disturbed the developer workflow, hesitance of the non-technical team to communicate a change based on how tedious the process was, the list goes on. When they heard about Editmode, they knew they had to try it.
For the Housebuild team, Editmode's unified Content Hub served as a single source of truth for their content. The simple interface was accessible and clear to developers and non-technical team members alike. The Content Hub enabled developers to create text identifier “chunks” for each piece of copy, and meant everyone else on the team could easily track their content and update it as necessary. Organizing content was easy with Editmode’s in-built content keys and tags, allowing relevant pieces of content to be grouped together.
The Content Hub also served as a way to track changes and retrieve accidental ones by opening the “Activity Logs”. The Logs showed who made what changes when, increasing transparency of the process. Housebuild also wanted to create new content for the next version of their site, with all the new changes going live in one go. The branching feature in the Editmode Content Hub allowed them to create a separate branch to store all the changed content for their upcoming update, without disturbing their current live version.
Whenever Housebuild needs to trigger a transactional email, a new email template is created inside the Editmode Content Hub. A simple one- liner can be used in the rails codebase to trigger the email delivery.
This is the code snippet Housebuild uses to trigger transactional emails within their codebase.
To read our "Transactional emails in rails" guide, clickhere
Tooltips and Help Text
Micro copy and informational elements are easily overlooked, but they are one of the most important parts of the product. Here's an example of a tooltip in Housebuild, which can be modified and iterated on by the product team to ensure it's communicating exactly what it needs to.
Using the Magic Editor on the Housebuild Marketing Site
Housebuild has many sections and pages designed to help potential users understand the value proposition - another area where copywriting is super important. Editmode allowed the dev team create landing pages with first-pass copy, so that the marketing team could come in and update it. Additionally, as the team observed more users visiting the site, the messaging was tweaked over time, all without having to involve the engineering team. In addition to landing pages, there were many pages on the site with long form content, often which would require the collaboration of multiple people on the team to finalize and sign off. Editmode's rich text content type was perfect here, letting editors have just enough control without being able to modify any important design or layout elements. The devs were happy not to be bothered with copy change tickets, and the designers were confident that the integrity of their designs weren't going to be compromised.
Editmode has been in production with Housebuild since October 2020. Usage varies month to month, and spikes with new product updates, but even on quiet months, the team is making an average of 4 updates per day 😮. That's a lot of copy optimizations that either wouldn't have happened, or would have landed on a developer backlog.