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Velir made content more accessible and easier to manage for the Urban Land Institute (ULI), by reshaping their Knowledge Finder site with Sitecore. We organized their site taxonomy and created logic to recommend resources to ULI members based on their interests. We also leveraged intelligent search to help members find content easier. And we implemented robust analytics that help ULI track the site’s success and to build upon it with personalization, testing, and iteration.


A mobile screen of the Urban Land Institute Knowledge Finder tool.

Member-driven organizations are deeply immersed in research and education. A key driver of an organization’s value, and specifically for ULI, is the resources they provide their members to ensure they are successful and make a lasting impact on their communities, as well as the industry at large. Because of ULI’s breadth and distribution of content across over 100 web properties, thousands of events, ecommerce platforms, and previously nondigitized reports, accessing the most relevant content can be challenging for members.

ULI had long heard from its members that there was a need for better access to knowledge and content generated across the global organization, so they approached Velir to build on successes from their prototype Knowledge Finder. The all-new platform aimed to harvest content from across ULI and deliver a powerful, predictive search engine powered by AI and machine learning to help members find the most relevant industry knowledge from thousands of resources and thought leadership pieces.

Velir proposed that ULI could more effectively deliver on this promise by building a more enjoyable, intuitive, and scalable search and browsing experience that effectively meets members’ needs and expectations.

Urban Land Institute's "Explore" page
ULI’s Knowledge Finder homepage showcases recent industry news and reports, while also letting members browse resources by topic or content type.

Our approach from strategy to development aimed to make content both accessible and easily managed. We refined and organized taxonomy, grouped and surfaced desirable content categories, and utilized logic to recommend additional valuable resources based on member behaviors and interests. Additionally, our content authoring improvements leveraged automation and integration with ULI's existing AMS, NetFORUM.

Understanding the need to return more relevant search results, we implemented Coveo’s machine learning, along with contextually intuitive search features like pre-filtered listing pages that empower users to find applicable content quickly. We also made a push to make all future content types (reports, events, videos, webinars, and more) and formats (PDFs, videos, webinars) available in search, specifically by enabling the ability to search key terms and phrases within.

Data capture is the nucleus of a successful site implementation, since it informs future optimizations. We implemented Google Analytics, Sitecore Analytics, Coveo Cloud, and on-site tags to identify user interactions and behaviors at a much deeper level. Integrating with NetFORUM via member sign in also gave us the opportunity to make the connection between those users and their behaviors. As a second phase of this effort, we are working to personalize individual members’ browsing experiences by analyzing and applying user data to dynamically surface content.

Urban Land Institute's "Reports" page
Pages like the Reports page, automatically pull information together based on the report content type to display recent industry content.

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  • Accessible content in a centralized hub that prioritizes member expectations
  • A seamless content authoring experience for contributors
  • Refined navigation structure and nimble search functionality 
  • A performance measurement plan that supports continued learning and future optimizations
  • Author once, publish in multiple places: An integration with NetFORUM, ULI’s AMS, ultimately eliminates unnecessary effort and process inefficiencies for staff and contributors.
  • Multi-lingual capabilities enabled to launch a Japanese version of the site.
  • Grouped, created, and surfaced content categories such as reports, events, books, videos, webinars, case studies, and reading lists.
  • Logic to recommend additional valuable resources.
  • Artificial intelligence and machine-learning powered by Coveo, with contextually intuitive search features like pre-filtered listing pages that empower users to find applicable content quickly.

  • Google Analytics, Sitecore Analytics, Coveo Cloud, and tagging provide analytics that can be used to increase overall performance. Integration with NetFORUM via member sign in also surfaces powerful connections between those users and their behaviors.
  • Personalization of individual members’ browsing experiences

Featured platforms

  • CMS: Sitecore
  • Search: Coveo
  • Analytics: Google Analytics, Sitecore Analytics
  • Marketing: Sitecore EXM

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