Building a DCO from Scratch

Situation and Context

The final customer was the UOC: The Open University of Catalonia (in Catalan: Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, UOC) is a private open university based in Barcelona, Spain.

The UOC offers graduate and postgraduate programs in Catalan, Spanish and English in fields such as Psychology, Computer Science, Sciences of Education, Information and Knowledge Society and Economics. Also, an Information and Knowledge Society Doctoral Program is available that explores research fields such as e-law, e-learning, network society, education, and online communities.

I made this while working at Weborama a Data platform and AdServing technology company. My rol was to design and program a DCO for the Advertiser (UOC) based on user navigation, offering different courses UOC has.

A DCO Ad is a Dynamic Creative Optimization Ad, it creates personalized ads based on data about the viewer at the moment of ad serving. You just need a feed so you can build them just with a spreadsheet or from Scratch via JSON or XML.

Task and Actions

So, if you see this Ad, everything will be dynamic but the logo:

  • The course
  • Description
  • Call to action
  • Background photo
Master Ad

So for four different Ad sizes (300x250, 300x600, 728x90 and 160x600) I just built one for each size, retrieving data from my feed and taking user navigation as parameter.

I built the Ad from Scratch, parsing my data feed and comparing it with the user navigation, this way you can make retargeting for the User. You need also tracking codes on sites running the Ads. This is an example of different Ads for the same sizes

Different versions of the same Ads, depending on feed and user navigation.

You can see an online demo right here.


If you want to make a DCO, you should take into consideration that probably they are more expensive than Standard Ads (for example for Google you must use Google Studio). But, the conversion rate is higher than CTR of Standard Ads. Also good planning is needed, the rule is simple: begin with simplicity and get complex later.

Design Technologist. UXR | UXDesign | Writing | NoCode | FrontEnd | Lifelong learner | Photographer | Runner | Traveller

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