Monday, December 14, 2009

eZ Publish Admin redesign - Think of the Editors!

It's been a while since I first posted about the Admin interface redesign that will be part of the eZ Publish 4.3 (due 30 March 2010).  Since that time there have been some great input (here, here, & here) from the eZ Publish community as well as a transparent and inclusive design process from eZ Publish.

I'd like to congratulate eZ Systems on their approach with this process and encourage any eZ Publish users to have a look at the specification and the prototype of proposed layout changes and add their voice to the process by commenting on the blog post.

In moving forward with any changes I believe that it's important to understand the users of the system and the tasks they are attempting to carry out. This allows for suggestions and potential changes to be "tested" against a rule of "How does this help [ROLE] complete task [TASK]?"

In my experience users of the Admin interface can be split into two broad groups:
  1. Content editors, whose role is to use the Admin interface to accomplish a number of tasks that largely revolve around creating and editing content.  These are the day-today users of the Admin interface, but utilise a small subset of the functionality.
  2. Developers, who work extensively with most components within the Admin Interface (including those that a Content Editor would use) while a site is being built. However once a site is live will visits to the Admin Interface are only to resolve issues or add new functionality.

I believe that the most important group of the two are the Content Editors. They are (usually) our clients, pay the bills and use the system extensively once it's live. They are also the ones who talk to others (potential clients) about the system.  So as well as adding your comments to the blog post, ask your clients what issues they have and improvements they'd like to see.

Photo credit:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/sybrenstuvel/2468506922/

2 comments:

  1. I couldn't agree more. This isn't just an eZ problem though: just about every CMS seems to suffer from the 'you users are just going to have to learn this' syndrome - and users respond by avoiding updating their sites. In a lot of organisations the job of editing content on the website seems to get dumped on those who are unable to say no, HR assistants, work experience kids...
    So, and ideal CMS admin interface would allow any irrelevant stuff to be hidden - 'Object States' are really useful, but for a casual editor seeing stuff like that is likely to cause mild panic. And it should allow object labels to be customised easily to suit the organisation, it should be easy to label 'articles' as 'stories' if the user organisation is a newspaper or TV company as that's the terminology they are used to.

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