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Future of Content Management

Rachel Andrew
September 17, 2012

Future of Content Management

Talk given at Smashing Conference in September 2012

Rachel Andrew

September 17, 2012

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  1. The Future of Content Management Rachel Andrew: Smashing Conference 2012

  2. edgeofmyseat.com

  3. grabaperch.com

  4. Question. Who here generally develops sites using some form of

    content management system?
  5. Why don’t we talk about this more?

  6. The trouble with content management systems.

  7. http://storify.com/rachelandrew/cms-horrors “Has your client ever done something really odd using

    a CMS? Font horrors, giant images, crazy content? I'd love to know your stories.”
  8. None
  9. None
  10. None
  11. None
  12. None
  13. Clients love to do a little bit of web-designing.

  14. “Make the logo bigger!” No.

  15. “I want to use 24 point Comic Sans” No.

  16. “I want to edit my site in Microsoft Word!” oh

    go on then ...
  17. Web designing. Just one of my many skills.

  18. Why are we doing this?

  19. We should not be giving content editors a tool to

    use to destroy their site.
  20. If you provide something better than the Word experience of

    website content- editing. Your users stop asking for Word.
  21. None
  22. None
  23. We cannot expect non-developers and designers to make sane decisions

    about document semantics.
  24. None
  25. None
  26. A CMS is not a website design tool.

  27. If you wouldn’t give the client a copy of Dreamweaver

    & their site files, why give them a CMS that attempts to mimic that experience?
  28. Your CMS should be entirely focussed around creating great quality

  29. Content editors are often the forgotten users when we deploy

    a CMS.
  30. This is not a new problem.

  31. This is why we can’t have nice things

  32. (probably not) Henry Ford. “If I had asked people what

    they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
  33. What should the CMS user experience be like?

  34. 1. The CMS helps content editors make good decisions.

  35. A CMS is often as much an enemy of good

    content as it is of good design.
  36. - Karen McGrane http://www.uie.com/brainsparks/2012/08/08/karen-mcgrane-content-strategy-for- mobile/ “Let’s try to make the

    job for our content creators as easy as possible, and let’s build the tools and the infrastructure that we need to support them in creating great content.”
  37. 2. The CMS allows the designer to make semantic decisions

    so the editor doesn’t have to.
  38. None
  39. 3. The CMS protects the design and architecture decisions made

    for the site
  40. When we stop trying to give content editors a web

    design tool, we can focus on a system tailored to the type of content they need to create.
  41. If content editors are not worrying about how it looks.

    They can add better content more quickly.
  42. You keep control of document semantics - can add Aria

    Roles, HTML5 elements, format dates for international audiences.
  43. Content is stored based on what it means rather than

    how it looks.
  44. Structured content can be easily repurposed - on the site

    or for email, RSS, social media, another website.
  45. A big textarea to fill in page content is a

    terrible user experience. Content editors are our users too.
  46. An example. a structured content approach to image management

  47. greenbelt.org.uk

  48. greenbelt.org.uk

  49. greenbelt.org.uk

  50. Requirements Make it easy for content editors to explore the

    archive and choose images without needing to maintain their own folder of images.
  51. Requirements When an image is used, if the template changes,

    we need to be able to regenerate the image at the new size.
  52. Requirements Provide a browseable library of images on the website,

    direct from the archive, that again could be regenerated if the templates changed
  53. Requirements Leave the door open to provide a range of

    image assets for any one use of an image in a template - to enable retina images or different images for screen widths/ bandwidths.
  54. Greenbelt Media Server

  55. Greenbelt Media Server

  56. greenbelt.org.uk

  57. Structured Content not a silver bullet.

  58. strong, emphasis, links, blockquotes, lists, inline images and files

  59. Avoid raw HTML being inserted into your content at all

  60. Your CMS should actively be removing HTML elements added by

    content editors (unless you really love 1997 markup)
  61. Markdown

  62. markitup,jsalvat.com

  63. We are solving the wrong problems.

  64. Our customers ask for faster horses.

  65. Our customers ask for a better WYSIWYG.

  66. Trying to make the CMS behave ‘like Word’ is solving

    the wrong problem.
  67. Pouring energy into solutions that tie the content to one

    design or one output is solving the wrong problem.
  68. Turning a content management system into a site building tool

    rather than a content creation tool is solving the wrong problem
  69. Seeing ourselves as the user, or the visitors to the

    website as the user and ignoring content editors means we will continue to try and solve the wrong problems.
  70. The future of CMS?

  71. Karen McGrane - http://karenmcgrane.com/2011/12/14/mobile-content-strategy/ “If we’re going to succeed in

    publishing content onto a million different new devices and formats and platforms, we need interfaces that will help guide content creators on how to write and structure their content for reuse.”
  72. Use structured content wherever possible

  73. Avoid directly inserting HTML into content

  74. Treat content editors as your most important user.

  75. Craft better experiences for content editors within the tools you

  76. If your CMS falls short tell the maker. Report user

    experience issues to open source projects & CMS vendors just as you would any other bug.
  77. Difficult problems

  78. Hoe can we create a more elegant layer on top

    of structured content?
  79. Can we enable offline editing?

  80. Multilingual content? Internationalized sites.

  81. Let’s talk about this.

  82. Photo credits: http://www.flickr.com/photos/boston_public_library/7018116723/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/jk_too/3300092780/ Thank you @rachelandrew http://rachelandrew.co.uk/presentations/smashing-conf