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Re: General discussion about UI/UX for the CMS and modules
https://forum.cmsmadesimple.org/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=75378
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Author:  10010110 [ Fri Sep 02, 2016 9:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: General discussion about UI/UX for the CMS and modules

Oh crap, threads get locked if they aren’t updated frequently. So, this one is a direct amendment to the thread about UI/UX improvements at viewtopic.php?f=23&t=74701

One thing I noticed over the years with different sites on CMS Made Simple is that once a website gets more complex and you add more modules that create/manage content themselves it becomes hard to remember where content is managed. You have your pages in the Content Manager and you might have news in your News module, you might have some other structured contents managed with the LISE module, you have a page with products managed with some e-commerce module, etc.

Usually, as editor, the workflow would be like:
  1. You look at a page (let’s say an “About” page with a list of publications by some author) and say to yourself: “OK, I need to add one item to that list of publications on the About page”
  2. In the admin area you go to the Content Manager to edit the About page and add your content there to appear on that page

Currently you’re going to be confused because there is no interface to add/manage the items in that list of publications because these publications are managed with LISE, for example, and have their own interface which you can only access in the admin main menu.

The dream case for usability would be if you could just go into page editing mode and could just edit the contents of any module you put on the page. I suppose this isn’t easy at all to implement in CMS Made Simple but I imagine it should be possible to at least have some kind of indication that there is some third-party module used on a certain page, and perhaps a link to the interface of that module.

For example, putting a {content block="example"} in a page template automatically adds a field to the edit screen of a page using that template. Couldn’t it be possible for the system to recognize other module tags put in a template and add a link to the user interface/edit screen of that module in the page’s edit screen?

Author:  Rolf [ Fri Sep 02, 2016 10:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: General discussion about UI/UX for the CMS and modules

Yeah, CGActionBar does that. But only for some CG modules at the moment.

Author:  10010110 [ Fri Sep 02, 2016 2:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: General discussion about UI/UX for the CMS and modules

Hm, from what I’ve read in the description this sounds intriguing but like a different approach.
I remember there used to be an “inline edit” module where you could edit the content blocks right in the front end – that also very nice from a usability point of view, and an approach Concrete5 is following successfully (at the expense of bloatedness).

But I’m not even talking about being able to edit content from the front end but rather use the current workflow of CMS Made Simple where you generally edit content in the admin area, so that you can say “I’m gonna edit the home page” and you’d not just see the main content blocks in the edit screen there but also at least a link to the News module since you have put a {News} tag in your home page template. This way you’re reminded right there that parts of your content comes from other modules.

From my limited understanding of back-end programming it shouldn’t be too different for the CMS to regognize module tags from recognizing content blocks in a template and change the admin interface accordingly? Correct me if I’m wrong.

Author:  10010110 [ Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: General discussion about UI/UX for the CMS and modules

So, is the lack of responses an indication that everybody agrees with me or that nobody cares? As I said in the previous thread, I’d like a qualified discussion about usability and user experience.
Is what I’m thinking possible/feasible?

(also, the thread needs regular activity, otherwise it gets closed as the other one)

Author:  pierrepercee [ Wed Sep 14, 2016 10:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: General discussion about UI/UX for the CMS and modules

From a strictly user standpoint, it would be a really positive development.
In terms of usability, CMSMS should improve further.
After I do not know if this is technically feasible. I also do not know if the development time for such a feature is important.
Compared to user feedback that I can have on the content update in CMSMS I would say it is a highly desirable development. Thank you for this analysis, I think anyone who regularly use CMSMS have made the same observation. In terms of UI / UX, you really would cross a stage ... :)

Author:  tamsrud [ Wed Sep 14, 2016 11:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: General discussion about UI/UX for the CMS and modules

I have also experienced the problems pointed out here. Content get spread around, and most people seem to go to the Content Manager first to update info.

But often the content is in a LISE-module (employees, products) or a Gallery-module, or another content-module. For the customer (no-tech user) this is not very logical.

Also the way modules are placed in content by using tags, is not very user friendly. If for example, I could like to add a gallery to a page, I would first have to go to the gallery module, create the gallery, and upload images. Then I would have to copy some tag, and place it in a content block on the page I want it.

A better way would be if the user could access everything from one single Content Manager. But this would also need a different aproach to how modules, and the Content Manger works.

Today you place code like this in the template: {content_module block='NAME' module='MODULENAME'}, or {content}
And you can define if a {content} should be WYSIWYG and some other parameters.

But what if a {content placeholder="TRUE"} tag would indicate that this was a place for one or more content-blocks? So for example one could in the Content Manager insert a WYSIWYG field, and then a Gallery-field and then another WYSIWYG field in that place. This way a template could be more dynamic. Of course you could still lock down a {content} field to just be a module, or a standard WYSIWYG field as today.

Then the different modules (LISE, Gallery, etc.) would have to have a template and actions for use inside the Content Manager. This way we could use a module directly for a page.

This is just my thoughts.
It could be made as a new Content Manager module.
But for the modules to implement this, it should be a core functionality.

Author:  pierrepercee [ Wed Sep 14, 2016 1:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: General discussion about UI/UX for the CMS and modules

I agree with your diagnosis, but a member of the France forum pointed out to me that he kept a pretty average memory of the Joomla interface. It think so. Want to manage too many things in the page content can also be difficult for various reasons.

I believe that a single link to the relevant module added to the page would suffice to simplify operation for users.

Author:  tamsrud [ Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: General discussion about UI/UX for the CMS and modules

Yes, I agree. We don't want to make it more complex than it is. But I somewhat miss a more direct link between the content-modules and the Content Manager.

Author:  10010110 [ Thu Sep 15, 2016 7:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: General discussion about UI/UX for the CMS and modules

Thanks for your additional input, guys; very much appreciated. I see your points about dynamically adding whatever fields you like in the page edit screen. However, I also realize that this is probably a major diversion of the way CMSMS is currently conceptualized and would probably too big a change for now. So, to go slowly, step by step, I’m suggesting this current solution that the CMS recognizes module tags in templates and adjusts the edit screen of pages that use a template with these tags. It’s now up to the developers (calguy1000 first of all), or anyone else that is qualified to respond to this and share their opinion about the matter.

Author:  jissey [ Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: General discussion about UI/UX for the CMS and modules

Hello,
10010110 said :
Quote:
For example, putting a {content block="example"} in a page template automatically adds a field to the edit screen of a page using that template. Couldn’t it be possible for the system to recognize other module tags put in a template and add a link to the user interface/edit screen of that module in the page’s edit screen?

I agree with that solution that can help the editor to find where the differents contents are.
It is not necesseray to have a "Joomla like" admin page!
Personaly, I use CGContentUtils to customize the template and so the page admin.
It make me easy to create specials content blocks in relation with modules (See Dropdown from UDT type).
In conjonction with shortcuts to the user interface/edit screen of modules, I think it will be a good solution.

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