Examples of Good (and bad) CMS Interface

11 Apr 2005 - 9:13am
9 years ago
6 replies
2997 reads
David Robertson
2005

Folks

I've been asked to look at re-designing an interface for a internally
developed content management. As part of my personal process, I always
like to do a competitive analysis or comparison of similar products to get
an understanding of potential approaches. Has anyone addressed a similar
problem? Any suggestions on CMS interfaces that work well (or not)? Any
advice? Any samples or screenshots?

Thanks

Dave

Dave Robertson
Principal Usability Engineer
Enterprise UCD
Symantec Corporation
www.symantec.com
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Office: 403.261.5473
Interoffice: 6 [403] 5473
Fax: 403.261.5485
Email: david_robertson at symantec.com
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Comments

12 Apr 2005 - 6:37am
Sanchez, Mario
2005

Dave asked:
> Any suggestions on CMS interfaces that work well (or not)?
> Any advice? Any samples or screenshots?

A couple of variables will get you to the best answer:
1. What type of content are you talking about? Is this a web-only content system? Or more of an enterprise-content system? In other words, is the content meant for a specific media (in which case the UI can reflect that media, but the content will be less repurposable), or is it meant to be highly repurposed (in which case the UI needs to avoid the appearance of a single media)? Or is it really a document-management or knowledge-management system?
2. Who will be the primary content contributors? A limited centralized staff? Or a wide & diversified set of users?

I've worked with & seen several CMS's designed for repuposable, enterprise content, and have never seen one I thought would be easily adopted by the general business community. On the other hand, the most intuitive web-content management systems I've seen use the web site itself as the UI. In other words, the CMS runs alongside a proxied version of the production site, with a plugin that allows a logged in editor to traverse the site like a user would, and initiate a page editing/creation/deletion within that context. they can then either edit wysisyg style in the page itself, or use a more abstract form that allows a realtime preview of the edits. I've seen Fatwire do that pretty elegantly, as well as some more inexpensive tools.

Hope that helps,
Mario Sanchez
mario.sanchez at acm.org

13 Apr 2005 - 4:23am
Abhishek Thakkar
2004

> Dave asked:
> > Any suggestions on CMS interfaces that work well (or not)?
> > Any advice? Any samples or screenshots?

No case studies as such, but www.opensourcecms.com has got a wide
variety of CMS installed for having a feel of it. You can login to
admin panel and do all sorts of playing around. The systems get
flushed every 2 hours and get vanilla-ed for other users.

>From user ratings you can also get what is popular and whats not. Why
is it popular is ofcourse for you to find out.

I use Wordpress for my blog and other tit-bits. Its quite friendly
(demo available at opensourcecms)
--
Abhishek Thakkar
The Last of the Giants

13 Apr 2005 - 6:34am
Todd Warfel
2003

I've been using Wordpress for a while, primarily for three reasons:
* produces xHTML/CSS compliant code
* decent interface (not great, but decent)
* based on PHP/MySQL (I'm comfortable editing PHP, but not Perl)

I think the UI is decent, but again not great. I think it could be
cleaner and obviously a little more aesthetically appealing. Yeah, I
know it's OS (open source), but I still like to see beautiful
interfaces just the same.

Either way, it gets the job done.

On Apr 13, 2005, at 6:23 AM, Abhishek Thakkar wrote:

> I use Wordpress for my blog and other tit-bits. Its quite friendly
> (demo available at opensourcecms)

Cheers!

Todd R. Warfel
Email/AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com

13 Apr 2005 - 7:59am
Abhishek Thakkar
2004

Text Pattern is another popular CMS, although its not for beginners,
its sort of Geek friendly. They favour it coz' its much more breakable
and customizable than wordpress. The interface is also *different*
than others but stands same on usability issues.

Twiki is used here for intranetpurposes at many firms, yet for a
single user use, I found it montrously horrible to use.

-@

On 4/13/05, Todd Warfel <lists at toddwarfel.com> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> I've been using Wordpress for a while, primarily for three reasons:
> * produces xHTML/CSS compliant code
> * decent interface (not great, but decent)
> * based on PHP/MySQL (I'm comfortable editing PHP, but not Perl)
>
> I think the UI is decent, but again not great. I think it could be
> cleaner and obviously a little more aesthetically appealing. Yeah, I
> know it's OS (open source), but I still like to see beautiful
> interfaces just the same.
>
> Either way, it gets the job done.
>
> On Apr 13, 2005, at 6:23 AM, Abhishek Thakkar wrote:
>
> > I use Wordpress for my blog and other tit-bits. Its quite friendly
> > (demo available at opensourcecms)
>
> Cheers!
>
> Todd R. Warfel
> Email/AIM: twarfel at mac.com
> Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
> _______________________________________________
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--
Abhishek Thakkar
The Last of the Giants

14 Apr 2005 - 8:35am
Anonymous

Some of the CMS systems that I have been working with are as follows:
Open Souurce CMSes
--------------------------------
Drupal (http://drupal.org) - For small communities
Plone (http://plone.org) - For industrial strength sites, built on Zope (
http://zope.org) an open source application server to build CMSes.
Properitory CMSes
----------------------------
WebGUI
Though my personal favourite if Drupal. You can also try WordPress.
You can also go to www.*cms**matrix*.org <http://www.cmsmatrix.org> for a
tabular analysis. Here you can also try and test each CMS interface.
Hope this helps.
hpk

14 Apr 2005 - 6:26pm
subimage interactive
2004

I've been using Drupal as well for a couple projects of mine. It's
wonderful as far as flexibility and enhancement goes, but the
interface that comes standard is severly lacking. There are a ton of
confusing features and labels combined with "interesting" placement
for administrative functions.

It'd be nice to have a CMS that offers the flexibility of Drupal with
a better UI.

-- seth
http://www.subimage.com
http://www.subimage.com/sublog

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