Today in class we talked about the CMS comparison reports for ms2. We watched a video about a developer Rachel Andrews critiquing the open source CMSs model.

Rachel Andrews talking at a conference in 2012, she argued that the user experience of existing CMS is not good enough to be handed over to the client to maintain.

These inadequate CMSs are handed over to the client when they request easy access interface for them to maintain the site. This is after the web team has spent a lot of time developing an effective website for client. i.e. giving the client a inadequate CMS is a waste of the work put into the website as the client can ruin it as they do not understand how to use the CMS, and do not have web skills.

The main messages of her talk was:

  • Treat content as content – identify types –This is what changes
  • Treat layout/ markup as markup – Put CSS and layouts separate from what is displayed to the content editors.
  • Structure/architecture – Information architecture can be expressed as a semantic markup.
  • Semantics = meaning –  using the notations available when we mean it. e.g. use a list when we mean a list.

It gives guidance to users what they need to write into each section of the website on the CMS content editor.

We then watched a video on user engagement. This gave us 7 UX principles:

  • Too many choices – If you give too many options to one  person then they get frozen
  • Social validation – What other people have bought
  • Scarcity – Get in quick because there’s only 5 left
  • Food, sex and danger – Powerful trigger for action
  • Power of faces – Images of faces are powerful
  • Story –  We learn through stories
  • Commitment – Ask the user to engage a little bit first, then increase later

These are principles that should be followed in addition to making the website easy to use.