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Moderators: martimiz, Sean, biapar, Willr, Ingo, simon_w

New SilverStripe CMS concepts


42 Posts   41135 Views


17 August 2007 at 8:13pm Forum Moderator, 801 Posts

its like christmas every day - you wish some cool functionality would be in silverstripe, and the next morning elijah posts it to the forum :D


18 August 2007 at 12:17am Core Development Team, 84 Posts

I went to a usability talk at Webstock last year - it was a great talk.

Anyway, one of the things that was highlighted was that any fancy AJAX stuff should be done close to where the user is looking - aka. close to where they just clicked/interacted with the site.

If the save button is down the bottom, then the message saying 'saved' or 'oh noes it didn't work!' should show up somewhere near that button (on top of it, replacing it, but not on the other corner of the screen).

This means the user has to do less work to understand what is going on - if we made this a convention within the CMS, it'll make the interface feel a lot easier to interact with for users.


19 August 2007 at 9:41am 1 Post

the concept designs for the new interface alone should draw a lot of new users into the silvestripe camp :)

along with the design and work flow changes, is there a 'lite' version in the pipeline as well? something with the bare minimum of javascript (no effects, wysiwyg editor, etc)..

with so many web sites/apps using dhtml, firefox, opera and ie7 have started crashing or slowing down to a crawl with multiple tabs open :)


22 August 2007 at 6:53pm (Last edited: 22 August 2007 9:51pm), Forum Moderator, 5511 Posts

next batch of update for you guys to comment on. Big changes with this version we now have some radical changes to assets and the content layout area.

Changes include
- new design for resizing the size bars. (Thanks Markus!)
- Getting rid of files and images (more below) and newsletters (going to be cut out of ss)
- Content layout
- Right bar (images) is now a better design that matchs the left bar.
- major left bar changes to support files and assets. Versions and reports will be moved to the ribbon.
- others that Im too tired to list.

Feedback is much needed for the
- Left Bar, are you confused?
- fieldset idea for content, great or plain crap?
- Assets in the left bar. Useful?
- top left ribbon area. What icons would you like up there? Top left is primarily the first place where the eye will land so what would you class the most important actions to suit

The following screen is what the page will look like when you first create a page. Notice the new layout for the content area, bringing more information to the forefront content page. Reducing the number of random tabs. When you first create the page (is in now), The other fields are shaded in and uneditable till the user adds the page name. The new idea is that related fields will be grouped in sort of 'fieldsets'.

You will also notice the inclusion of 'tags' field on the page. The ability to tag any page within the CMS is a new feature and helps for searching etc. It replaces most of the SEO keyword stuff

This concept shows the 'Error' box idea. It can also be green for other messages (published page) and I was talking about some sort of fade like WP.

Details responses can be a) posted to this thread or b) email me will[at]silverstripe[dot]com with your thoughts!!


23 August 2007 at 6:13am Forum Moderator, 801 Posts

yeehah! i'm looking forward seeing all that working hehe

> - Getting rid of files and images (more below)
how does file-listing and -selection work? the box probably has to expand somewhere to show files inside a folder, right? (implementing this as a full side-panel on the right would give us more space) it could be confusing for the user if he has to select folders/files in the right-panel for image-insertion, and upload/list files on the left.
this solution is heavily tailored to site-authoring with a little file-management, but doesn't work as well for hundreds of files on a bigger site which requires some "asset management".
its quite a drastic change in terms of interface and the underlying code :) although i would like to have all UI-changes in one big release to minimize user-confusion, this could be a bit too much - any thoughts?

> "published" in tab-area:
this attaches functionality into a single tab-area that affects all tabs. it should be useable regardless of tab-state or scrolling.

>rearranging page-inputs:
good idea, especially the different font-sizes to highlight more important elements.

> "page url"-input on first tab
great idea, as editing the page title currently alters the url automatically, and the user gets notified of this in an annoying javascript-alert. having "page url" close by would make this alert obsolete, a highlight would work as a replacement.

> - major left bar changes to support files and assets. Versions and reports will be moved to the ribbon
if "versions" is shown in a separate right panel, its the same behaviour as "insert image", which makes it fit in the top bar.


23 August 2007 at 9:09am (Last edited: 23 August 2007 9:13am), Core Development Team, 84 Posts

What's the idea with the downward pointing arrow next to the 'search site tree' box? Doesn't it make more sense to automatically filter the site tree that's already shown when you type something in (or click the search image thing), and not have another menu pop up (or is that what the plan is anyway?)

Also, how do you see modules interacting with the CMS? For example, the mashups module was going to have a 'Insert YouTube video' button - are there going to be hooks to enable modules to insert buttons into the top menu (for example, 'Insert YouTube video' would go into the Insert menu, next to 'Flash'). I guess this is more an implementation question than a design question though ;)


23 August 2007 at 11:21am Administrator, 685 Posts

It's looking really good:

* I like the inclusion of Files & Images in the main window.
* Moving away from the "1000 tabs of doom" interface is a good idea :-)

I have a few concerns though:

* We have some parts of the Files & Images on the left, and then other parts on the right. Maybe the "Insert Image" system should be extended to provide all of the file management facilities? We currently have a few "action area" things, why not extend it to:
- Insert (with a radio button inside to switch between file, flash, and image)
- Properties (which gives you the properties of the currently selected image or file obj)
- Upload
- Manage (which gives you the interface currently on the left)

* How are we going to allow for the creation of different kinds of pages? For example creating a product vs. creating a blog post vs. creating a page are 3 quite different actions. Specifically, they will appear at different places in the site tree. If we were to simply use the 'page type' field on the main RHS area, then I think we should also provide fields within that for choosing the location of the page.
- For a product, this might be a CheckboxSet field of categories.
- For a page, this might be a TreeDropdown field.
- For a blog post, this might be a dropdown of blogs to post to.

* The content field - the "meat" of the system - is now pushed quite far down the page by the fieldset layout.

* The fieldset layout creates a bit of a "too many hairline borders" problem.

* Page type is going to be rarely edited, however, it's important to view, so it's good to have it on the main screen. But I think it takes up too much room. Perhaps it could be put to the right of the page name field?

* The unpublish button being disconnected from the other pages is a bit weird. I can see the relationship to the page status, however. Perhaps status could be some kind of a dropdown, or the status field could be put closer to the buttons?

* The behaviour fields only appear when you first create the page; that's good. However, when they are removed from the display we have this empty spot left over which is a little strange. Perhaps it would be better to make your fieldsets wide and short, because that lends itself to optional inclusion better

Something like:

Page name | Page type

Navigation label | URL
Tags | checkboxes

* I'm still not sure about those tabs, but that's really an aesthetics thing which I will leave in your hands. :-)


23 August 2007 at 2:57pm Forum Moderator, 5511 Posts

thanks sam, ingo, matt for the helpful advice! will probably try and sort it out over the next couple of days.