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Team Collaboration Discovery for CWP

Delivering the best user experience for SilverStripe CMS users requires ongoing research. This recently led us to conduct a discovery initiative on behalf of the CWP community.

Posted in UX/Design, Developers

Tagged CWP

Paul Clarke

by Paul Clarke

Posted 12 July 2018

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Our mission to continually deliver the best user experience for SilverStripe CMS users requires ongoing research. This recently led us to conduct a discovery initiative on behalf of the New Zealand Government Common Web Platform (CWP) community.

Specifically, we sought to better understand the relationship between CMS features, user behaviour, and organisational dynamics. This helped us to understand how these elements impact on content creation and team collaboration processes when creating content.

The results of the discovery initiative will guide future development of the CMS used by CWP. This will help to ensure investments to improve the CMS focus on high-value, high-impact features and refinements.

You can read the full research report here.

We looked to identify:

  • Existing modules/features that CMS users are using to support collaboration practices.
  • Common pain-points for creating content and collaborating.
  • Workarounds that users develop because the CMS does not have the features they require to collaborate effectively.
  • Potential gaps in common collaboration processes that could be addressed by enhancements to the CMS.
  • Ways to improve the interface and cater to current day workflow processes.

Key findings:

  • The success of content teams depends on their ability to communicate and coordinate effectively with each other. Likewise, wider stakeholder groups require more visibility of content throughout the creation process, and these groups would also benefit from communication methods to provide oversight and input.

  • For many organisations, there is an overall lack of visibility around what changes are being made within the CMS for large or complex websites. This creates unnecessary friction in the content collaboration process.   

  • There is a need for flexible and easily maintained content approval workflows which do not have a steep learning curve or high cost to maintain. In many cases, a ‘soft-approval’, such as a thumbs up or down (commonly found in social networking software), would be sufficient. This is especially true if this single step or soft-approval made it easy to include those in the wider stakeholder group who do not typically use the CMS.

  • Content control functionality, such as scheduled publishing, adding review and embargo dates, were commonly asked about by interviewees, despite this functionality already existing as addon SilverStripe modules. This lack of awareness suggests that feature/module discovery in the CWP ecosystem could be improved.

  • Content teams require the flexibility to stay in touch no matter what environment they are in. As organisations increasingly support a flexible work environment, people are able to take their work with them outside of traditional office spaces. As a result, content professionals need the tools to carry out their work in a mobile setting, and remain cost-effectively connected with their team. The CMS and support tools need to be able to cater for this.

Read the full research report

We would like to thank the participants who took part in our interviews and survey, and provided insights into how the CMS fits into their toolkit and organisation.

We aim to create and provide a great user experience for everyone using the SilverStripe content management system. We want to enable teams to achieve great results and provide an easy to use, intuitive interface for website administrators and content authors.

You can help us by being involved in community discussions on Slack or in the Forums, and by joining the SilverStripe Research Panel to be part of future research.

Want to know more about CWP?

Interested in CWP? Get in touch, we'd love to talk further.

About the author
Paul Clarke

Paul has a solid background in the design industry and brings a fusion of creative flair and technical knowledge to his projects.

He joined the SilverStripe design team after returning from Hong Kong, where he worked as a graphic designer and front-end developer. With a background in graphic design, web development and commercial print, he brings a great deal of versatility to his role.

Paul believes there's plenty of room for improvement to both the functionality and aesthetics of most websites/applications and his aim is just that–improve the web. He has enjoyed many overseas adventures–including an 8-year stint in Europe and looks forward to seeing more of the world with his family.

In his spare time, Paul enjoys water sports (both melted and frozen), riding his classic 1978 Motorbike and hanging with his family.

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