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Using feedback to drive progress

Creating websites and software is always a never-ending journey with a constantly expanding task list.

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Creating websites and software is always a never-ending journey with a constantly expanding task list. It’s a world of infinite possibilities with limited resources. Gathering feedback through focus groups can be a great tool to prioritise the improvements that result in the biggest impact for our users. Recently we’ve been gathering feedback from content editors to improve SilverStripe CMS. The editors we spoke to worked in SilverStripe CMS for 10-25 hours per week. That translates to over 1,250 hours a year! It is easy to see how small improvements can have massive effects on the efficiency of web teams.

We’re often told that editors love SilverStripe CMS because the intuitive interface allows them to get started quickly with minimal training. Retaining and building on this advantage can help guide development within the open source community. Feedback from the community identified that page states are an existing pain point we should improve on. The ambiguity of the current language can create confusion or fear especially when deleting pages. The editor research will help us refine page state labels to make the CMS even easier to use.

You can read the full results of our CMS User Testing here.

Do you ask editors you work with how they’d like the CMS improved? Be sure to share your insights so they are included in SilverStripe CMS future development.

As with any research, while we set out to investigate solutions to pain points, we naturally stumbled across new features to benefit editors. One example is enabling shareable links to draft content for approvals from non-CMS users. Feedback showed this would be handy for editors requiring internal approval from stakeholders outside the content team.

Take a read over the research results and let us know if you see a way you’d like to improve the SilverStripe CMS open source project. If you have further feedback please comment below or join the discussion on the SilverStripe Google Group.

The main findings from this editor research will be turned into wireframes and submitted to user voice for further development within the open source community.

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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