TYPO3 Neos UX Consulting

Added by Michael Stucki about 6 years ago

TYPO3 Neos UX Consulting - Rasmus Skjoldan


During all of 2013, a major revision of the user experience planning of TYPO3 Neos has been underway. One of the principles for this work is to plan user experiences and design interfaces in as close a collaboration with developers as possible. Code must directly influence UX/UI – and UX/UI must directly influence code. This approach and this kind of extremely close collaboration has led to many improvements of the TYPO3 Neos user interface that the whole project depends greatly upon.

However, since we in the entire TYPO3 community often have a natural tendency to be focused on our own plans and products, it became clear that the team building TYPO3 Neos need continuous outside input to challenge and refine our plans. That led to the first 2013 Neos UX consulting project that ran throughout the summer of 2013. The 2013 project contained 3 consultancy meetings, continuous relaying of insights to the core team and public reporting about both progress and end results.

One of the many positive and substantial outcomes of the project were the innovation of a new way to structure the editing/preview capabilities of the TYPO3 Neos CMS – a core piece of any content management system. Thestructuring of the interface containing both customized backend templates for editing (both WYSIWYG Inline, Wireframe and other types of authoring templates to be applicable by agencies and implementers in TYPO3 Neos for its users to gain maximum flexibility of editing and to enable true multi-channel publishing) – and previewing (in every flexible way agency, implementer and client needs) – would all not have reached the current state of maturity without the 2013 Neos UX consultancy project. The project extended beyond what is typically named as user experience planning and went into the overall product vision and planning.

We gained many other insights through the project that directly led to concrete changes of the UX planning and the user interfaces that will go into TYPO3 Neos 1.0 and beyond.

A secondary goal of the project was to reach out to user experience and content strategy communities to make them aware of the coming product. TYPO3 CMS has typically been carried into organizations by developers or very technically-minded people. This typical process has coincided with CMS purchasing power being in the hands of IT departments throughout the last decade.

A major shift is currently experienced by many CMS vendors and CMS producing communities: The CMS purchase decisions are moving from IT and into marketing/communication. Therefore any new CMS products will (also) be carried into organizations by other kinds of people than technical people.

Content strategists and system-neutral vendors are increasingly being used by clients to help them choose a new CMS. These other types of consultants listen to other sources, read from other news outlets and go to other conferences than those we have typically targeted, addressed and attended before. This secondary goal of reaching out beyond IT departments and to the user experience and content strategist communities therefore makes them aware of what we as an open source CMS community can help them help their clients with. It is important that they both know of and can communicate and advocate Neos in this new environment that is less technically focused than we have been used to in the past.

Considerable traction was achieved in the 2013 project and we had great dialogue with many, well-known experts in the field outside of our normal reach.

The project

Following up on the smaller budget for outside consultancy for TYPO3 Neos UX, this budget application for 2014 aims to continue the efforts of gathering outside input for the continuous development of TYPO3 Neos 1.0, 1.1 and beyond.

After releasing 1.0 we will need considerable amount of UX/UI work for localization handling, personalized content, advanced workflows, better developer-interfaces, improvement of generalized module designs, multi-site handling, improved advanced wireframe capabilities, analytics integration, social integration, preview functionality, content moderation capabilities and much more.

Since the user experience ressources available for voluntary work inside the TYPO3 community are very limited, we need to reach out to select advisors and consultants to help us further these efforts. The resulting user interfaces are handled by the team within our user interface design framework.

Copenhagen-based TYPO3 agency MOC is sponsoring the time of the budget owner applicant, Rasmus Skjoldan.

Presently (september 2013) we are about to include one other senior UX designer/content strategist. It is planned that this person helps out especially with expanding the client follow-group efforts started in 2013

The budget application therefore concerns payment of outside expert counselling and travel expenses to meet with CMS designers, architects, UX mentors and other types of advisors that we can benefit from in our internal UX/UI efforts.

There has already been established contact with a long list of experienced, key advisors in the realm of enterprise CMS software development and design around the world – the project will include off- and online meetings with them for them to:

  • challenge and qualify our plans
  • help us prioritize especially the enterprise features that are yet to be implemented
  • give the team ideas on how to structure and design new functions and interfaces
  • assist us in responding to the continuous changes happening to the world of enterprise CMS, some of them not always introduced quickly enough in the TYPO3 community for us to readily meet client demands

The precise selection of consultants or advising companies will be chosen throughout the year to find the optimal matches for prioritized UX subprojects. All of them will be highly experienced freelancers, mentors, CMS advisors or UX/design agencies that can assist and facilitate innovation on the TYPO3 Neos project.

As the communication between TYPO3 CMS and the Neos team will naturally continue, it is also the aim of the project to relay and debate insights gathered throughout the project – to other all other parts of the TYPO3 ecosystem.The selected advisors should come from different regions and present different approaches to CMS product planning and design.

The project will, in the same way as the 2013 project, be carried out primarily by the budget owner, Rasmus Skjoldan – in collaboration with the full Neos team, in this way:

  • Upon consulting with outside experts, their input will be relayed directly to the rest of the Neos team to be discussed
  • Summarizations of the input we will put to use will be written for open review and discussion in the community
  • QA of the Neos interface and the implementing of the overall master plan will be continuously mirrored against the feedback of the outside consultants

Additional content for presenting the ideas, insights and results from the counselling will be published throughout the project timeframe on typo3.org, blogs or as sharable content marketing pieces.

If possible more people from TYPO3 – from the Neos core team or other key members of the TYPO3 community – should be able to join the efforts throughout the year.

The number of meetings with outside consultants will go beyond the number of travel costs and fees that are proposed in this budget application. The estimated fees are set higher than the 2013 project to enable the 2014 project to expand the consulting with the selected advisors. Instead of shorter workshops, we can plan 1-2 meetings and both preperation and follow-ups with consultants.

If in any way possible, we will strive to plan the meetings with consultants to happen nearby or at conferences and thereby make it possible to submit TYPO3 Neos talks to advance awareness of the new product from TYPO3.

It is a goal of the project to make sure the overall Neos experience across all user scenarios is as changeable and extensible as possible. The project must advance the goal of achieving both state-of-the-art, beautiful interfaces and highly effective user experiences and task execution for TYPO3 Neos.

Replies (2)

RE: TYPO3 Neos UX Consulting - Added by Philipp Gampe about 6 years ago

This text should be a template for all other applications. I appreciate the effort done for presenting the budget in detail. :)