TYPO3 Neos UX research
BO: Rasmus Skjoldan
Background and purpose of the project
In order to advance the competitiveness of TYPO3 Neos in its product category of advanced content management systems (among both proprietary vendors and open source), there is a constant need to continuously enhance and iterate on our medium and long-term product vision to assist driving development and the ongoing refinement of Neos. This project and the research work herein that is dealing with the medium and long timeframe must function as the bridge between vision and present development.
The 2015 TYPO3 Neos UX research project is a continuation of the research and consultancy projects of both 2013 and 2014 that has led to numerous specific alterations of the UI to support both the user experience of the product and the more general way that we shape the product to match agency and client demands. In addition, this work has in the past 2 years helped general outreach of the product because of the large contact base it has facilitated beyond the TYPO3 community.
In 2014, the focus of Neos UX consultancy and research has primarily been 1) Localization, 2) Relationship planning, as a way for Neos to embrace the CEM paradigm shift – and 3) UI Improvements. At the time of writing this budget application, the work of the 2014 UX project is still ongoing and will continue to for the rest of 2014. Additional reporting will come in order to fully reflect the progress and insights gained throughout the year.
There has been changes to the 2014 plan compared to the original budget – changes, which have been coordinated with and approved of by the EAB. Mainly, the part about relationship planning consultancy has taken priority and has been given roughly half the 2014 budget. This part of the 2014 budget has been used to acquire consultancy assistance from analyst firm, Digital Clarity Group, that provides advisory for technology vendors. The insight and advice from this collaboration is still being processed by the team and will be reported on typo3.org later this year. This years budget application also reflects that top-level expert advisory cannot be acquired at the price level that the TYPO3 community has been accustomed to in the past.
Many of the content management systems – that the competitors of TYPO3 agencies are using – are moving from simple WEM towards broader customer experience management. It is becoming increasingly clear that TYPO3 Neos must formulate a more precise plan about both how our product embraces the thinking behind CEM, how we integrate into the suite of applications that, combined, can perform in CEM setups for large clients – and finally how we can revise the UI accordingly. Since we are a community producing a web content management system and will probably not take on the challenge of producing more full-fledged CEM, it becomes extremely important that we “know our place” in the system of products that clients and agencies use in combination to create great customer experiences.
As a general remark from the budget owner, it seems clear that Neos is on a very good path when it comes to both the technical foundation of our product, the usability of the UI and the strength of our author experience planning. Yet, on the other hand, it is also quite clear that we are behind some of our competitors in regard to customer experience management and how we fully come to terms with this shift in the market from the web-centric or page-centric world of WEM to applying content across multiple channels in coordinated efforts. Our planning (all the way from the technical foundation to the UI level) about personalization is also on a good path – but the way that TYPO3 Neos more fully finds its place in CEM setups is still not clear enough.
Research regarding localization this year ended up being done mainly by the core team itself, most notably by Robert Lemke, without paid outside counselling. Decisions about the UI for localization were taken at this years first code sprint and were developed in close collaboration on the team. The concepts were then later challenged, refined and iterated on by the whole team. The third major focus of UI improvements is currently also ongoing.
The 2015 Neos UX research project will, in a similar way to the 2013 and 2014 projects, be carried out by the budget owner in collaboration with both the full Neos team, the EAB and other members of ours community, 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, neos.typo3.org, blogs or as sharable content.
Whenever 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. This year, it is planned that Christopher Lübeck joins a major part of the research efforts. Danish TYPO3 agency, MOC, will continue to fund the time being spent by Rasmus Skjoldan for the project.
Focus of the 2015 research project
The 2015 research project will have less focus on analyst relations – and more on how we practically design and implement functionality that improves the product. A 2015 research and consultancy budget should primarily be used to gather knowledge and insights that lead more directly to implementation of the features Neos must support to embrace CEM. The goal is to ensure that Neos find its place in this new world of CEM and to make sure that the product does not become stuck in old paradigms of WCM.
In addition, we would like to work on innovation about a "planning mode" in Neos that would let agencies, content strategists and clients include the planning and iteration of content inventories and site structures within the Neos administration interface. We have asked content strategist, Karen McGrane, if she would be willing to take part in such a research project and have received confirmation of availability for this.
Gathering such advisory at the highest levels of expertise is expensive compared to what the TYPO3 community has previously been used to spending. It is, however, the hope of the budget owner that it is acknowledged how important it is that we assist product innovation & development by acquiring knowledge, assuring proper feedback and outside challenging of our ideas – and at the same time connect to the best experts in the field. This way, we also make sure that more people become aware of our product and can help us gain momentum in a market where commercial CMS vendors spend far more than TYPO3 – on marketing, analyst relations, roadmap clarification and product development.
RE: TYPO3 Neos UX research - Added by Marcus Schwemer over 4 years ago
thanks for your explanation of your application, It is the most lengthy in this application process ... full of valuable information but hard to read ... due to the website-layout.
In the first part you are reffering to the 2014 application process and mention shift in the focus;
1) Localization, 2) Relationship planning, as a way for Neos to embrace the CEM paradigm shift – and 3) UI Improvements
There has been changes to the 2014 plan compared to the original budget – changes, which have been coordinated with and approved of by the EAB.
If I have a look at your application of 2014, there is none of the 3 focus points mentioned. As far as I can see his was planned only for your activities.
Additionally you mention
This part of the 2014 budget has been used to acquire consultancy assistance from analyst firm, Digital Clarity Group, that provides advisory for technology vendors.
This name pops up in the application of the application of the markting team of 2015 as a partnership, together with an evaluation from "jboye" for "TYPO3 Noes Evalution" who is tighly connected to DCG. In 2015 it is worth 15k together.
I'd like to these costs in your application, than in the common TYPO3 markteting budget,
RE: TYPO3 Neos UX research - Added by Rasmus Skjoldan over 4 years ago
Thanks for digging in here!
The length of the application is just to try to be as open as possible about our thoughts. It is still a substantial sum - and therefore, I think it requires thorough explanation.
In the 2014 budget, I wrote: "The precise selection of consultants or advising companies will be chosen throughout the year to find the optimal matches for prioritized UX subprojects". In the beginning of 2014, I selected those 3 topics as the high-level topics to improve on – both via the budget and the regular work I do (voluntarily + funded by MOC). I'm not sure what you mean with "As far as I can see his was planned only for your activities." - could you rephrase that, please?
The "change" as to how I have used the 2014 budget has been a change from the plan of consulting more outside advisors – to focusing a lot of the budget on the DCG engagement. During the rest of 2014, 2 new engagements have been planned with Think Digital and Kontrapunkt – both in Denmark.
For 2015, I'm leaving it more to the marketing team to take care of TYPO3 analysts relations – hence the projects they've initiated with Jboye.
I'm also not entirely sure what you mean with the connection between Jboye and DCG? I know both of them quite well and they do collaborate but I'm not totally sure what you mean by that.
For 2015, I don't believe there's an overlap between this budget and marketing. We made sure to try and cover different aspects. Fyi. I do quite close coordination with the marketing team about these matters.
I'm sorry if I misunderstand some of what you write. If I do, then please just ask again!