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Designing for the Forgotten User: Aesthetics and UX in the Editorial Platform35:02 with John McKinney & Tim Boisvert
When building an editorial platform for a high-volume content site, designers and developers often overlook the needs of a very important audience: the content creators and editors themselves. It’s no secret that there is a disconnect between users and developers. When content managers hear the term “CMS,” they think of the front page of the New York Times. CMS developers, on the other hand, think of large blocks of interrelated text and media data. This session will discuss the reality of modern editorial content management, open designers’ minds to the needs of a critical group of target users, and introduce best practices for achieving simple, precise, and functional CMS design that appeals equally to both content creators and developers.
How are you guys doing? 0:01 First of all thanks for sticking around. 0:03 I know it's been a long day. 0:05 So we will you know, hopefully be talking about some interesting stuff and you 0:08 know, at the end of this we're gonna have a little q and a. 0:13 So you know, feel free to ask us questions. 0:14 so, I'll tell you a little bit about us. 0:21 I am a, I am the founder of a company called Ash Avenue. 0:23 We're a web development company that is based in Brooklyn. 0:26 We have our, our main office is in Green Point. 0:29 We have another office in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. 0:31 So we're all over the east coast. 0:33 [COUGH] excuse me, we've been around for about seven years now. 0:36 In the web development world we've seen, you know, a 0:42 lot of the great evolution of, you know, all the 0:44 stuff that's happened since the web 2.0 good old days 0:47 to whatever the brave new world is that we're in now. 0:51 So yeah, a little bit about us. 0:56 One of the, you know, we do a lot 0:58 of work with start-ups, app companies advertising agencies, interactive agencies 0:59 but probably our most our most, sort of requested 1:07 expertise is in the field of media and content publishing. 1:12 So some of our clients include companies like AOL 1:17 Vice Media yeah, we just recently redid the hightimes.com site. 1:20 So we've, we've you know, spent a lot of time in this field, 1:26 and I thought, you know, we, it would be a nice opportunity for 1:30 us to sort of talk about some of these things as we've seen, 1:33 you know, there's, there's a lot of trends happening right now that you know. 1:37 In, in editorial especially that really we thought 1:42 would be nice to shine the light on. 1:47 So you know, kind of the actually I'll 1:49 introduce him as well, Tim is our lead developer. 1:53 >> Hello. 1:56 >> Tim's been with the company for about a 1:57 year now, and has helped us advance greatly into like 1:58 I said, the new, the brave new world of 2:03 all the technologies that we get to play with today. 2:05 So yeah. 2:11 So, kind of the point of this talk is what we, what we wanted 2:11 to discuss was, you know this is more of a sort of philosophical discussion. 2:16 So we're not gonna be showing you like code samples 2:21 or, you know, giving you design, recommendations or anything like that. 2:23 What we're really going for is to sort of show you a problem or, you know, sort 2:26 of issues that could potentially be arising, in the, 2:31 in the content management world, in the coming years. 2:34 And just sort of, like I said shine a light on it to help. 2:38 You know, help, help just escalate some thought, and really 2:43 get people focusing on some, some of these new trends. 2:46 Let's see here. 2:52 So yeah, so in addition to the, to these companies 2:54 we actually spoke with, we have some friends that work at 2:57 CNN, New York Times, New York Daily News Huffington Post, few 2:59 others that we you know, really wanted to sort of get 3:03 into get into it with, and find out, you know, more 3:06 about their content management systems as well as, you know, like 3:09 I said, we've done, we've done a lot of work with 3:12 these companies that are sort of a mid-size, a mid-size entity. 3:14 So, you know, a little bit about those types of things. 3:18 You know, there are three ish main buckets for, for, content publishing. 3:23 The biggest one, you know, you'll have sort 3:30 of major corporate structures like CNN, New York 3:32 Times that have, a lot of those will 3:34 have like proprietary systems that are catered to, you 3:37 know, very broad like, you know, sorta the, 3:41 the main journalistic method that are a little 3:44 more you know, focused on totally different things 3:46 than you know, than, than other examp, other entities. 3:49 Mid-sized publications are, you know, people like Vice is 3:55 a good example that they do a ton of 3:59 content publishing on a ton of different verticals in 4:01 a ton of different languages, different countries around the world. 4:04 So they have a completely different set of 4:08 needs than, you know, say the New York Times. 4:10 And then you have, you know, smaller blogs smaller like, you know, more sort of 4:13 rapid content type publications that, that really 4:19 have again, a totally different set of needs. 4:23 So the point of this graphic is really to show you those three 4:26 things and the asterisks in the middle represents the fast that there is not 4:29 really any sort of silver bullet, for you know, accomplishing all of the, 4:33 all of the functional needs that your back end is gonna need to accomplish. 4:37 Seen a really, [COUGH] the, the key thing to note is that as, as 4:45 designers and as you know, UX developers, 4:49 and people who, who focus on user experience 4:52 the key is to make sure you do just that, you know, in the, in, 4:56 in the content and management side of 5:00 your platform your, of your application, as well. 5:02 [BLANK_AUDIO] 5:03 >> So we have learned through a lot of painful 5:07 experience that the vast majority of CMS Design and development. 5:09 Well, at least, obviously, development. 5:14 The vast majority of CMS design gets relegated to developers. 5:15 Designers end up spending a lot of time thinking 5:19 about the experience that the user of the content is 5:21 gonna have, and very little time thinking about the experience 5:23 that the manager of the content is going to have. 5:27 Developers unfortunately are not very good designers, in most cases. 5:30 Developers generally start out by laying down basic 5:36 building blocks of a content management, management system, that are based on data. 5:42 And the developer is very idealist about it. 5:47 The developer thinks I'm gonna, you know, build this very simple square system 5:49 and it's going have, you know, it's gonna be a car that has 5:54 four doors and it and it's just gonna go straight down this perfect 5:57 road, and this, this road is straight and there's no traffic on the road. 6:00 Developers tend to think of the data in 6:05 the content instead of how it's gonna be used. 6:09 And as a result a standard content management system created by, 6:12 by a develop ends up being quite bad in most cases. 6:16 Oh, it's really blurry unfortunately. 6:20 But this is basically content management to a developer, right? 6:22 It's got all the content and you can manage it, right? 6:24 It doesn't have any real concept of how 6:29 the, the content is being used, or being presented. 6:32 It's simply a vehicle for the database, or a 6:36 mask over the database, or a facade over the database. 6:39 There's usually a lot of extra things thrown in there 6:43 too, like random pictures you know, and this isn't really, great. 6:45 It's not even remotely great. 6:52 It's not something that does the content justice, because as soon 6:53 as you put that in front of an editor the editor 6:58 has, either has no idea what to do with it or 7:01 they see that road that you imagined more like a spaghetti junction. 7:04 They see traffic, they see options, they see 7:08 a million different forks they could take, they 7:12 see levels, decks everything, you know, they see 7:15 the eighteen hundred 1,800 buttons in the car, right? 7:19 If you get you know, a good, a good car these days we have you know, 7:23 50 or 60 different things you can do it just on that little console right there. 7:27 And, if you just plop that in front of a, 7:31 of an editor, the editor they don't know what to do. 7:34 They're not going to just start clicking around. 7:37 That's something developers do, right? 7:38 That's not something an editor or a content manager does. 7:41 And the, the negative side effects of 7:44 putting this in front of your content manager. 7:48 It ends up hurting the, the front end product as well, right? 7:52 It ends up making it so they can't focus on what they really wanna do, 7:55 which is say, sell newspapers or sell content 7:59 subscriptions or more importantly these days, show ads. 8:02 >> Yeah and that's actually a good point because what that sort 8:09 of translates to, [COUGH] from a managerial perspective is that you know, 8:11 when you are putting these impositions on people on your editors then 8:17 you know your end, your front end product could actually end up suffering. 8:22 You know if it's, if it's hard for a person to say 8:26 feature you know, they're writing a new article and they need it featured 8:28 on the home page but they need to also add in you know, 8:31 certain metadata and it's gonna take them an extra 30 minutes to do. 8:34 Then you know, especially for a company like say the New York Times that needs 8:38 to get breaking stuff out super quick, 8:41 then that's really gonna sorta hurt your credibility. 8:43 It's gonna hurt, it, it's just gonna hurt throughout. 8:46 And then initially if you're an editor who has to 8:49 spend an extra 30 minutes per post doing this kind 8:51 of stuff then, you know, any, any, manager should, should 8:54 be able to see that and translate that into simple economics. 8:57 You know, if you're spending two hours a day on 9:01 top of your normal editorial process just doing, just like dealing 9:04 with your content management system, then you know, there's, there's a 9:08 very discreet dollars and cents that can be associated with that. 9:11 >> Yeah, I mean, we're gonna talk a little bit about specifics of 9:18 designing content management system, I mean, 9:21 we're not gonna talk, you know, code. 9:23 But it really comes down to a fundamental difference between focusing on 9:24 the data itself, versus focusing on how the data is being used. 9:29 And the editor is never going to see the 9:34 database or understand or care about the relationships between data. 9:37 They're not gonna care about large blocks of content in their raw form. 9:41 I, I, I don't wanna, I wanna belabor the point. 9:46 But I mean, this is very, very standard practice. 9:48 Is that, you build a, you, you, let's say you build a, a 9:50 content site for someone and you focus all your energy on the front end. 9:53 And you might even mock-up data while you're building the front end. 9:58 And then, a day before the deliverable, you're like, oh, 10:02 we better put a CMS in place real quick, right? 10:05 Or you will use a CMS out 10:08 of the box, something like Drupal, WordPress, whatever. 10:10 And then, not style it or change it or refine it or anything, 10:13 just take the packaged version of it and send it on to your client. 10:16 And it really ends up costing you a lot of extra time. 10:20 And in the client, and in the agency 10:24 world, time is of course, you know, it's lost. 10:25 That's lost margin on our part if we have to spend more of 10:28 our time training people for things that we didn't ex, expect from the beginning. 10:30 The developer's job really is to model data, to build a data 10:36 model, to refine that data model such that it represents the real world. 10:40 But it's the designer's job to put a facade on that, not 10:45 necessarily just a superficial facade, but to put a view on that. 10:49 And to put a perspective on it that represents the editor. 10:53 And we're gonna talk a little bit about 10:57 the editorial process but to get an idea of 10:58 how this, this can be applied though you 11:01 might have twenty 20 data field, you know, that 11:04 make up the concept of an article, or a post, but there might only be three or 11:07 four of them that an editor cares about at 11:11 any given point in time, for a specific task. 11:13 So it makes logical sense that you shouldn't just expose them, you 11:16 know, 20 fields, so they can do whatever they want with it. 11:20 If their task is x, and x includes three fields, or three pieces of data 11:22 then, show them those three fields of data and let them manage those that way. 11:27 >> Yeah, so that's another [COUGH] you know, 11:32 it's a pretty common oversight you see especially with, 11:35 you know, I, I presume that a lot 11:38 of the people at this conference are designers so, 11:40 you know, there's a Fro a common trend 11:43 that we see in, in these types of companies 11:46 where you know, you're process when you're designing a 11:48 web experience for anyone is that you spend time 11:52 really focusing on, you know, you write your user stories. 11:57 You come up with who the different, like, what, what's your audience segmentation? 12:00 You know, how will those people use the front end of your website? 12:05 How will a person who just wants to visit the site and watch 12:08 a video differ from a person who wants to come buy a shoe? 12:11 So really the question becomes why not apply 12:17 those same theories to developing cons and management systems? 12:21 So you know, it's, it's very valuable and 12:25 we've actually found it to be extremely valuable. 12:26 So you know, sit down with those major stakeholders at the beginning of 12:28 a project and say, okay, how do you use your current content management system? 12:32 What do you hate about it? 12:37 What do you like about it? 12:38 And then really go through that whole process of, you 12:40 know, developing the user experience, 12:43 developing wire frames, developing user stories. 12:44 You know, all of the basic Tenets of creating U, UX 12:47 guidelines, UX documents that you, that designers are very familiar with already. 12:51 Just applying that to the back end to CMS. 12:55 So let's start to put this in practice a little bit. 12:59 Let's start, take, take some steps towards figuring 13:01 out what should actually be in a content-management system. 13:05 Are any of you guys familiar with Steven 13:08 Covey, he's like a pretty noted leadership coach? 13:10 Actually just, just passed on a couple years ago. 13:14 But he obviously spent a lot of his 13:17 career writing and talking about habits and efficiency. 13:20 But he also in 1994 wrote a book called First Things First. 13:25 It's really about personal effectiveness, and this, it's not a design book at all. 13:29 There's this really great design lesson in it, in 13:33 which he, it's like essentially an object lesson, in 13:36 which he talks about having a bucket, and along 13:38 with that bucket, you have a bag of, of pebbles. 13:42 And those pebbles represent like the manusha of life, right? 13:46 Taking out the garbage, or paying a bill, or 13:50 going grocery shopping or getting gas in your car. 13:53 Right, all the things that if you just poured that 13:56 bag into the bucket you would fill up the bucket. 13:58 Right, it's basically a never ending supply of manusha. 14:01 But then if you actually have large stones along with 14:05 those pebbles but we're actually using donuts and jelly beans instead. 14:09 >> [LAUGH] 14:13 >> [LAUGH] if you have large stones that represent the important things in life 14:13 like say family, or work, or service, or the really truly important things to you. 14:17 If you try and put those into the bucket after the 14:25 pebbles are already in it, you won't have room for it. 14:28 You won't be able to fit everything into the bucket. 14:31 By the same token though, if you start with an empty bucket and put 14:34 all the big rocks in first and then try to pour the pebbles over. 14:37 Somehow, magically, there's room for everything and it's because the 14:42 pebbles fill in all the cracks around the important things. 14:45 The lesson being, that you should focus on the most important things first. 14:49 And even if that's all that's in the 14:55 bucket, it's still a pretty full bucket, right? 14:57 But if you focus on the little things first, 15:00 you, you won't have room for the big things later. 15:02 It's a really, really great design principle. 15:05 Obviously it, it applies to developers, it applies to UX people that you 15:09 have to focus on the most important things to an editor, in this case. 15:12 Right? 15:19 And the most important tasks the four or five most important 15:19 things to whoever is going to be using your content managing system. 15:22 >> Okay, so, this is to get a little bit to kind of 15:28 the science and the thought process behind how we tend to approach these things. 15:32 These are kind of the three basic things that 15:38 we see as the most important to an editor. 15:42 Editor meaning a person using the CMS. 15:45 And these are, these line up very closely with you know, 15:48 sort of practices that programmers tend to hold near and dear. 15:50 You know? 15:56 And it's, although a programmer, you know? 15:57 A lot of these talks that we've been to 15:59 today, is programmers like to refer themselves as lazy. 16:00 Which is absolutely true in my case. 16:02 >> [LAUGH]. 16:04 >> but, you know, it's, it's, it's, the real point is that you need to just ensure 16:05 that the least amount of work and the 16:10 least resistance possible is what you're providing to people. 16:11 So that, you know, that goes along 16:16 with number one pretty closely which is convenience. 16:17 a, an editor needs to be able to just get to the CMS when they want to. 16:20 He's be able to use those functions that they, you know, have 16:26 to do on a daily basis as simply and as easily as possible. 16:29 And not [COUGH] hit them, not hit them with stopping blocks like, 16:35 you know, having to go through 40 screens to find the article 16:38 and then each screen takes 30 seconds to load then you're, you 16:41 know, that's kind of how you're gonna until the into the real overhead. 16:44 Minimal repetition. 16:50 You know? 16:52 Dry programming is something that, most 16:52 developers are familiar with, at this point. 16:55 It stands for don't repeat yourself. 16:57 And that's kind of the same thing here, you know? 16:59 With an editor [COUGH] you know, imagine the scenario 17:01 of somebody who needs to do something in bulk form. 17:04 Like say, there's some, some metadata or something 17:08 that needs to be changed for 50 articles. 17:11 [COUGH], if that's a common task that people are doing regularly then you 17:14 should think about that in terms of, you know, yes, your system will work. 17:19 That, an editor can go into each of these 50 17:24 things, and update one field to be exactly the same. 17:25 But that's gonna take them 50 times longer, ultimately, to do 17:29 than just being able to do that in bulk, in batch form. 17:34 So really, identifying how the editor is gonna use the site and where 17:38 and trying to predict where those repetitive 17:41 tasks are gonna be happening is crucial. 17:44 Because then you can help eliminate those and again you know reduce the overhead. 17:46 And then again simplicity is kind of an obvious one I think, but you 17:51 know, it should be hammered home that, 17:54 that's a very Very important one to consider. 17:55 And especially more so when you get into 18:00 like roles of different users, there could be 18:01 somebody who you know, maybe just post photos on a site and that's all they do. 18:03 So how do you make that experience as 18:09 simple as possible for that person to those tasks? 18:11 [BLANK_AUDIO] 18:14 Let's see here. 18:19 I can change it. 18:20 So to break it down a little further these are kind of the four main, at 18:22 least the largest buckets which editors really sort of work with. 18:29 These are kind of the four main steps of any piece of content getting published. 18:34 Especially with different types of platforms, this may vary a little bit. 18:39 There may also be other smaller things. 18:42 But we've kinda found over the years that these are kinda the four biggest ones. 18:45 Content development is the first step. 18:50 Obviously that's, you know, that, what that means is like writing a story putting 18:51 together the actual content creating what it 18:56 is that a writer or a journalist creates. 19:00 And it's really what the user is going to consume, though, you 19:02 know, the visitor to your site is gonna, is gonna ultimately consume. 19:05 Asset management is another one that's, thats more common, in larger companies. 19:10 What that means is you know? 19:15 Things like image management video management you know, larger assets that 19:18 may be passed around to different types of content or you know have 19:23 other [COUGH] very strict and very specific requirements for usage. 19:28 That can be very important thing on some platforms 19:35 and again could be a very minor part of others. 19:37 Online preparation is a thing that's, that you know, in the, in 19:40 the field of journalism that hasn't really been a thing until more recently. 19:43 And what that tends to mean is you know, adding open graph data. 19:47 Adding SEO metadata. 19:51 Adding, you know, summary text, and then you know, getting things ready so that 19:53 you know, all those little details are 19:59 you've got your little thumbnail image over here. 20:01 And you've got your [COUGH] you know, your list image there. 20:03 Very detailed for you know, again for all the different type of companies. 20:07 And then publishing is you know, taking this thing 20:11 that's been created and getting it live, getting featured, getting 20:16 it you know, where it needs to be on 20:19 the sites so that people can actually start consuming it. 20:20 [COUGH] so what we kinda did here is just a help visualizes it a little bit. 20:25 Is broken out the way that we've seen it sort of in the 20:28 big three buckets from the veen diagram that we showed at the beginning. 20:33 You know, major news outfits. 20:37 A lot of people we spoke to at, 20:39 for example New York Daily News, a great example. 20:42 They have a process which is very file-based. 20:44 You know, their writers will spend a lot of 20:48 time creating, something similar like Microsoft Word file, let's say. 20:49 They don't need to spend a lot of time in 20:54 the actual content system creating content because they're doing it externally. 20:55 So, the the, the idea there is to shrink 20:59 it down as much as possible by just creating 21:02 say an upload tool, that will parse that information 21:04 and turn it into the, the right data fields. 21:06 The second thing would be asset management. 21:10 Again, you know, you can see here that it's very large for 21:11 the bigger companies and it gets sort of smaller as you go down. 21:14 That's typically because major news organizations really 21:18 have to be concerned with rights management, 21:21 DRM, or you know, things like that that do require a lot of additional overhead. 21:23 So, you know, when you write a piece or upload a piece in this case [COUGH] it 21:29 would go through the photo desk, and then 21:34 they have to add all kinds of metadata there. 21:35 Maybe you're uploading a video and somebody has to put in all the subtitles, 21:38 and then do all the credits, and all do all the fact checking and stuff. 21:41 You know, that's, that's typically very large 21:45 uh,in those types of things whereas in 21:47 mid-sized pubs and blogs you really just have you know, a lot of times especially 21:50 the blogs, you might just pull something from google image search, throw it up 21:55 there, and you don't care if you have to go look for it again later. 21:58 So asset management seems to be, tends to be a little smaller 22:01 of a of a, of a priority item for those types of things. 22:05 [COUGH] 22:09 then we have the the, the online preparation step. 22:11 This is, this is one that kind of will really vary by the specific entity. 22:16 You know, for example, someone that is more print 22:23 focused, which is definitely not as, as common these 22:26 days may not have as much of a need 22:30 for providing that metadata, all the detailed open graph data. 22:32 They may not care if, if you know, the, the Facebook data 22:36 is this, is different than the you know, like a tweet, just an abbreviated tweet. 22:41 But these types of things also can be very important. 22:48 You know, SEO is obviously extremely important 22:52 for these types of companies like Tim said. 22:55 Impressions are kind of the, the utmost metric that you're gonna get with 22:57 any of this stuff so, making sure that's surfacing properly is, is crucial. 23:01 But then when you get down into blogs they really, you know, a 23:05 lot of those tools like say WordPress does a lot of that stuff. 23:09 Or you can, you know, you can get WordPress plugins 23:12 that will automatically generate a lot of that stuff for you. 23:14 So, you know, inherently it becomes less of 23:16 a task that you actually have to worry about. 23:18 And then the last step being publishing typically with blog 23:21 platforms you hit a publish button, and it goes live. 23:25 There are other, other instances where, you know, in, in 23:29 mid- to large size organizations, you'll need to go through several 23:33 rounds of editing, when something actually goes live, then it has 23:38 to go through a cache maybe before it actually shows up. 23:41 Or you know, you have to go through several rounds of approval. 23:47 You know, the editorial process can get much, much longer. 23:50 And then you can, you know, you also have to focus on featuring 23:53 content and putting stuff on the page when it needs to be there. 23:56 And sometimes that'll go through like, a different set of people. 23:59 So and you know again, that it, it 24:01 will kind of depend on the specific organization 24:04 and how their editorial process works, but this 24:07 is just sort of a generalized example of that. 24:10 And then again even, even sort of to dig these, these sort of time lines 24:14 will definitely shift when you have different 24:20 types of people working on, these different thing. 24:22 So for example a mid-size pub maybe, may have a 24:25 person that only posts photos like I was saying before. 24:28 They would not really have as much of a content creation 24:32 phase, because all they are doing is taking some photos that 24:36 are coming from an outside source, probably a camera, probably, you 24:40 know, could be that they are editing it in Photoshop or whatever. 24:42 And then they're just uploading it. 24:46 So, you know, in that specific case, 24:47 the, for, you know, for a mid-sized publication, 24:50 those, those two would kind of be swapped in terms of, of length of time. 24:52 >> Yeah, I think also, [COUGH] I mean this really 24:57 is kind of the, the core of what we're trying to 25:00 talk about today, which is that you can't build a generic 25:02 content management system and slap it front of any client, right? 25:07 You could put any other, you could put a fourth or fifth line 25:11 in here that represents the kind of client that you're working with, right? 25:13 You, you find out the things that are most important for 25:16 their specific case, and then you build a tool that represents that. 25:18 As John mentioned, a blog, I mean, we 25:23 actually recently launched a CMS for a client. 25:26 Rather than being interested in long form, 25:29 right, like these deep journalistic pieces where they 25:32 would, you know, spend days writing them 25:35 and going through all sorts of vetting process. 25:39 They're basically one step up from a tweet, right? 25:42 It's maybe three lines of text and a picture, right? 25:44 But they do that twenty times a day and it sort of adds 25:48 on all of them and it's, and that's their, that's their model, right? 25:50 So doesn't make sense that we would put a 25:54 large interface in front of them and wish they 25:56 could do something more than just put some text 25:58 in and upload a photo, in some cases right? 26:00 Every, you know, and, and if we did give them additional information that they 26:04 could fill out if they wanted to, I mean it, I'm sure that can 26:07 serve a purpose of keeping the data, you know, 100% perfect in the mind 26:11 of the developer but from an editor's 26:15 perspective, it simply doesn't make any sense. 26:17 We wanna talk a little bit about the future, at this point. 26:23 So we're gonna you know, there isn't a lot of, 26:28 isn't a lot of time left in our talk, first off. 26:31 But there's a lot of variety, as we've mentioned. 26:33 We've got four things that we think are happening right now. 26:37 And are going to become more, you know interesting in the next couple of years. 26:40 So, Hype- micro-publishing is what I just talked about. 26:46 You know, if you look at someone who wants to 26:49 publish, if you look at someone who's prolific on Twitter, right? 26:50 If they wanted to you know, make money doing that, they might set up a blog, and 26:54 they might create social content 50 times a 26:59 day and work on growing their network of followers. 27:03 Hyper-micro-publishing is growing. 27:07 People wanna be able just become very, very prolific. 27:09 Very quickly, right? 27:14 They don't wanna spend the time in many cases to create long form journalism. 27:15 This is something that is 27:19 starting to happen already, and you should 27:24 definitely plan for it happening in the future. 27:25 Maybe it's a CMS or it's, it's a platform that does 27:27 nothing but show a video, and a piece of text, right? 27:30 Or something that has a sound cloud embed and a, and maybe no text, right? 27:33 But something like Tumblr right? 27:37 I mean, Tumblr, but not using Tumblr, right? 27:39 People wanna create these things for themselves. 27:41 The next big thing is storification. 27:45 There's obviously a lot of new players in this right now. 27:48 Storification means that it's, it's not necessarily 27:50 categorization of content, but it's a representation of 27:54 conne, of a connection to other individual 27:56 articles that are related to the same topic. 27:59 This is really useful in, for a news site. 28:01 basically, people wanna be able to pull a thread into current event. 28:04 And then, as time marches on, as articles get added to, 28:10 or as, excuse me, as events continue to happen and more 28:14 journalistic pieces are created, then you can simply direct your user 28:17 to additional articles in this you know, related to this story. 28:22 it's, it's really, really great, and in the political 28:27 space, it's happening a lot, in these political, blogs. 28:29 And I we think we're gonna see it a lot more, but this 28:33 is something you have to account for, 28:35 when you're building a content management system. 28:36 How easy is it for them to find those other articles that this is related to? 28:39 How easy is it to create a new story, for example, and relate to content? 28:43 The one, the next one is this one was a hard one to describe. 28:47 But we, we call this single-use presentation, right? 28:52 Imagine an article that the publisher wants to be completely unique 28:56 from any other article as, as far as ours laid out. 29:02 Right the New York Times for example has, has made quite a splash in recent time 29:06 and everybody jumping into this, this pool now 29:10 of what was it the snow storm article, right? 29:13 It was a long form article. 29:16 It was really beautifully done on the front-end. 29:18 And there was a lot of cool new web tech in it. 29:21 And they've done several articles like that since then. 29:24 Newsweek is doing this now. 29:26 The Atlantic is doing it. 29:27 They all need be managed from the same content management system though. 29:29 So, how do you build a content management system from the beginning that's gonna 29:32 handle a variety of templates down the road, you know, you can solve this. 29:36 This is obviously, you know, something that from a 29:42 technical le, level, there' s a lot of solution, right? 29:44 And maybe you have a slightly different front 29:48 end that's still served by the same back end. 29:49 But it really comes back down to the question of how 29:52 do you build a back end that'll serve all of these needs? 29:54 The last thing is sponsored content. 29:57 again, most of these people from, pushing content is that they try to make money. 30:02 Sponsored content are some of these [UNKNOWN] to do occur more and more. 30:06 A lot of that comes in the form of a feed. 30:10 So maybe, you know three times a day or once a day, you pull 30:12 in content from an external source and produce content in your own CMS from that. 30:16 In some cases, the business might require the content to simply be shown as it is. 30:23 In some cases, you, you might need to edit it. 30:27 But being able to handle make sure than an editor understands how to manage 30:31 this content that, that may not be their own is something that's happening a lot. 30:36 So, not just from an aggregation perspective but as, as, 30:40 as far as like making that content mind is concerned. 30:44 And then it's also important to note there are some major technical changes that are 30:49 happening and I, I won't go too far into that but just take note of. 30:53 There is a, a squeezing of the stack that's happening. 30:58 That the data layer is getting pushed a lot closer to the front and the front 31:02 in getting pushed a lot closer to the 31:07 back as languages mature, next generation languages develop. 31:08 Platforms as a service are making it so that you can do rapid [SOUND] committing. 31:14 So you can make a change to your CMS, and push 31:18 it out there very, very quickly, if your doing cloud deployment. 31:23 And that again is something that it's not just technical because as you make a 31:27 change quickly then your editor picks up 31:31 on that and they want other changes quickly. 31:33 And you have to account for the fact that technical changes are making it 31:35 so that the speed at which you support and improve your CMS is, is changing. 31:38 It also means that you should be building 31:43 it small from the beginning and then growing it. 31:46 Build it small around core functions and then rapidly change it, right? 31:50 Fail fast, etcetera. 31:55 Get the core pieces in there, and then [SOUND] continue to develop it. 31:56 The last piece is, I mean, it's a bit related to the first one, is, there's a 31:59 lot of abstractions being developed, that make it 32:04 so that non-technical people can do technical things, right? 32:06 You know there's all sorts of things like fire base, and databasey things that 32:11 can be done on the front end like using things like angular for example. 32:15 There's really great abstractions that are making it so that non 32:20 technical people don't have to be as intimidated by technical things. 32:22 This is gonna make it so that your content management system has to account for 32:26 the fact that they might or might not know what's you know, under the covers. 32:29 So take stock of the technical changes that 32:34 are happening, even if they're not necessarily design related. 32:36 But, cuz they will have an impact on how your design is, is carried forward. 32:41 >> So yeah, just to wrap things up, you know, I think these are kind 32:47 of the three most important things if you don't take anything else away from this. 32:52 Really the first step in, in developing any sort 32:59 of editorial platform should always be to study the UX. 33:01 Something like, try to come up with, with detailed user 33:08 stories of how an editor's gonna use the, the, the platform. 33:11 And how different editors are going to use the platform. 33:14 Just try to understand as much as you possibly 33:16 can [COUGH] cuz then you will have to do 33:18 you know, less work in the end to, as Tim said, to try to fit in those big rocks. 33:22 You know, al, always think big you know, always look forward to the, you 33:27 know, especially technical innovations, anything that's, that's 33:32 happening trend wise or on the internet. 33:35 Really set your sights for an endgame that may be far off in the future. 33:38 But definitely start with just trying to accomplish 33:43 the, the most minimal tasks and doing them well. 33:46 Because really spending that focus on things 33:50 at the smaller level will, will shine through. 33:53 You know, it'll, it'll help your platform last a lot longer. 33:55 [COUGH] additionally there are other things you can kinda plan 33:59 for some more you know, there's a whole list of, 34:02 of types of things that we typically ask clients about 34:04 their future plans which could be anything from, you know? 34:07 Are you going to expand into other countries, and other languages? 34:09 Well you see, other verticals emerged you know, new categories, new other 34:13 types of, of content you may be presenting and just trying to help account for that. 34:19 You know, so really, really, looking for that, 34:25 you know again, that, that silver bullet, that will 34:30 just take care of all of this for 34:32 everybody, that you ever come across, will never exist. 34:33 But really spending some time at the out set looking into how your 34:37 specific client, or how your specific person, 34:41 how your specific tool will be used. 34:44 is, is the most important thing to just do 34:47 for, for any UX person and for any platform developer. 34:50 [BLANK_AUDIO] 34:55 So 34:55 yeah thank you guys. 34:58
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