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Kentico 8 understands the content contributor role

Written By: Virgil Carroll
Posted: 3/27/2014

In my introductory post to Kentico 8, I gave a general overview around my thoughts on the dramatic changes that are coming with the new version and what that means to you as a user.  This post kicks off a group where I am going to take a closer look at new and updated pieces and how the opportunities for us to take advantage of the new, cool stuff! (yes ‘stuff’ is a technical term).

Having deployed a lot of web site project in various content management systems (including Kentico), I always use a critical eye when evaluating new versions and features.  My critical eye is based on my years of experience working with content contributors, administrators and programmers … focusing on the unique problems each of these groups tend to have in using all the different CMS systems out there.  One of the most common things I see when evaluating a new CMS tool is whether the developers went the extra step to really understand how contributors and administrators use a system and develop interactions that support those patterns in a usable way.  This is where often you can separate those companies that focus on user needs versus those that build complex functionality.

With version 8, Kentico has taken a huge step forward in meeting the needs of user experience in its interface.  Where on the other hand, past versions of the Kentico UI have always fallen a little short in providing an intuitive user experience.  One of the areas where this is most noticeable is the inclusion of many out-of-the-box contributor and administrative reports to help in the management of the day-to-day content contribution process.  Now reports are not a totally new concept to Kentico (there are many provided in previous versions under the CMS Desk > Tools area), most of those reports tended to be more tailored towards administrative processes vs. what contributors and content managers regularly need to know.

As you can see from the screenshot below, there are a number of new reports that are integrated into the Content management area of the main administrative venue.  I really like this for two reasons.  Reason #1 is in previous versions a person needed to dig into other areas of the CMS Desk and find the limited reports available…in version 8 the reports are easy to find and doesn’t require leaving the ‘flow’ of your job to locate.  Reason #2 comes from the reports available, which tells me Kentico actually did some user research and found out what reports content managers frequently are looking for and made them readily accessible.  This to me is the KEY point as many of the reports available represent the ‘most requested’ reports we get from clients across all the CMS platforms we work with.  Its obvious Kentico paid attention to ‘how’ contributors and managers do their work and what tools they need to be most successful.

Digging into the various reports, you can immediately see how useful they could be for people in a content role.

Out of all the CMS features we get requests for on a regular basis, none is more common than for managers to easily identify content that is has become stale and text could be out of date.  Where for many we’ve built complex workflows to facilitate the content review process, often a simple report will suffice for most organizations to view a quick snapshot and determine what is getting old and needs to be updated.

As you can see from the screenshot below, the Outdated documents report gives CMS users this exact information in a simple, clean interface.  Where you can easily view the Modified date for any page, you can also quickly use the search box to narrow the content to a more specific subset based on your need.  When you find the page you want to work with, you can either click the PENCIL icon to go to the page’s edit screen or the EYEBALL icon to view the page as it would appear on the live site (its pops up in a new window)

A new feature included with reports in Kentico 8 is the ability to export the data into the format of your choosing.  This will be especially useful for those organizations that work with large numbers of content contributors and may have multiple managers over different areas of the CMS.

You even have the ability to create advanced exports, which pops up a separate dialog box where you can have more granular control of what is exported and the format.

The Pending documents report is about giving content managers a quick view into what approvals and workflow processes they need to keep up with.  Since one of the newer parts of Kentico 8 is a much deeper integration around the approval and publishing workflow process, those organizations that use those as part of their QA process will use this report a lot.

NOTE: Sorry I wanted to get this post out but could not get an approval item to show up in the report, so just IMAGINE (haha) and I will get a different screenshot at a later time

The My documents reports give users a view into content items which they have direct control over (created)

The Recent documents reports gives administrators a quick view of recently updated content items.

This is just a brief view into many of the new features of Kentico version 8.  As you can see, Kentico has paid attention to what they were hearing from customers and made some dramatic improvements.  Where reports around common manager activities may not seem like rocket science, compared to previous versions and other CMS platforms, many are going to see these improvements as a large step in the right direction.

Next up, I am going to explore all the new features of the content administrative screen.

Chad's Bio Coming Soon!

More About Virgil

Virgil Carroll is the owner and president of High Monkey – based in Minneapolis Minnesota. Virgil also wears the multiple ‘hats’ of Principle Human Solutions Architect and SharePoint Architect.

Virgil is one of those rare individuals who can dive deep into technical topics while speaking clearly to the business owners of a project and never forgetting that the end user experience has the highest priority. He calls it using both sides of his brain. Virgil is passionate about leveraging technologies ‘out of the box’ as much as possible with a focus on the strategic use of content to create websites that deliver the right content to the right audience on the right device at the right time. Virgil brings high energy, an ironic wit, and a sense of grounded perspective whenever he speaks to an audience. Virgil regularly speaks at conferences and user groups throughout the United States and occasionally in Europe.

Posted: 3/27/2014 12:00:00 AM by Brian Haukos | with 0 comments