Notes from “Cascade Server Product Roadmap,” September 16, 2013, 9:00-10:00am.
Speakers: Kat Liengens and Bradley Wagner. This was typed at a conference and is being posted without editing. Report any typos and missing content in comments or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cascade Server Product Roadmap
September 16, 2013, 9:00-10:00am Speakers: Kat Liengens and Bradley Wagner
- Head of Customer Experience – Charlie Holder
- Product feedback sessions
- Cascade Exchange – a place to download previews to import into your instance of Cascade
- Content strategy user group – Kat starting this. We’re in the middle of a bit push to create better content. To talk about Spectate, analytics, etc.; Contact Kat if interested in being in the group.
Cascade Server 7.0
- Site Clone
- Site Import/Export
- […check slides when posted for list of features/bullets for each release]
Cascade Server 7.2
Focus on the user interface and user experience
Cascade Server 7.4
Focus on editing – in-context editing and stale content report
Added some overall improvements
Where content management is headed: We’re in the middle of a content revolution (a good thing) The days that SEO are a set of check tasks are gone. Now it’s all about providing fresh quality content to different segments of your audience in very targeted manner.
Likely to see an increase in content editors. From Forbes, “Just like search was a decade ago and social was five years ago, content marketing is the next digital media revolution.” 5/5/2012
- Content marketing and strategy tools
- Task management and content planning
Content Management Systems will ahve to facilitate collaboration with multiple content contributes. Will include a lot of more task management functionality.
Content Lifecycle Management
Use to be a very basic need. What Content Management Systems need to do is manage the Content Lifecycle — a way to Create & Manage targeted quality content to Promot to Track and Analyze actionable data to Plan and Strategize, back to Create and Manage.
It’s all going to be data driven.
Bradley Wagner on the Roadmap
Using GitHub — how to post changes and get feedback. Wanted to leverage GitHub to get more people involved. Trained many in the company to use GitHub to make changes to the product. Has led to a remarkable doubling the improvements/changes to the product. Includes everything like spelling/woding adjustments, to code.
- Calendars, Blogs, h5b examples
- Velocity/XSLT Recipes
- Web Services
- Universal Migration Tool
Encouraging clients to get involved. http://hannonhill.github.com
https://github.com/blog/1271 The ship it squirrel. Taking something that had really long release cycles to speed it up to a weekly release. Hannon Hill has adopted this idea and made it their own (Ship it Good) Want to create a company culture that ships out value all the time. Started with an internal server, and made that avaiable at http://sandbox.cascadeserver.com. Trying to take the same shipping culture to apply it to our release cycle
Why is it good?
- Better team morale
- You get the goodies faster!
- Easier upgrades – less to digest with each release
- Shorter feedback loop – by putting more features out more frequently we’re able to act on suggestions faster
Less is more!
- 3 releases in the last 6 months
- Satisfied over 400 votes from the idea exchange
- Major editing enhancements
- Content reporting
- Enhanced Velocity tools
- UI improvements
- Universal Migration Tool
In the next release…
…Relationships (previously Subscribers)
- View relationships for all assets
- Includes asset chooser associations
- Directly publish referring assets
Coming in the next release
- Add/remove individual permissions to folder’s childen
- Type-ahead search for users and groups
Content Lifecycle Management
Combining Content Creation, Content Strategy, and Content Management
Want to address all phases of this lifecycle.
- Website is still the first destination for prospective students
- 1 out of 5 students removed universities from list after a bad website experience
- 55% of colleges have blogs
Cursive Content Marketing, July 2013
- Panda/Penguin updates (Google) has renewed emphasis on quality content
- 78% of CMOs think customer content is important, but only a fraction (check slides) has a content strategy in place.
Having a content strategy means having a big picture. What do you have, how is it working…
How our tools are helping
- Stale content rports
- Spectate site analysis
- Free content audit templates at http://freecontentaudit.com
Coming in the future
- Site-wide, pre-publish link check
More reports to come
- Site-wide spell check
- Orphaned assets
- Accessibility checks
- Updated but not yet published
- Pinnable to your Dashboard
- Write down the idea
- Discuss that idea before starting
- Finally add an asset
Diet Workflow (lightweight workflow object)
- Collaborate on changes
- Notify others and discuss (comments)
- Publish and finish
Still a place for formal workflow and will continue to improve the existing workflow process. This ad-hoc workflow is the way people a collaborating more and more and how we want to facilitate collaborate collaboration in Cascade.
- Go-to user or group
- Responsible for reviews and upkeep
- Social Posts
- Landing Pages
- Tracked Links
- SEO Page Scores
Really, the right side of the Content Lifecycle graph.
- Plan and schedule content
- Track progress
- Measure results
Cascade + Spectate
- Callout selectors for simple A/B tests — callouts are a simple A/B test. Want to be able to simply drop callouts into pages in Cascade.
- Track links on-the-fly — how many times is that link being clicked
- Live-site page load times of SEO scores
In addition to normal analytics you can see things like page loads and SEO scores. Want ot make that data available to clients.
One of the main things that a CMS helps to facilitate
A couple of features we’re thiking of adding center around server-side includes and content bricks.
Allows you to manage a piece of content in one place and it appears in multiple places. Working on being able to publish blocks as server side includes. Will require supporting a variety of server environments.
A content brick is basically a snippet of content you want o make available to your end users to insert within a page (example: tuition figure). We want to make this even easier — to have less developer intervention required. Want to make it a lot easier for end users to interact with (drop-down menu to insert a snippet).
User interface and user experience
The reality is, most end users are infrequent users of the system, so as such it is our responsibility to make sure end users are familiar with what they’re seeing when they log in. They don’t have a deep understanding of the moving pieces of the CMS, nor should they.
Recent UI/UX Enhancements
- In-context editing
- Fixed position buttons
- Auto-drafting and preview
- Dran & Drop Upload/Move
How to improve interfaces
- Single purpose interfaces
- Separate end-user and power user interfaces
Example shown: image interface improvements
- Smart version comments
- Persistent History — a way for end users to pick up where they left off.
- File editing/creation enhancements
- Upgrade WYSIWYG
- Improve in-context editing
- Screen load times — facilitated by things like partial screen refreshes and caching
- Publish times — want to make the use of server-side includes more native to the product. But, sometimes you need to publish the whole site so they want to improve that as well.
Cascade Server Anywhere
Being able to log in from any device
- Edit and publish on-the-go
- Simple layouts that scale down
- Better WYSIWYG editing on mobile devices
- Tracking the content lifecycle
- Task management, Collaboration, Content Ownership
- New Spectate features and integration
- Content Reuse
- End user and power user UI
- Relationships and relationship publishing
- Permissions UI
- Top Idea Exchange ideas