Admin Interface Importance

This forum is primarily for reporting issues about Web Accessibility such as difficulty using mojoPortal with a screen reader or other assistive technology.

Post any feedback here related to improving the accessibility or usability of mojoPortal. As stated in our Accessibility documentation, it is an important goal of the project that both the front-end customer experience and the back end administration and content publishing features be accessible to as many people as possible. Ideally, if you post about problems, we will also be glad to have suggestions on how the problems can be fixed but all constructive feedback on these issues is welcome.

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11/15/2009 12:45:36 PM
Total Posts 22

Admin Interface Importance

Hello Joe,

I have been looking at the roadmap and there is nothing about improving usability in the Admin Pages.

As you know , I think that Mojoportal is a unusually solid and complete cms.

But I can't say the same about usability of the Admin pages. I think that if you pursue to increase its popularity you should invest some time in improving this area (and I'm aware of  how valuable is your time in a so big project with a so small number of developers).

Working in the weaknesses of Mojoportal rather than in the strenghts will result in a better balanced app.

Balance its not a goal in itself: Popularity  should be a goal for Mojoportal.  And, in my opinion, improving usability in the admin area is the key that will provide better results in terms of new users.

Users evaluating Mojoportal always have a long list of CMS to try, and they should find easily the way of doing thing, or they will discard a wonderful CMS even before they can appreciate how solid and well architected it is.

Best regards,

Matías Molleja

11/16/2009 7:38:46 AM
Total Posts 18439

Re: Admin Interface Importance

Hi Matias,

Lots of things get improved in mojoPortal without ever being listed on the Road Map, I generally think in terms of major new features when updating it, but I have added a line to say there will also be improvements in the administrative UI.

I will say that in terms of accessibility I think we are way ahead of most solutions. You can manage pretty much all aspects of your site even with javascript disabled whereas other solutions (especially .NET solutions) you cannot do anything with javascript disabled. I also think our usability is very good but there are a few pain points that can be improved and need improvement such as:

  • Moving pages around the hierarchy from Administration > Add/Edit Pages is tedious if the site has a lot of pages, need a better solution there.
  • The page for publishing content instances on multiple pages is very cumbersome when there are a lot of pages in the site and people have requested easier ways to add a content instance to all pages.
  • On the Administration > Role Management > View/Edit Members page, we have a dropdown list of all users, which is a really bad idea even here on where we have over 6000 users. I need to add a dialog with paging/search there for adding users to roles. Though it is also possible to add users to roles more easily from the user management page so this issue has not really been causing me any pain but I notice it as a shortcoming that needs fixing.
  • It would be nice to have an easy way to change view/edit roles on a whole sub tree of pages at a time. Currently if you decide to change permissions on a section you have to do it one page at a time.
  • The Administration > Advanced Tools > Url Manager needs a way to filter and search for urls based on CMS Pages vs other features that also generate friendly urls like the Blog, WebStore, and Event Calendar Pro
  • I would like to have better management tools for child sites so that it is possible to manage users and other things in the child site from the root admin site.

The above are specific things I am aware of and have my eye on for improvements. If you have other specific and concrete feedback about improvements needed for administration, please share them. Specific feedback about what is difficult and what can be done to improve it are more helpful than just general feedback saying we need improvements.



11/16/2009 12:38:09 PM
Total Posts 22

Re: Admin Interface Importance

Hello Joe,

Thanks for your kind reply.

I think that new users are a little lost in the admin UI.(I'm myself a recent user and have these impressions fresh in my mind). This is the kind of problem an expert user find difficult to see. For example, once the user enters a concrete admin page he looses the reference of where he is in the global system (except for the breadcrumb). And if he wants to navigate to a diferent area usually needs to use the breadcrumb or go back in the browser.

This type of "confusion" or "lack of global view" could be eliminated by the adoption of this two design patterns:

I understand this is is not trivial, hence the title of this post :).

I think too that keeping the mix between "Frontend" and "Admin Pages" makes difficult the adoption of this kind of big changes. As a long term goal I would try to separate two different applications:

- One for the frontend with end visitors of the site in mind.

- One for the backend with administrators and content editors as target users.

This separation of concerns will make easy for you to attend the very different needs ot the two group of users with accuracy. (And I'm not sure but it will probably have an effect in performance of the system?).

With this separation you will have too more consistency in documentation, screencasts etc.. And site administrators and content editors working on several sites will have a single admin UI, not a different UI on each site, or a different UI each time they change the skin on the frontend.

If you think that these suggestions make sense, let me know, and I will be glad to help, investing some time in made some research in this area. So you dont need to make all tedious work.

Best Regards,

Matias Molleja


11/16/2009 1:01:40 PM
Total Posts 18439

Re: Admin Interface Importance

Hi Matias,

While I appreciate your input I think we disagree on a lot of points. Some of the very things you don't like are what others do like about mojoPortal.

I might at some point do something like the global navigation example in some admin pages, but I think the easy edit links in the front end is very much one of the reasons non technical users find mojoPortal easy to use. 



1/26/2010 12:06:21 PM
Total Posts 2

Re: Admin Interface Importance

Hi Joe,   I really like mojoPortal.  I've just started  working with MojoPortal for a couple weeks.

I have a few small usability admin suggestions that I think  would make the interface a little more useable for new users.

1. On the main edit page, I found  the "Setting" Link  ambiguious (Content or Page?)
   You have Content Instance Name followed by setting if you change the
  link name  from "Setting" to "Content Setting" there would be less  ambiquity whether
   the setting is Content or Page setting.  The tooltip is good but not visible unless your cursor over .

2. On Page Setting, the Save button is not visible without  scrollling to the save button. 

   If the settings page would put the check boxes across and down the page    instead of one checkbox per line,
   the Save button would be appear on same screen as all the input items without needing to scroll to the save button.

3. On the Page Setting, the Text on the Frame/border " Settings For Page xxxxxx xxxx"
   Add Highlighting (bold , color , size etc..) to menu name text: Settings For Menu Name
   would make it even more obvious on what page your working on .

Thanks for a great CMS.



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