Please Use This

Published on Wednesday, 28 September 2005

Usability is a key aspect of web and content management design principles. If the product a person or company designs doesn't keep the basic functional principles that allow any user, irrespective of their technical knowledge, to create, manage and control the content inside the web experience, it doesn't do it's job.

Now, I've been appointed as part of the Usability, Accessibility and Standards team for Joomla. What this means is that I am giving my technical expertise to an open source product that will be able to compete on an enterprise level with proprietary software sold to government departments around the world. It also means that, as a product,?Joomla will be aiming for the highest web standards we can achieve within the framework of design that is part of J!.

Whenever a content management system is designed, it has to work intuitively on all levels for all users. Most content management systems, unfortunately, don't do this task well (or at all). Scalability affects usability as well, when considering that for some projects I am working with, there are anywhere from 6,000 to over 15,000 individual content items.

At the end of the day, it is the end user of the product that matters, and how they can easily, intuitively and effectively update their web presence. It isn't about merely having access keys, conformance to web standards or other web candy. It is the end user who recommends the product based on it's usage, and if you start locking people into certain ways of using the product, you lose the capacity to create an effective web environment.

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