First look at new Concrete 5.5

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Wow this is a complete refresh and I'm sure its brilliant BUT...

It definitely has a modern feel but my first thought was why do I have to look at a poky menu with text links to look at my dashboard.

Where have all the big easy to click icons gone?

To see everything you need to rollover then click, then close then rollover then choose again, then close again then rollover then choose again and so on.

Not sure that this is that great and I do miss having everything laid out like an application, where you can scan and take it all in in one go.

This is or was, one of concrete's strengths in the past I think.

So for usability I think this a backward step, too many clicks is not good. The mega menu is good but with no holistic overall view I feel unfulfilled. The big background image looks lonely on its own with nothing on it, and it flickers when it loads, not good.

Everything does look and feel better with the new typeface etc and I'm sure the under the hood changes are better but the old concrete dashboard was easy to use and a good thing.

I'd be interested to hear others thoughts on this...


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guythomas replied on at Permalink Reply
I would have to agree with you. It just seems like an omnipresent admin menu, or sidebar would help the flow a bit.

It's weird when you close what essentially looks like a dialog box and are left with nothing but the background image. It seems like dialog version of the dashboard mega menu would be more appropriate.

Pritam replied on at Permalink Reply
I second Nige's comment too, the Dashboard UI prior to the 5.5.0 upgrade was a well planned one and the clients could grasp it much faster, since everything was laid out pretty clearly.

I do believe change is necessary, but the previous dashboard interface was super duper simple and clear especially from the end-users perspective.
fastcrash replied on at Permalink Reply
Yes i agree, sometimes we must wait for hover menu to disappear, and then click another menu, sometimes it's get flicker too,
is there easy way to make the menu like 5.4?
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
I imagine the rollover and dropdown behavior will continue to mature slightly as new versions come out.
I do think the new approach takes some getting used to if you were comfortable with the old one.
There is an addon in the PRB that adds the old sidebar to the dashboard.

Best wishes,
(Pecked out on a mobile device...)
Ale replied on at Permalink Reply 1 Attachment
I agree, to an extent. The more I've used 5.5 the more I've started to like the main dashboard dropdown as it nicely categorizes dashboard "items" and shows the subpages of each item, which the old dashboard didn't show right away.

However, my main concern, especially end-user wise is the lack of omnipresent submenu on dashboard dialogs (compared to the old dashboard's horizontal menu). I do know that there is the small triangle that shows the another drop-down which shows the pages at the same level. However, I don't think that's quite user-friendly as its hidden by default. Please let me clarify this by an example:

- The admin (who is new to 5.5 ;) ) is in File Manager view and wants to create new file attributes
- Admin takes a glance around the screen and doesn't see word "attributes" anywhere, which means that he has to go through either the main dropdown or the subpage dropdown to find the desired page. On the old dashboard, he probably would have noticed it right away from the horizontal menu.

The main problem in my opinion is that if the admin doesn't _remember_ the subpages at same level of the page he is working on, he has to go through dropdowns to find the desired pages and he is out of clues on which part of the dashboard he is at. While it is quite easy to find the page with either dropdown or intelligent search, an unexperienced user feels quite lost when he ends up (again) on a page without any visible clue of the other subpages at the same level. What I'm trying to say is that the dashboard dialogs feel somewhat separate from each other, even it they were in the same category.

I've attached a file, a 3-minute photoshopped version of the dashboard view. I'm not trying to say that it's the only way to achieve desired results. I just would like to see more discussion on how this problem (if it is a problem?) should be dealt with.

As a conclusion I want to say that I do not want this to turn into "rant & bash" -session. I think the 5.5 is awesome and the core team has done great job. There are just some things in the dashboard that could be made more user-friendly, _in my opinion_.
nige replied on at Permalink Reply
All my comments are in good faith and the ambitious upgrade is to be applauded.

Its great we've generated some feedback and I'm sure users will add their two cents worth. These changes mustv'e been an enormous task and I love Concrete 5.

I just think not seeing everything all at once will become a little frustrating and the lack of icons gives it an Windows XP kind of feel.

Change for its own sake is sometimes not the right way to go and in the same way Apple changed it's OS according to users feedback maybe these comments will help refine the UI.

Mobile computing is the future, and cool icons are back with a vengeance. I think the megamenu is a great idea but icons as well would just make it look so cool and easy to use. The empty dashboard just doesn't seem right.

markinspain replied on at Permalink Reply
I have been using concrete5 for a couple of years, I love the CMS and love all the add on's and improvements so far.. Until now. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? A new version of Concrete for the new year, brilliant I thought, but after trying it, I have to say, you have spoiled my new year altogether.

Gone is the brilliant, easy to use dashboard, that I had no trouble in teaching my clients to use, replaced by a rubbish drop down with plain links. Browsing add on's is now slow and tedious, with paid ad on's taking primary place. The whole interface is rubbish, has one of the concrete team had a breakdown?

Ruined is my favourite CMS, that I used to build many sites with, if this new design stays, I leave, despite having spent quite a bit on templates and add on's over the years!
guythomas replied on at Permalink Reply
I think you may be over-reacting a bit. This was a major change, and with all things UI, will have a period of refinements. In the mean time, I'm sure you will not be missing anything by sticking with 5.4
markinspain replied on at Permalink Reply
A major change to the UI that was not needed and has left it looking terrible! I have been playing around with it today and hate it more than ever! Until now I was always delighted with Concrete5 on every update. I guess when it looses popularity, you will see I am right. It's over for me anyway, if that is how it ends up!
mkly replied on at Permalink Reply

All of the dashboard pages are over-ridable. You could create a completely new interface package/addon and release it to the marketplace if you wanted. Maybe even make some money if other people agree and are willing to purchase it.
Vidall replied on at Permalink Reply
I must be missing something, I really like the new UI, having the dash there on hover of the button is great, I also don't equate usability to mouse clicks, if a process involves 5 clicks and its shortened to 3 but becomes vague or counter intuitive, the subtraction of 2 clicks does not create more "usability" in my opinion. not that I feel any of C5's process' are overly long to begin with.

Yes, the look has changed considerably, BUT everything remains functionality wise.

The improvements are there in droves, global areas, stacks, composer, adding favorites to the drop down bar, speed, install process, marketplace integration, improved attributes, huge improvements for white labeling, intelligent search, and the backgrounds, yes I said it, I like the backgrounds!

The look of the UI has had a much needed boost, the old UI looked like it was ripped straight out of windows 98, this update brings C5 bang upto date and gives C5 a UI that I personally feel surpasses its competitors. to quote Markinspain saying it looks terrible is simply nonsensical, its of course your opinion and prerogative to discontinue using C5, but whats the alternative, become a WordPress sheep and insist on hacking WordPress into a CMS, or wrestle with the inner monsters of Joomal and Drupal, I know what I would rather do.
markinspain replied on at Permalink Reply
Lets agree to disagree! Time will tell, but for me, this is not better in any way, as i see it! Never mind, everyone get's things wrong, even when convinced they are right, I mean, look at Microsoft's past efforts and mistakes! (and present). Love, peace and the best for the new year to all.
olliephillips replied on at Permalink Reply
Don't disagree with any of your points but here are the wins as I see them.

After you've rattled around the interface and gotten a bit familiar with it, I think it's a faster to use. I'm running it on an upgraded production site so I've something to base that on.

The recent history and bookmarks section are super cool. It's easy to ignore how useful this is, because we've never had it before.

Your clients probably won't struggle with it; it's still very intuitive, perhaps in some respects more so. For me, the dashboard separation of tasks so you have one dialog and one dialog alone sort of helps you get things done, without the noise of a page full of options. I think my users will appreciate this too.

It's a sexy interface - though I do worry that with widespread adoption of Twitter Bootstrap it might look a bit 'me too' in months to come, but conversely in that scenario UX would only benefit, with people already knowing the ropes via similar websites. C5 providing a style guide for developers is a great step forward; end users can only benefit from uniformly designed add-ons.

There's more.

It's loads quicker, client side. They've made it easier to whitelabel. Install is slicker, You can duplicate sites....

It's a great bit of kit IMO. In no way is this a step backwards, absolutely not.
jordanlev replied on at Permalink Reply
I agree with @Vidall and @olliephillips -- I like the dashboard interface a lot better. For me, the biggest bonus is that I can finally right-click on a dashboard page and choose "open in new tab". Whereas before, the "dashboard" toolbar button was some weird javascript-magic-button thing that didn't let you right-click on it, so I had to keep jumping back and forth between the dashboard and my site pages.

But I don't discount the criticisms some people have of the new layout -- there are definitely some rough edges that need polishing in 5.5, and so I think these discussions are valuable. I kind of see the new 5.5 as more of a great starting point for future improvements, not the be-all end-all perfect UI right now.
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
Nothing is perfect, I already have a small list of tweaks I think will make
5.5.1 super-DUPER awesome...

So it is great to watch the constructive, thoughtful, well formed feedback
and discussion in these forum posts.

best wishes

Franz Maruna
frz replied on at Permalink Reply

I think in the big picture there's obviously a lot of design related
decisions we made about the dashboard in 5.5. Certainly usability is a mix
of art and science, and like all art - there's no accounting for taste.

What I can tell you is absolute:
It should be faster to get into the deeper parts of the dashboard you had
to get to before.
There should be a lot more consistency in design across parts of the
The whole system runs a lot faster.

Beyond that I fully expect people to love/hate the background image,
endlessly wonder why we made the X close the "window" so you could see it,
and debate how sensitive the dropdown/rollover behaviors should be. As
someone pointed out somewhere, that's polish.

If you hate the new UI, there is an add-on in the marketplace review that
brings back the wide side buttons of the old dash. I'm sure there will be
more stuff submitted that makes it easier to undo the decisions we've made,
and generally - reserving the rights we always do - we'll approve them.

Certainly I understand it's very much like someone switched the engine out
of your car while you were driving down the highway, but I think once you
get used to it you really will find its faster/better/stronger.

best wishes

Franz Maruna
jordanlev replied on at Permalink Reply
Ya know, I was a big hater on the "X" button just showing the background image... but I have to say it's really grown on me and I do it all the time now (seriously).

I don't think the "X" properly communicates this purpose though (because usually in Mac/Windows, you hit "X" to close a window but then the last window you had open "underneath" it is there again) -- I had no idea that's what it was for until you mentioned it specifically Franz.
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
That's awesome to hear Jordan.
Here's the absolute honest truth about the X in the dashboard.... For those who are interested in what life is like at our office...

Twitter bootstrap has an X in their overlay window treatment. We picked what we liked out of the bootstrap guidelines, using as much of it as we could, but dropping/adding bits as we needed. Once we had decided to use bootstrap, and we had good comps for the toolbars/pop-menu icons out of Robert (designer) it was easy to give Andy a lot of room to "just make it look awesome."

Andy has an english degree, is an accomplished musician, and while I've never seen any visual art he might have done, I respect his taste in all things a lot. So giving Andy room is generally a safe bet.

Even Da Vinci needed to get a second opinion from time to time, so I'd occasionally roll over to see how things looked every few days. One day Andy was showing me things as it was coming together and I noticed there was an X on the Properties window from the Edit Page UI, but no X on the dashboard pages.

"Hey your X is missing there" says I pointing at the awesome user search UI.

"Well there's no X there because it's not a window" says Andy.

"Looks just like a window, sans X, to me.." I responded..

"Yes, but you see this one is a page - and that ones a modal overlay." explained Andrew.

"Right, but my mom doesn't know what any of that means. If we have an X somewhere, we should have an X everywhere. Consistency and whatnot.." I offered.

"Yeah but what is that X going to even do? It's not a window, what am I going to take you back to the dashboard home, or to your site, or what? How are they going to get the window back???" replied Andy with growing annoyance.

"Just hide the content box and show the pretty picture. If you can, make it do a little effect to the breadcrumb side of the quicknav - like you pulled off with the bookmark. It will teach people in a subtle way what that quicknav does. They can click the page in the quicknav to get back." I nimbly replied.

Three days later Andy tells me...
"Ya know, I thought that was stupid, but you're right. I totally find myself clicking that X to look at the sunset when I'm getting angry at something I'm debugging."

And that's the story of the X. It wasn't a master-mind play, and it wasn't an accident. It, like most good things, is halfway in between and the result of honest and open communication between two people with different prospectives looking at the same problem.

All of that being said, if the X drives you nuts....
Just say no.

Don't click it. ;-P
TheRealSean replied on at Permalink Reply
Can we see the X added back to the tinymce now then please ;)

I did submit a few pull requests, but they probably need cleaning out as some of the bugs have been fixed and the others are cosmetic but I hate not being able to close the charmap/emote window without adding an icon
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
My content block does have an X in the corner and it works.
Whatcha talking about?

best wishes

Franz Maruna
markinspain replied on at Permalink Reply
Lets agree to disagree! Time will tell, but for me, this is not better in any way, as i see it! Never mind, everyone get's things wrong, even when convinced they are right, I mean, look at Microsoft's past efforts and mistakes! (and present). Love, peace and the best for the new year to all.
jrlas replied on at Permalink Reply
Hello guys,
I see it like markinspain. I really liked the old GUI and I hate it, when thig must always change. Alone in the last year Blender, Gnome 3, Concrete5, Googlemail and others have changed their GUI.

"If you hate the new UI, there is an add-on in the marketplace review that
brings back the wide side buttons of the old dash. I'm sure there will be
more stuff submitted that makes it easier to undo the decisions we've made,
and generally - reserving the rights we always do - we'll approve them."

Every add on is an extra security vulnerability and sometimes even costs extra money.

The best products like Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Corel Draw haven't changed for years. Also non software, for example the hoover Henry or cars like Porsche and Jaguar. Excuisite Products mostly don't change and that has a reason!
I grew up with them and know them blind. That is, what I like. Not have to learn everytime everything new. If you like a product and work with it every day, you grow to it and it is horrible, when suddenly everything is strange and not what it used to be.
It's a stupidness of the last years, that some mean, they always have to change things. Improve - yes! But not like in this case, to change the GUI.

That's, what I thing about the new GUI.

nige replied on at Permalink Reply
I confess I have only done an install of this and my initial reaction was just that. – "What no pictures?"

I don't like lots of mouse clicks (anyway I use a stylus) but I now see that you don't need to close the window but can just rollover and choose a new area and it is responsive.

It feels snappier and has a better feel, and yep the old interface was getting a little tired. So I'll definitely be looking at the positives. Looking at a big background pic could be very cool, can we change them??

Also ss I haven't used the upgrade in a real job environment it may be as vidall has said and be a lot better in the real world.

I'm not running anywhere and I'll definitely be using it when advised (stable version status) to do so.

melat0nin replied on at Permalink Reply
Yep you can change the images to something static (useful for whitelabelling - I don't think clients would 'get' why there are beaufitul images in the background of their site's Dashboard).

Read Andy's guide to white labelling over here:
Vivid replied on at Permalink Reply
I'm with you on this. I think 5.5 is a massive step forward, but all the simple things requires at least an extra mouse click and waiting for at least another page to load. I'm interested to how/if this improves.
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
Can you be more specific?

Here's an example:
I'm training someone.. I'm on some random page in the site and I realize
I've never made an account for them. Now I want to add them as a user.....

5.4 -
I click dashboard
Page load (takes forever because of that horrible graph)
I click Users
Page load
I click Add user
Fill out form

I start typing: <tab key> "add u"
hit enter
Fill out form.

I simply roll over dashboard and goto Add User immediately.

You've got 2 ways instead of 1.
One didn't involve a mouse at all (NO CLICKS!!!!)
The other was ONE CLICK instead of 3.

Both ways are /faster/ in 5.5

I'm afraid if we can't get pretty granular like this in our discussion then
it amounts to a whole lotta "cool story bro" to me.
If we do get granular, things tend to get better.


best wishes

Franz Maruna
Vivid replied on at Permalink Reply
Good call.

So main click-craze is making changes in the system settings. Which actually could probably be easily fixed.

In 2 clicks, i can get to dashboard->system settings and change most of what I want there.

While it only takes a hover and a click to get to system settings in 5.5, I have to click to get into each setting. If I click "site name" upon save, instead of taking me back to system settings to move-on to what I need to change next, it reloads the "site name", and I have to hover on something and click again on site settings, and click into what I need.

Ideally, in system settings, it'd be nice to display it's happy success message, but take you back to system settings. Or load the settings as an additional overlay, and upon save, success message and close?

Honestly, I've not used the search to its full potential and admit that once used to it, it'll probably help and save some time. However, it's not something I can expect a client to use. Simply because they're not going to be familiar with the terminology enough to know what to type.

EDIT (tacked on as a gripe but unrelated to the click issue): I've been making use of the sweet history page list, but one problem, is how often i move my mouse just a little too far, and rollover the dashboard, hiding the history, and it takes a while for it to go away. Shouldn't the dashboard dropdown go away unless I'm hovering over the dashboard button or the dashboard dropdown, rather than waiting a few seconds or me to click something?
jrlas replied on at Permalink Reply

in 5.4 were editing separated from dashboard, but both were matching together fine. I for myself liked the small icons, it helped me to find easier and faster, what I needed. I could lay back in my seat and see from the distance everything. All these thing made me choose concrete5.

In 5.5 the editing looked very different from the dashboard, as it would be two different programms or made from two different designer.
If you like to do without icons, why than these horrible looking icons in the editing?
The dashboard drop down look to delicate for me.
I think that newbies and my customers will have problems to use it.
I can not agree, that the drop down would be faster.

In 5.4 the editing and dashboard were separate, however they builded a unity. Now, the editing and dashboard are together but I can see no unity in them. They are like fire and water to me.

Thank you for the fly this morning in the 5.5 dashboard :-)
The background what load per Java from your library is definetely not everybodys like.

What I wanted to say is, that English is not my native language. Therefore, if I can not explain everything so nicely here, I would like to apologize.

The title of this thread was "First look at new concrete 5.5"
That means to me, that I say, what is my first opinion, when I see the new design. How it looks and feels to me.
Anyway, even my second look tell me nothing different :-))

And last but not least. It is much to much Java in 5.5

Best wishes
TheRealSean replied on at Permalink Reply
I hate that hover fires instantly it still bugs me with this site and badges,

I really think HoverIntent could be used on both to help here, those millisecond delays really help
andrew replied on at Permalink Reply
That's cool. I'd not ever seen that jQuery plugin. I may investigate this with 5.5.1. We are looking into other ways to make the dashboard and edit dropdowns a little less "blinky" and that may help. Thanks for the tip.
Vivid replied on at Permalink Reply
Meh, I'd hate having to wait any longer than I have to in order to move my mouse onto the dropdown area.

@andrew - could always do a quick fade in, but I'd investigate some ways to get out of the hover easier, especially for those who accidentally hovered on the dashboard and have to wait for it to go away to get to the history..
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
I'm with ya on that. There's a blinkyness to the hover on these things that
I find tedious. You'll see that tweaked one way or another in the big

best wishes

Franz Maruna
andrew replied on at Permalink Reply
To anyone interested in this, I've just tweaked the interaction with the toolbar (and used the hoverintent plugin to do part of that.)

It's just a tiny bit less sensitive
Clicking the edit button no longer closes the slidedown
Accidentally mis-clicking a link in the dashboard slidedown no longer closes the dashboard slidedown
Mousing over the quick nav specifically will close the dashboard and intelligent search results.

Items that could be accidentally hit use hover intent to slightly delay the reaction, while items that are less likely to accidentally be hit (the edit menu, for example, and the quick nav) respond instantly as well.

These changes have just been checked into github. The delay is very slight but makes a noticeable difference, especially to those with high mouse sensitivities.
baryongroup replied on at Permalink Reply
I really like the quick-nav feature in 5.5, but I have a project that I really need to disable the quick-nav all together. Is there any easy way to do this?
Vivid replied on at Permalink Reply
You can hide the dashboard button simply by setting up a usergroup that doesn't have permission to view the dashboard/admin pages.

Go to the sitemap, under options, hit "show system pages". set the "permissions" for "dashboard". And make sure the usergroup you created doesn't have access.
jordanlev replied on at Permalink Reply
+1 to MichaelG's suggestion about the system settings -- I think once you save one of those it should bring you back to the main system settings page.
JasonStone replied on at Permalink Reply
Reason number 1 why we choose concrete5 for our projects is the ease of use for our clients. The new look and feel is confusing.

Everybody liked the old dashboard with the clear structure. You could find everything immediately. The first reactions by us intern on the new version was very bad towards the new look&feel to be honest.

For us it's a step backwards and we hope that it wont stay like this but will be changed again in the next version.

We still use the last version for now and not 5.5.0.

Some more details what's disturbing us:
> I go and open the system link and open the wrong page or want to browse some pages... that takes a lot longer as I need to re-open the system link again.

> The "Help" button is gone

> I move around on a page close to the toolbar and everywhere pops stuff up, like the dashboard menu that stays for like 5 seconds after youre mouse left the menu. And the strange "favorite" mini toolbar or whatever that is. Does not stay so long open, but is still annoying.

> I want to edit a page and need 2 instead of one click like before and I still click all the time on "Edit" just to realize that another popup shows up and I need to make another click.

> Generally everything takes longer. Yes you can directly access all menus (except system), but now I need to move the mouse up the screen, down the screen, left the screen, right the screen. Everything was more compact before and I think the waiting time is longer for certain elements or there pops first a popup up where I just could click before and can now not anymore (like edit page)

> If I activate the maintenance mode, then it does not recognize me as logged in admin and I need to navigate directly trough the URL (e.g )

> With a vertical resolution of 1080px I still have to scroll in the dashboards system menu. That's annoying. The same on multiple other menus.

> The "customize toolbar" link in the content block above tinyMCE does not work

> Deleting a page seems not to work? I get the waiting circle and nothing else happens.

Think that's it for a starter. In short it's just not as intuitive as the old concrete5.

I agree to Jrlas on this one. I still think that the new Microsoft Office layout is a pain to use and I skipped Skype when they decided to make everything more shiny and complex. Photoshop was good and stays good. Wish the same for concrete.

To say some positive things too: I like most changes I see except the ones connected to the changed GUI and concrete5 is still the very best CMS out there! And I cannot say it often enough, I really thank you guys for creating this masterpiece of a content management system!
jrlas replied on at Permalink Reply
@ JasonStone
I will not use the new version, but I also will not use the 5.4 either, because it is not more developed and so it will be soon not more safe.
For me, these change was much to much. Better to pay for a cms 300,- than to have things working like here now. I was happy with concrete5, but that has changed now. And it is useless, to disguess thing here, because they always thing, they are untouchable and the only right.
Just two weeks ago, I spend 60,- at the marketplace and wanted to buy more.
Wish you the best.
I say good bye.

Vidall replied on at Permalink Reply

I would like to address some of the things you have said:

"> I go and open the system link and open the wrong page or want to browse some pages... that takes a lot longer as I need to re-open the system link again."

If this happens and you accidentally open the wrong page, hover over the edit bar at the bottom and a drop down breadcrumb nav appears, click on the previous page and your there, no more steps than 5.4.

"> The "Help" button is gone"

There is a help button on almost every window that opens, if anything there are more help buttons.

"> I move around on a page close to the toolbar and everywhere pops stuff up, like the dashboard menu that stays for like 5 seconds after youre mouse left the menu. And the strange "favorite" mini toolbar or whatever that is. Does not stay so long open, but is still annoying. "

this is your Personal opinion, I like the new pop up behavior and the mini fave bar its a massive time saver if you are in and out of the same pages a lot.

"> I want to edit a page and need 2 instead of one click like before and I still click all the time on "Edit" just to realize that another popup shows up and I need to make another click."

You dont need to click the edit button it activates a pop up, so no more clicks there.

"> Generally everything takes longer. Yes you can directly access all menus (except system), but now I need to move the mouse up the screen, down the screen, left the screen, right the screen. Everything was more compact before and I think the waiting time is longer for certain elements or there pops first a popup up where I just could click before and can now not anymore (like edit page)"

personally I cant see anything that takes longer, once you get use to the fact that some things now activate on hover it cuts down the time you spend navigating.

I think if you invest some time just navigating and scoping out where everything is you will realize its still Concrete5, its still the same beast underneath, and when you get use to its no more difficult to use than before. I could not comment on your other points because I have not encountered those problems myself.


"Mixed moods on this it seems and I feel many do not like this new update at all! Maybe you need to check the overall view of the people, put up a Demo of 5.5 so that everyone can try it, without the need to install it. I am guessing the general concensus will be that people will not like it! "

This more or less is what has been done, the 5.5 release is labeled as the latest release while is labeled as the latest stable version, this means that Franz and Andrew, and the other core contributors are taking on board the opinions of others, and we are likely to see numerous updates through the year, will it change radically? will it revert back to the C5 of old, no, of course it wont, too much time and effort has been expended, but it will be refined from where it is now.

"This is a BIG shame, I am all for development, but to ruin the simple UI that made concrete5 - concrete5, is lunacy! This was one of the best CMS solutions ever and mainly due to the UI that you now want to ruin! I don't care about the views of the Geeks, who like tinkering around with things, I care about the client and end user, this new update sucks, trust me! "

Horses for courses really, I have put 3 of my clients over to 5.5 spent about an hour training them in total and not one of them has any problems with it, in fact rather the opposite the comments have been positive and a preference towards the new UI has been show by all 3, and I expect the reception to be similar to what I have already experienced with the rest of my clients. "this update sucks, trust me" in your opinion it does, if you spent some time with 5.5 you would realize that in fact not as much has changed as you think it has, you are talking like its a complete change of everything C5 does and is, its not, its a step on the evolutionary ladder in functionality and an overhaul of a tired interface design, thats all, C5 still does in context editing, still has everything 5.4 etc had just slightly differing processes for getting to them, wrapped in an infinitely more attractive package.

You seem to be making an assumption that only "Geeks" are going to like 5.5 because its somehow morphed into this complicated confusing tool that nobody in their right mind will understand, when in fact its still C5, same as it ever was. You have also made an assumption based on your own dislike, that everyone hates it, well apart from a handfull of people on this thread and 1 or 2 other threads the response has been very positive.

As with all things that people are familiar with, there will always be a small number who are resistant to change, as they feel comfortable with what went before, but I do think it is crossing the line to publicly trash a lot of hard work by some very dedicated people, who give away their product for free, based on a knee jerk reaction, and to use comments like "It sucks" or "Its rubbish" is pointless when you obviously have spent no time at all familiarizing yourself with the new layout, because if you had, you would know that everything still functions the same or better than it once did.
JasonStone replied on at Permalink Reply
Hope this works, wanted to reply to Vidall, but the button looks broken for me.

See, I can get everywhere around. But the first view and look and feel is what counts. And in the old System the main navigation was very very intuitive.
So when everything in concrete5 was completely new it was "yaaaay" and now that everything is again new it's "ohhhh".

Certain things stop or slow you down.

Some things are specific to our needs. We linked the help button for example to the german wiki about concrete and our phone / help form to give customers a simple way to overcome being stuck. It was a central point to click and get help.

This "mini" Help is just not as good.

Of course this are all my personal (and co-workers) opinion. That's what the thread is all about.

It will probably in the coming weeks sit together with customers or new customers and I'm very interested to see their reactions. We were able to sell good old concrete5 very good because everyone loved how simple it is.

In the end, it's their opinion that counts. If you work everyday with concrete5 then it's not such a big deal, but many customers of us don't and wanna have it as simple as possible.
Vidall replied on at Permalink Reply
Hi JasonStone, thanks for your reply, I appreciate that certain things will be customer specific and if they are not happy its you that will catch the flack. I think its mainly an education issue, just getting use to where everything now lives, and some of the new functionality will take a bit of getting use to, and I can totally see that looking at 5.5 for the first time coming from 5.4 you are going to say "Wooah whats going on here then!" I just think people need to give it a chance and when they do will see its not as radical a change as it appears.

On a side note, your specific requirements for the "help" button can probably be recreated, I know a lot more has been done for white labeling, so it may be you end up with more functionality on this front.
markinspain replied on at Permalink Reply
Mixed moods on this it seems and I feel many do not like this new update at all! Maybe you need to check the overall view of the people, put up a Demo of 5.5 so that everyone can try it, without the need to install it. I am guessing the general concensus will be that people will not like it!

This is a BIG shame, I am all for development, but to ruin the simple UI that made concrete5 - concrete5, is lunacy! This was one of the best CMS solutions ever and mainly due to the UI that you now want to ruin! I don't care about the views of the Geeks, who like tinkering around with things, I care about the client and end user, this new update sucks, trust me!

Go back to the OLD UI and develop around it, we don't need add on's in order to get back the look and feel we already had. Maybe make an add on that changes it from the OLD look to the New, you might sell one or two in the marketplace... LOL
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
Guys I'm happy to discuss features in detail. I'd rather not let this
conversation slide into a "you don't listen to anyone" rant, because that
is simply not the case. This has been available since october of last year
in Alpha and Beta versions anyone could get out of GITHUB. We've discussed
the design and how it works on our weekly video show endlessly. I totally
get that everyone may not like change, but let's not bend reality to our

The old dashboard was NOT a master design from our end. It was an
afterthought with the vast majority of our efforts going into the front end
in-context editing. We had heard from a lot of people that the dashboard
DID need a redesign, and we agreed. We had watched a lot of site owners
struggle finding things in the old dashboard, many important features were
buried quite deep. We had watched site owners be very intimidated by the
settings pages that had a dozen completely unrelated boxes of things you
could tweak. We didn't just wake up one morning and decide to make "ugly
icons," we (and a great many members of this community) worked quite hard
on it, quite openly, for quite a while.

Again, I'm not trying to start a political argument here. I totally
recognize anyone's right to complain. I also understand there's a language
barrier, and change is always difficult. I just don't know what anyone
could expect us to do with some of these posts, and I reject the idea that
"listening" means "doing whatever the next person tells you without thought
or question."

So that being said.

A lot of the concern from people seems to center around the systems and
settings stuff. I think this bears a little discussion.

This used to be one or two big overwhelming pages we just dumped everything
in. There's no rhyme or reason for favicon being on the same page as cache
settings, and a lot of site owners who are worried they might accidentally
break their site find that rather intimidating.

Now we've got a standalone page for each important type of setting. That
affords us the opportunity to write nice tooltips explaining what they do,
as well as keep the design & content not overwhelming. Moreover, with
intelligent search, a site owner might do something like type "bookmark
icon" and because of the way the keywords work, they'll actually get to
that favicon page. That's huge.

The other thing I'd like to point out on this completely valid concern is
real process. When you build a website for someone, you generally need to
do a complete pass on all the settings after install, once. Then you might
have to change this one or that one, but the idea that you need to see ALL
the settings on one page more than once seems off to me. I think if you
look at the whole lifecycle of a website, you'd find it's much more common
for someone to change one setting quickly than it is to change everything
at once. Unfortunately, when you look at how a developer tests a new
system, the first thing they're gonna do is goto settings and look for
everything they can change. I think it's unfortunate that a change we made
to make things easier, is going to come off at a casual glance as a real
annoyance to developers. I honestly believe that once you get a site
configured properly things will be a lot smoother for both groups. It has
been for us on all the sites we run, and many others have agreed.

Just wanted to share some real content on how some of these decisions came

best wishes

Franz Maruna
pvernaglia replied on at Permalink Reply
I think you still need to consider 5.5.0 as a beta. There are lots of comments and recommendations being made and the C5 guys are being very responsive and have made many changes during the development of 5.5 based on peoples suggestions.

I learned along time ago, don't be the first guy to run out and install the new software. I have three installations of 5.5.0 that I am using for testing Add Ons and experimenting and learning my around all the new stuff. Yes, there are some things I don't like about 5.5 and a lot more I do like.

I would recommend before you go an update and existing site to 5.5.0 that you install a test site, make sure all your themes and add ons work correctly and get use to the new interface.

As for my existing clients I see no need to rush in and upgrade them to 5.5. Their sites are running well and they know how to use them. I won't recommend developing any new sites with 5.5 until the download page says 5.5.x is the Stable Version of Concrete5.

Something else I just started noticing, now that I have been playing with 5.5.0 for a couple weeks, when I get on to a 5.4 site, it's dang! where's the drop down menu when I hover, where are my favorites in the tool bar... Change is good and I'm anxious to see what 5.5.1 looks like.

TheRealSean replied on at Permalink Reply

or if you dont want to set one up just register here and play
or login

markinspain replied on at Permalink Reply
Never the less my opinion is it's still terrible. At least give people the option of which UI they can use, or I feel you are about to undo all the good work you have done. It's simple really, keep it how it was, or loose a lot of interest! Why not put a vote up on it, to see the real opinion, before you just carry on regardless!
stevesmileyrgd replied on at Permalink Reply
Hi All

I honestly don't overly mind the revised interface. Still I prefer the 5.4.2 version as I'm just used to it.

The biggest issue I'm facing is lack of add-on support. I installed 5.5 for a new site, got the site set up only to find that a lot of basic add-ons aren't compatible with it! I use Galleria Image on a lot my client sites and can't use it with 5.5. I'm terribly frustrated now and scrambling to find a suitable alternate as I don't have to time to pull the site down and install 5.4.2

I do think a some kind of warning that this issue was possible is warranted (I didn't see one..)

frz replied on at Permalink Reply
Where did you get the update from?

best wishes

Franz Maruna
stevesmileyrgd replied on at Permalink Reply
Downloaded 5.5 from the downloads section. Installed it as usual and now going back the page, I now see the "NOTE" on the add-ons. My bad.
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
Yeah the pain around getting these add-ons updated is being felt by
everyone. My apologies for not having a better way to get this stuff all

best wishes

Franz Maruna
Mnkras replied on at Permalink Reply
Also the Galleria addon is in need of serious repair, it hasn't worked correctly for the past several versions of c5.
DBKG replied on at Permalink Reply
I have just started working with 5.5, so I don't have a whole lot of specific suggestions to add at this point. (I know, then why am I posting? Because I can.) I would reinforce what a couple of the previous posters have already said.

This is a major upgrade, and as with any major upgrade, be cautious. Don't upgrade live sites until you have throughly tested themes and add-ons on a test site to make sure they are compatible. My clients will swim happily along with 5.4 until I can be assured that their sites will upgrade to 5.5 without problems.

I agree with MichaelG that it would be nice not to have to restart the process of making changes to various system settings, as I find I sometimes have more than one thing to do there. A minor issue. I'm sure I will find others.

I don't know if adding icons to the drop-downs would get too busy visually. I think they would help with quick-glance navigation and also serve to differentiate concrete5's bootstrap implementation from others, while retaining its familiarity.

I may have missed this, but is there a regularly-updated master list of themes/add-ons that have been tested and approved for 5.5? That would be helpful to people who are considering upgrading between now and that golden morning when everything will just work.

On a more philosophical note, change is inevitable when there is forward movement. It wasn't that long ago that I had to learn/re-learn some things going from OS 9 (Classic!) to OS X. (Application menu items under the Apple icon, anyone?) And it also wasn't that long ago that Adobe integrated their bright and shiny new Macromedia products, and then went and changed all the keyboard shortcuts to be consistent across their CS lineup. Whether you like those changes is another matter. Go back to OS 9? No thank you. Go back to previous versions of Photoshop or Illustrator (or Freehand 8)? Maybe.

Change is inherently stressful, and I fully understand that some people might not like the fundamental changes made in 5.5. That said, change is inevitable if you want to continue to move forward. The tech industry is littered with the carcasses of businesses that refused to evolve. My first impression of 5.5 versus 5.4 is that I still prefer 5.4. But I understand that view is clouded by my familiarity with 5.4 and relative unfamiliarity with 5.5. Six months down the road, I suspect that 5.5 will feel as natural as 5.4 does today, and that 5.4 will feel like an old sweater I used to wear a lot. Well, you know, not literally...
nige replied on at Permalink Reply
Yup I second that, and I'm sorry for the can of worms ;-)

DBKG replied on at Permalink Reply
I don't think it's a can of worms. In fact, I think it is useful to have a healthy dialog with different views, so thanks for the thread. I wouldn't have thought I would miss the dashboard, since it took me a while to figure out initially, and on some levels it never quite made sense. I do miss it in 5.5, though I suspect that sentiment will likely disappear the more I work in 5.5.
nige replied on at Permalink Reply
Yeah it's definitely a necessary discussion and I only kicked it off as I couldn't find any first impression views of 5.5 anywhere on the forums. I was a bit surprised by that so I started one up. Its only a can of worms because it shows how passionate users are of C5 and the things they like about it, or not. lol

What the upgrade does show though, is how committed the C5 team are at sustaining and upgrading a great CMS, so a big thank you to all the team for that continuing enthusiasm for their brand.

I'm sure everything will be cool and people will enjoy using the new system and yeah I bet it does get refined but all good apps do.

AND theres already been some very good suggestions...

gour replied on at Permalink Reply
I was testing beta and the 5.5. seemed quite interesting...

Otoh, I must say that I also really like 5.4.x and sometimes was missing the old UI 'friend'.

However, seeing how much effort is put into development by C5 folks, main thing for me is that one can put trust that C5 will stay around for some time and that's why we are becoming interested to learn more about C5's internals, iow, to dive into dev-water.

From that perspective we are curious how much did the development for 5.5. changed from 5.4.x and whether we can still make good use of C5 book?

Finally let me share with you: for quite some time we were interested to do web sites with Python...starting with Django and then playing a bit with web2py.

However, since web development is not our bread-and-butter, we decided that our time is better utilized by staying with C5, buying some add-ons we need and learn more how to write some PHP code to make the best from them.

jordanlev replied on at Permalink Reply
To answer your question about how much the dev side has changed... not much really. I think this raises a good point about this whole discussion -- the major change was only to the dashbaord, not the in-context editing (front-end) side of C5. Yes, the toolbar looks different, but the functionality is all the same (you just have a button in a different place with a different look).

As for internals (and pretty much everything in Remo's C5 book), that's all the same. The only difference on that end of things is the scrapbooks -- now there are "stacks" instead of scrapbooks, and stacks are a *much* better solution because they are more consistent with the rest of C5 and let you do things you couldn't do before -- like designate a "global area" where users can edit one set of content and have that apply across many pages of the site. In the past you could only do this with individual blocks, not entire areas, which means now in addition to "global edits", you also can move the order of blocks around and have that new order apply to across the site automatically as well. This is a huge win in my experience.

The only loss of functionality that I'm aware of is using named blocks in the scrapbook, where you can designate one "global block" and then in your theme page type templates you can output that one block (using Block::getByName('my block name')), which was very handy for things that are always the same across every page and rarely change -- like the copyright info and tertiary nav menus in the footer. However, this limitation is being addressed for 5.5.1 (another community member and myself have submitted the patch, and Andrew has said he'll be including it) -- so after that I don't think there is a single thing on the development end that will be changed from 5.4.2.

12345j replied on at Permalink Reply
another dev thing that has been added is the anti spam and captcha library. You can make packages to install things like recaptcha and akismet.
gour replied on at Permalink Reply
> You can make packages to install things like recaptcha and akismet.

I was reading (before release) about it, but wonder how to e.g. use Akismet with C5?
12345j replied on at Permalink Reply
they're just packages, so drop them in root/packages and then go to dashboard->install
gour replied on at Permalink Reply
Thank you very much. I wasn't aware of them. ;)
gour replied on at Permalink Reply
> To answer your question about how much the dev side has changed... not much really.


> I think this raises a good point about this whole discussion -- the major change was only to the dashbaord, not the in-context editing (front-end) side of C5.

This sounds very good for developers.

> As for internals (and pretty much everything in Remo's C5 book), that's all the same.


I felt sorry for not taking advantage of Remo's book earlier, but it's good to know that "it's never too late" :-)

> The only difference on that end of things is the scrapbooks -- now there are "stacks" instead of scrapbooks, and stacks are a *much* better solution because they are more consistent with the rest of C5 and let you do things you couldn't do before -- like designate a "global area" where users can edit one set of content and have that apply across many pages of the site.

Yeah, I watched some of those random-videos about it.

> However, this limitation is being addressed for 5.5.1 (another community member and myself have submitted the patch, and Andrew has said he'll be including it) -- so after that I don't think there is a single thing on the development end that will be changed from 5.4.2.

Thanks a lot for being bearer of the good news. ;)
EZblue replied on at Permalink Reply
I agree it is not a can of worms. Some of us have invested lots of time and money into this cms. We want to see it move forward and get better. however, I am sorry but the time that was invested in this new interface should have been better put to improve the core and bug fixes. This is a classic mistake of fixing something that was not broken. See what happened to Ubuntu Linux when they changed the interface everyone moved to mint Linux. Now Ubuntu is changing the UI again. May be there is a good lessons there.
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
The fact of the matter is lots of people DID have issues with the old
UI, so we made a new one based on the leading UI standard out there. I
recognize it's different. I recognize that change is hard. I
understand that there was something dramatically uninspired and poorly
planned about the old dashboard UI (inverted hockey stick nav) that
people may have grown used to. Pulling the rug out is always hard, so
I apologize if our complete overhaul of an organically designed UI
that was slowly succumbing to entropy has struck you as a waste of

I don't think any reasonable person can look at the mess that was the
settings page in 5.4.2 and say it makes more sense than what we've
done with 5.5. Why should I be faced with information about cache
settings when I just want to add a google tracking code? Why is there
no way for a developer to add any help text anywhere? Now we have
solved those problems, and many more.

I'm happy to admit that our solution might be improved in any number
of ways. I'm happy to engage in a thoughtful discussion about those
details. Those are productive conversations and lead to improvements.
For example, the DAY OF 5.5.1 being released a dashboard landing page
was introduced to offer a way to see the whole lay of the land from a
single click. Going into edit mode with a single click was re-added
after much thoughtful debate as the bell sounded as well. Both of
those features came about because of posts to this and other threads
with detailed comments and thoughts, use cases and examples, etc.

I reject the idea that dropdowns are intimidating. Our entire CMS is a
pile of javascript overlays modals and hover events. The last UI used
big drop downs for all of the page details when you put a page in edit
mode. Everyone loved it then.

You'll have to forgive me if you sense a tone of annoyance at this
point. You mention time involved. I agree, some of us have indeed
invested lots of time and money into this CMS. With 5.5.1 being out
all of 2 days it's really difficult for me to believe the nay-sayers
have spent enough time to form a particularly well founded view. Just
to be transparent, at our office it's hard for us to not feel like
many of the gripes in threads like this feel an awful lot like the
cries of people on facebook who constantly hate at any interface
change - only to love the same feature 5 months later when they're
riling at the next change.

I am eager to hear feedback from everyone. Please feel free to tell us
what could be better and why. If you need a place to vent, that's cool
go ahead and feel free to just gripe about how we should learn some
lessons and have dropped the ball. Just don't expect me to give you
much of a response to the latter, and expect me to bend over backwards
bringing up real issues raised in the former in more design
discussions around the office.

best wishes

Franz Maruna
marcsublet replied on at Permalink Reply
Hi folks,

I really like C5 - it's the CMS I work with since 2 years now.
I have played a little with the new dashboard and I am posting my concerns about it. First thing to say: it's… different at the first look but very similar when you play a little with it. One sure thing is that a lot of polish work is needed to have a good and efficient tool (as good as the previous version or better!).

An annoying example: try to add some pages to the favorites (no possibility to organize them, first created is first in the list). If you are not really (really really) precise with your mouse when you want to select one item you fall on the "Edit" button -> the popup opens. There isn't a "close" button and you need to go out with you mouse to close the window. I have read the same comment about the same behavior with the breadcrumb VS the dashboard icon. Frustrating, no?

It was very useful to have the "site map" and "file manager" buttons in the toolbar since they were opening in the same window (especially for the File Manager since you could add/manage files from everywhere on the website without editing a page/block -> for example for Fancybox Gallery Module images/sets management)

In the Edit popup it will be better to have the edit button at the top of box and put the version/infos below (since the blue pill for the version seems to be clickable) -> better hierarchy of the information/action.

It's also less efficient to switch between the links of sub categories (properties, versions, design): before 1 click, now you have to close the current popup and go back to the edit menu to choose the new item. The old version with the "ribbon" was a lot more ergonomic. Perhaps it will be good to have the same type of menu as the dashboard pages (with little arrow) or icons toolbar on every popup or … ? other way to have shortcuts to the items.


Globally one thing is very worse for me: the fact the items (sub-categories in edit menu, dashboard menu, favorites, same level pages for dashboard sections, etc.) need to be *called* or searched: you have to remember where to find the item or its name for the search, going through a button to display a menu instead of always seeing them displayed. In the past releases the relevant items were simple to view/find/click.

The strongest C5 feature is the fact it's easy for beginners or people with small technologic knowledge. It's our CMS of choice for our customers for this main reason. For me the new C5 add nice features (trash bin for deleted pages, global zones, speed, etc.) in a developer point-of-view but the new UI is fancy but not easy for final user (=the people who pay for a website development). Remember "Form follows function". C5 5.5 is less intuitive for my customers and this is annoying…

I really hope that C5 will fix these issues really fast!

marcsublet replied on at Permalink Reply
An another important thing for me is the fact the current page is not highlighted in the dashboard box. You have to search for it through all the items (if you go to the dashboard icon to switch the page - there is no problem if you use the little arrow to switch the page but if you have 2 two possibilities that's more a question of choice). It could be a good thing to make it active (bold, color, light background, etc.) to be more efficient.
Globally, it's not easy to remember where you are in the dashboard in one eye blink because everything is *hidden* behind a rollover item.
Ale replied on at Permalink Reply
nostoom wrote:
> Globally, it's not easy to remember where you are in the
> dashboard in one eye blink because everything is *hidden*
> behind a rollover item.

This is definately my concern number 1 of the new UI. For anyone who has build a site with C5 the desired pages are easy to find, but for end user it may be challenging.

While I usually like and use hover menus, usability-wise it might be too much to have a lot of things hovering on screen. I mean that with just a little mouse movement there are lots of menus popping up at the same time (eg. dashboard, blue sub-menu and dialog triangle icon menu). The blue sub-menu is maybe the most distracting in my opinion, as it pops up practically every time when moving the cursor from top edit bar to page content. Is the hoverIntent.js going to fix this one? Or could there be some better place for favorites? Maybe an expanding div on the side of the browser that could be "locked to open position" if desired?

Anyway, good luck for Core team trying to gather the best ideas together and develop the UI further.
pvernaglia replied on at Permalink Reply
I think the blue sub menu should always be visible. The favorites and breadcrumb are really handy, I don't see why it should fade in and out.
andrew replied on at Permalink Reply
Dashboard > System & Settings > Interface Preferences

Set the quick nav to alway be visible.
jakubt replied on at Permalink Reply
I think there should be an option:

"Always visible when in Dashboard" or sometnig like this.

I like the UI be as siplistic as possible while in frontend editing, but would really appreciate the menu to stay on while in Danhboard. Maybe tere should even be separate settings for Dashboard and Frontend editing so people can customise the menu to their liking.
markinspain replied on at Permalink Reply
Yeah we know you have not changes the core much blahh blahhh blahhh, just the UI, but it was the UI that was perfect for its purpose before and is now far far from it. Why people think a new look makes everything better, i have no idea! This should have been just like any regular update, a few fixes, tweaks etc. Instead, a dam good CMS has been spoiled by someone more interested in trying to make things look pretty, than simply improving functionality of what already works perfectly.

I understand reverting back would be a lot of wasted time and energy, but, it's better than a lot of lost interest! I love concrete5 but this is a big blow to me, if it turns out this way. I have many clients already trained in using the old dashboard, so unless they never update, which, of course, is going to be required in time, then It will cost me money to train them into using a completely new UI, I am sorry to say, as for some, even minor change can be a big confusion!

Before you make drastic changes to the CMS like this, you should first consider all the websites already created with it and the complications this will cause to some of those people, when they eventually need to upgrade, not just whether you like the new look or not! This CMS is not just your Baby, it is used as a work tool for businesses and for some, a livelyhood.

If you wish to change the CMS in such a full on way, then I suggest you also continue to offer updates for those that prefer to Keep the old interface, not just force people to eventually change to the new one.

Have you ever noticed how Windows has undergone many changes, but still has a similar interface than way back to win 95. Why? Because to change the whole UI in one go, would create massive confusion with Windows users. Even if, at the end of the day the core functions remained the same! Gradual change is great, but a big change, like this one on Concrete5, Is not!

As I suggested, post a Vote on the home page, see what people really think as a whole, I am sure that will provide a better picture.

Happy New Year everyone, I hope it's a good one for all.
diabolodesign replied on at Permalink Reply
I think you overreact!
We are never happy when something we know is changing but after the first chills down the spine we have to stay objective.
C5.5 has good ideas but some points need rework… the goal of an open-source community (read: us) is to give the good impulses to put the project in the good path.
I am sure the complaints will be read, understood and addressed in a way the majority of the users will be happy with the new UI - which isn't the case right now.
I think the C5 core team does a marvelous job but sometimes a little more self-criticism would be welcome from my point of view.
abovecreative replied on at Permalink Reply 1 Attachment
I think people just need to give it more time, I actually love the new look and the more I have a play around with it the better it becomes. I know this isn't going to happen but I do think it would benefit from a dashboard you see when you first login which includes the main areas I feel a client would like to see.
I have thrown together and attached a quick PS mockup to show this.
DBKG replied on at Permalink Reply
For an end-user, particularly someone who is not tech-savvy, something like this would likely be a big help.

Some clients simply have a comfort level "knowing" that there is a "physical" dashboard somewhere they can access. From the training I have done with clients in 5.4, some (though not all) seem to really need (or maybe just like) a set destination to perform certain tasks. ("...Oh, so this is where I go to do this....")

It's purely psychological, of course, but the more ephemeral drop-downs are probably going to be a bit more intimidating to some. That means more training. If the client can pay for it, great, more billable hours. If not, then it could be a challenge for some. So an optional dashboard like this would likely have merit, while still being able to move the overall UI process forward.
melat0nin replied on at Permalink Reply
You can do that - the welcome screen is fully customisable.

Look at Andrew's whitelabelling Howto, under Dashboard Customisation:
abovecreative replied on at Permalink Reply
Great stuff, didn't know that. I guess as time goes on more blocks will be added or made available in the market place as the only ones I can see are geared towards News etc. Would be good if there were dashboard blocks for sitemap, statistics, forms etc and also if there was the ability to easily change the number or columns and rows.
tallacman replied on at Permalink Reply
It grows on you. Kinda like a new girlfriend.
fastcrash replied on at Permalink Reply
wow! tallacman, do you have a new girlfriend? despite your pp looks xute :)
doctypedesigner replied on at Permalink Reply
I personally enjoy the new interface. Will not start using it for professional work until it goes stable but kudos to the dev team and keep it up. What we really should do instead of badgering the new version is welcome it and help make it better. Very Apple-like in its design and functionality and excited to see this go further.

In my experience, I think client's would love this and think they got more bang for their buck on the level of professionalism 5.5 presents. Less clicking is better, what's the big deal about hovering over things?

I think I'll try it out for my personal portfolio site and see how it goes.
marcsublet replied on at Permalink Reply
Less clicking is better, what's the big deal about hovering over things?

Number of clicks is one parameter but not the only one. The time used to do an operation is also important.

For example, it was faster to change multiple Pages parameters (design, version, attributes, etc.) in the versions prior to C5.5. If you have to change settings on a lot of pages it could be very fastidious since you have to close the modal window and go back to the menu to open a new dialog box.

But I like the fact you have no need to enter the edit mode to change Properties.
ZeusExMachina replied on at Permalink Reply
As a general rule, I am resistant to change, and I'm skeptical of anything changing that I think works decently already. However, I also recognize that you're either growing or dying, so change is inevitable. After using 5.5 for a while, I definitely like the new interface. It's easier to get things done overall, and it's much faster to get to deeper levels.

I understand that some clients who are particularly not tech-savvy may have difficulty adapting to any kind of change, but to expect stagnation in order to cater to a few is unreasonable. I might use the "old UI" addon for some existing clients (if I can find it) but I expect to create future sites using stock 5.5.

It seems that the theory that "most people don't like" the new version is coming from reading a few posts in a few discussions, not from a broad view. Just from what I've seen there's more positive than negative feedback. And I'm counting "I love it, just a couple issues" as positive, because a complete overhaul will always need some refining, and those people aren't suggesting go back to the old interface.

Being able to modify Newsflow 1 is the most awesome thing ever. Only thing I might change is add an edit button so you don't have to search for it, as long as you can decide which users can and can't change it. And of course it would be nice to have a few more blocks available out of the box. As a core block or an add-on, it would be nice to see the full dashboard menu on the home screen, and I think I'll personally link my dashboard button to go there if clicked, so I don't have to click "News."

For the blue fav/history bar, I could see something like a "sticky" toggle button being very useful. Then people who want to see it all the time can, and one could change back and forth easily. Of course this could be custom built, but I think it's simple and useful enough to be core.

The one and only real problem I have is that if I'm browsing the site (as opposed to being in the dashboard) the popup menus seem to stay open only for a few seconds. Though that's certainly not a deal-breaker, and someone mentioned that some tweaks are coming to the hover/popup portion of the UI.
webporter replied on at Permalink Reply
Did you guys do user testing, with end users. That is, not technical users, but lay people in businesses.

The reason we chose C5 for using on sites we build, is because it wasn't clunky like other interfaces, was straight forward, structured and simple.

Now, the interface is a bit all over the place. The most basic function (Edit page), while easy to find, is cluttered by the other things. And the backend admin now interferes with the frontend.

Lay people don't like to be boggled with being able to access everything. Infact, many don't want to access everything. It will freak them out. Hence, the interface is now very bulky and clunky, lacking a more structured interface approach with prior versions.

The backend admin, should really stay a backend admin. Don't try to bring it to the frontend and out into the open. The beauty of C5 was the fact the frontend editing was so simplicistic. If you wanted more flexible, higher level administration then you'd go the backend. Now you're merging the two together...

Oh well. I do like the intelligent search, but it would be great if the option to select the older display interface over the newer was there. I don't see why this option would not be offered. Google do this with the Gmail, which allows users to experience the benefits of both and progressively get use to the newer.

Anyway, just adding my own feedback.
andrewdrake replied on at Permalink Reply
I'm also rather disappointed with the new version. It was so easy to train clients with concrete5, now it is just that little bit harder. This means more phone calls and emails from clients asking how to do something.

In my opinion the new verion is great for developers, but much worse for end users (site editors, owners, etc)

Unfortunately I think concrete5 developers have focussed on the wrong stuff with the new version. The old dashboard worked extremely well, should have been a low priority to change it.
EZblue replied on at Permalink Reply
First I would like to thank the dev. team for all their hard work and for some great features like the stacks in the new C5.5.5.1 However, after using this new interface I asked myself one simple question. Would I have considered C5 two years ago if it had this new interface. The answer is unfortunately no.

The new interface has no logical work flow. The problem is you really can't tell where you are. what is the task you are working on. Are you in the backend or the frontend. Things are all over.

I am just adding my feedback to help the dev. team understand that is not an issue of do I like the the old UI vs the new one. It is the logical work flow that the old interface had and now it is lost with the new interface.
AttevoConcrete replied on at Permalink Reply
Thanks to dev team as always but... way harder to use for sure

A mega-menu with 20+ links is way harder to train someone on then having it look the old way 'progressive disclosure' (from the Macintosh Human Interface Guide) with side menu the fills entire real estate

Pop out menus - make for too much scrolling/confusion

Last... is it me? none of the Auto Nav <li> menus render correctly no matter what theme i use.
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
No one is suggesting you link to everything in the quicknav. That's
why there's a big drop down under the dashboard button that takes you
to every page you typically need to get to in one easy click.

best wishes

Franz Maruna
andrewdrake replied on at Permalink Reply
What I would suggest is a focus group made up of reasonably tech savvy end users, site owners, site editors.

Then also one made of up developers.

With these 2 focus groups I sense you would see the developers very happy with the new UI, but my instinct is telling me the end users will prefer the old UI. Could be wrong.

The issue here is the support layer required by us guys with a number of small business clients, those that get very frustrated because having not grown up with technology their brains just don't seem to process what is happening on the screen. You know what it's like when you tell them to hit the save button and they just sit there staring at the screen unable to work out what is going on.

I couldn't wait for the 5.5 upgrade, now I think I'll stay with 5.4.2 until I work out how these clients are going to deal with the UI change, if I think they even can. I certainly can't afford to take phone calls all day from them

PS. This is not like the complaints facebook receives, I don't think that comparision should be made. These are complaints from experienced web designers/developers, that understand UI, rather than end users.
Vidall replied on at Permalink Reply
"What I would suggest is a focus group made up of reasonably tech savvy end users, site owners, site editors.

Then also one made of up developers."

Already done, 5.5 was the result of extensive consultation with the C5 community in the year running up to the release of 5.5, threads in the forum, questions asked by core team, suggestions for features, all of which were added by the developer community, end users, small business all people who are part of the C5 community.

Most of the critics of 5.5 are people who have been contently using the hard work of the dev team for years, contributing nothing to the community, and then suddenly have found their voice when something happens that is not to their liking.
andrewdrake replied on at Permalink Reply
Well there has been a communication breakdown somewhere. I'm a new user, having only discovered C5 about 6 months ago. I have set up 6 sites so far for clients and still realy learning.

I'm happy to contribute, and happy to pay for addons to help support the community. Think I have spent already thousands on those things from 3rd party developers and the core team. I would even pay the the CMS itself if they started charging, would not have a problem with that at all. In fact, suggest it.

I'm just surprised to see so much negative feedback for the new UI, given the market research was done during the process.
Vidall replied on at Permalink Reply
I am not talking about financial contribution, I am sure the developers you have invested in are more than grateful for your purchases, and Concrete5 was formally a paid for CMS that was turned over to open source and the community. I am talking about getting involved on a verbal and suggestive level.

The people who are struggling with the new interface, are a very small minority, in fact if the number was tripled, it would still be a small minority, what I object to is people trying to shut the stable door after the horse has bolted, the consultation period for the initial build has been and gone.
JasonStone replied on at Permalink Reply

You clearly talk off a Developers viewpoint. Show it to the average end-user, ask them what he does prefer please.

The answers - we received from customers - so far are very clear, and we use for as long as we can justify it or until an alternative method to navigate is available.

I see a lot of negative feedback and I'm still looking for people who love it. Where are they hiding? Clearly it's not a minority.

It should be a big warning sign if you have Devs talking so bad, cause we can handle it anyways. But the focus should be on the end-user, and not on the Devs.
Vidall replied on at Permalink Reply
Yes minority, there are a few dozen people who have shown their disapproval across a few threads on this forum, there are 250.000 concrete5 users worldwide, and 75.000 members on this forum. granted not all of them will be running 5.5, but I bet a large chunk are, most people are able to sit in front of the new interface and soon realise everything C5 done before it still does now, and more besides in a more intuitive new interface.

People are more inclined to complain about things they do not like, than they are to vocalise about something they do like.

I am not a developer by a long shot, I am a small business owner, who has clients running C5 sites most of which I have managed to transition to 5.5 without so much as a hiccup, if I turned up to a training session with a negative and disparaging attitude my clients would adopt that attitude also, as they look to me for guidance, I sell the merits and the usability, and they get on board, because I am on board, and across all my clients I have changed so far the response has been universally positive, these people are not techies, they are green grocers, garage owners, beauty salon owners, ordinary people who do not work in the tech industry.
marcsublet replied on at Permalink Reply
After some time spent with C5.5, I can say I like it but for me the bad point is the fact that everything is hidden behind a rollover or a field (Dashboard sub-menus VS tabs or sets filter in the file manager VS checkboxes for example).
Technically it works well but it's from an UX point-of-view there are problems.
Nothing without solutions, only some behaviors who need tweaks or little changes.
After discussions with other users, an anorher complaint is that users are lost since there is ni more Dashboard side. It is everywhere and nowhere at the same time.
andrewdrake replied on at Permalink Reply
I'm making a contribution right now, not just complaining. I'm actually a little annoyed with some here just accusing people of complaining. Those that are telling anyone that have something say that the shoudln't be complaining are not contributing anything at all.
JohntheFish replied on at Permalink Reply
There is a 'Traditional Dashboard' addon in the prb that emulates (as far as is possible) the old dashboard menu. Giving it priority for approval will solve many of the gripes.
EZblue replied on at Permalink Reply
Anyone knows the status of the " Traditional Dashboard " addon that Johnthefish said it was in the prb?
jordanlev replied on at Permalink Reply
Seriously... it sounds like this has been awaiting approval since before 5.5.1. Would be great if someone could approve this (and if it needs work, throw it out to the community, as I'm sure many people would be willing to help -- and would give a chance for the vocal critics to put their money where their mouth is).
mkly replied on at Permalink Reply
I wouldn't consider the time since 5.5.0 to now to be an unusually long time since I've been around the PRB. May be better to ask around for a github since @frz has already stated that they will require a foss licensing on it.

I honestly don't know who in particular is doing it, but it might be beneficial to find out and put the code somewhere more public, since it's required to be publicly accessed anyway.

EDIT: I'm not saying the PRB is taking too long or anything. Please don't everyone get ALL CAPS RAGE on me. I think everyone is doing a wonderful job with everything, I just think we might as well start plucking away at the code since it will have to be like that anyway.
Phallanx replied on at Permalink Reply
I presume by your comment that:
a) It's not written by the core team.
b) It is currently a paid odd-on
jordanlev replied on at Permalink Reply
Hrmm... I don't like the implications of b. If it's true that it's a paid addon, I want to make a free one (I'm all for people making money with addons but some things are too fundamental to the system to not be available to everyone for free in my opinion).

Does anyone know how to override the dashboard theme from a package?
EZblue replied on at Permalink Reply
I agree, it should be free. However, if it help me and others upgrade some customers without the shock of the new dashboard I would happy to pay for it. Can we start with a design spec. document using the old dashboard as a base line but take advantage of some of the new features in 5.5. and incorporate some of the feedback from community.

I just like to see pendulum swing back to the middle. Starting with combining some of the screens where it make sense. Removing those background images so the end user knows he or she are in the admin area,getting the installed addons and the available addons in one place etc.

I love C5. My main goal is to help resolve this Dashboard issue so we can get back to business.
Phallanx replied on at Permalink Reply

I didn't say it WAS a paid addon. I was just inferring from @mklys comment that it was (i've never seen it; I'm not part of the wobbly hand-shake club). However. IF it was a paid addon, not written by the core team, and frz was trying to get it for free (again). Then I can understand why it's a bit slow off the starting block.
nige replied on at Permalink Reply
Is there a wobbly handshake club? wobbletastic!
mkly replied on at Permalink Reply
@jordanlev: My guess was that this would have to be done in the events system. If you take a look at theme switchers(the mobile one or @mnkras one) I believe they both have to check and avoid system/dashboard.

In the mobile theme switcher addon there is
$page = Page::getCurrentPage();
if($page instanceof Page && $page->isAdminArea()) {
  return false;

So I would try the reverse
$page = Page::getCurrentPage();
if($page instanceof Page && $page->isAdminArea()) {
  $pkg = Package::getByHandle('old_skool_dashboard');
  $theme_id = $pkg->config('OLD_SKOOL_THEME_ID');
  $dashboard_theme = PageTheme::getByID($theme_id):
  $view = View::getInstance();
} else {
  return false;

Then you could just use the mobile theme selector code to pick whatever new old skool dashboard you wanted. Then everyone could make totally boned out radical dashboards!

EDIT: for braindead code.
mkly replied on at Permalink Reply
@Phalanx @jordanlev: By foss I meant (OSI compliant) which would mean that the could would have to be publicly accessible anyway. @frz has already said that they wouldn't allow someone to sell it.

So I was just saying whoever is looking at it should just toss it up on a github/sourceforge/whatever somewhere since they have to do that anyway.
Phallanx replied on at Permalink Reply
I think the issue is really "too much, too soon". People are resistant to change at the best of times, and when money is involved, the lack of familiarity casts doubts on livelihoods; exacerbating resistance.

There are lots of things I do like, and just as many I don't like about the new interface. But the real issue for me is that it is all or nothing. If there was a choice to keep the old interface and switch to the new then a lot (if not all) of issues would disappear and would instead be replaced with feature requests for the new interface. However, this is definitely the way forward, it just needs to mature.

There are usability issues with any radically new interface. So a migration rather than shock transition would have been met with a lot less resistance. This would have enabled the addon-developers to catch up at their own pace and web designers to guinea pig existing customers without the worry of the one-way process which makes it impossible to revert if they don't like it.

As for me. Now I have got it working and had a chance to explore on a real live site, I will be returning it to until all the addons work and I have the time to hack the UI to coalesce some of the disparate dialogues.....maybe
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
I completely understand what you're saying

Best wishes
Pecked out on an iPhone
fastcrash replied on at Permalink Reply
hey phallanx, do you have c5.5 UI hack? c'mon share it to us, hehee..
beside the menu, the c5.5 sure fast compare 5.4. i think its around 50% faster
nige replied on at Permalink Reply
I've been keeping up to date with this thread and one thing I thought might be a good idea is a paper or video about whats new in 5.5. A video that users could direct their clients to!

I've just realised that I will have to upgrade my clients sites at some point (soon probably). There are a few of them who will freak out completely and a video or paper about whats changed would be brilliant.

fastcrash replied on at Permalink Reply
i think jordanlev already explain it in the up post. so no need to make a video. who's gone make a video? it's quite some time to acting and product a video.
here i quote from jordan
To answer your question about how much the dev side has changed... not 
much really. I think this raises a good point about this whole discussion
 -- the major change was only to the dashbaord, not the in-context editing
 (front-end) side of C5. Yes, the toolbar looks different, but the 
functionality is all the same (you just have a button in a different place
 with a different look).
As for internals (and pretty much everything in Remo's C5 book), that's 
all the same. The only difference on that end of things is the scrapbooks
 -- now there are "stacks" instead of scrapbooks, and stacks are a *much*
 better solution because they are more consistent with the rest of C5 and 
let you do things you couldn't do before -- like designate a "global area"
 where users can edit one set of content and have that apply across many 
pages of the site. In the past you could only do this with individual 
blocks, not entire areas, which means now in addition to "global edits",
 you also can move the order of blocks around and have that new order

maybe someone else want to add what another change

why c5 team do not release c5 for commercial version beside open source one, like expression engine from ci? i think it's fair for you guys
JasonStone replied on at Permalink Reply
I agree, I don't think a video is needed. I also agree that everything is better in the 5.5.1 version...except the GUI.

Give us a classic view switch where usability comes before design (not so much space is wasted for nothing but instead used for content and we have a fixed navigation) and everybody is as happy as a cow on a spring meadow.
Wrdslngr123 replied on at Permalink Reply
Ok, I like the dashboard side, but editing pages is much more difficult. Any tips?
Wrdslngr123 replied on at Permalink Reply
Oh wow...only difficult in one site and not in another. one site I see the tools at the top, in the other, I don't?
glockops replied on at Permalink Reply
This is likely because you're running a custom theme that does not have
<? Loader::element('footer_required'); ?>

in the footer. 5.5+ outputs some of the core Javascript at the bottom of the page for better performance. Add that to your theme and you should be good.
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
there's a video.

it's linked to from several spots in newsflow at the moment.

best wishes

Franz Maruna
fastcrash replied on at Permalink Reply
I got notice in my admin panel :
The latest version of concrete5 is 5.5.1. You are running Update Now!

i think a lot of people will hit 'Update Now!', the forum will get crowded soon, hehee..
nige replied on at Permalink Reply
Usability comment No 1.

I see 5.5.1 is considered stable so I have updated to the new version on one of my own sites. (I'll deal with the clients later)

First off it feels nice and new and 'upgraded' I'm working with the new dashboard and it feels OK.

BUT here is a usability issue I have noticed and please consider this constructive.\\

Lets go through it.

I immediately get a helpful screen for updates which was great. I updated my blocks and returned to the dashboard.

Now I want to see my blocks all in a row. OK so I naturally click 'Blocks' in the Dashboard and I get the old familiar list that I am used to, with all the core and installed blocks. But Wait!!!

There's some missing, actually there's a few missing. Where is my 'Mailing List' 'Flash Content' block etc. mmmm In fact where is the Add Functionality menu?

I look around a bit but it is NOT obvious to find. A minute later maybe, I try something close like 'Extend Concrete 5' and lo and behold there is an 'Add Functionality Menu'. So the link is called 'Extend Concrete 5' But the dialog window is called 'Add Functionality' and there is another list of blocks. The ones missing from the actual 'Block' window.

This seemed a bit odd to me. There are two areas for blocks. One has core and 'Currently installed' and is under a link called 'Blocks' This is great.

BUT there is another list of Blocks, which seems to be purchased blocks, which is hard to find and under a menu called 'Extend Concrete 5', which opens a dialog window called 'Add Functionality' which has another window called - 'Currently Installed' BUT this has different content to the previous 'Currently Installed' window. So there are in fact two 'Currently Installed' windows?

mmmm not sure about this...

Vivid replied on at Permalink Reply
I completely agree about that - Separating "Blocks" from "Blocks found in a Package" seems REALLY strange. While I understand that not all packages are simply blocks, the average user doesn't disassociate the two. I'd LOVE to see blocks/packages merged again.

EDIT: I understand that there's probably a functionality sense to it as the "blocks" doesn't really co-exist with the marketplace as the packages most of time will, but it still doesn't make sense to separate them on the front end.
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
What you're saying makes a lot of sense to me, we will look into
making that more clear.

best wishes

Franz Maruna
jordanlev replied on at Permalink Reply
re: merging package and core blocks -- Andrew has mentioned in the past that combining all blocks into one list would be a good idea. I have a pull request on github that does this and also allows for sorting the display order of blocktypes.

Everybody please bug Andrew to look this over and merge it into core :)

MrGrowBizz replied on at Permalink Reply
After upgrading several sites to 5.5 and dealing with the biggest pain for me of dealing with add-on compatibility, finally created a new site for a client with 5.5 from scratch. Overall things went better than expected with the exception of a few things.

1 The dashboard appearance on hover is misaligned (does not match) to the dashboard view. The hover shows 4 columns (versus 3 on the dashboard), and News, System & Settings, and Extend Concrete5 is in a totally different place. This is certainly not consistent and confusing trying to know where things are. Probably an oversight that needs fixing!

2 Had to white label immediately to get rid of the daily C5 propaganda page, which is a pain in the butt for it to load, and the ridiculous distracting photos on the dashboard. Need a switch within the dashboard to shut the propaganda page off, just like what was done for the stupid photos on the dashboard!

3 Once again, wrestling with add-ons that are not compatible with 5.5 even though several work requiring licensing to the site, and then transferring an add-on file from another site where it was previously installed.

Believe all add-ons should be loadable with a BIG disclaimer i.e. NOT TESTED WITH 5.5 USE AT YOUR OWN RISK!

As to the dashboard interface, would not upgrade sites already used by clients. With all the static from the developers in this forum regarding the change, how would you expect a client to react to it?

It would also be nice to be able to select what Dashboard attributes show. This would simplify its appearance and stop clients from going places they should not go to begin with. It would also help to color code different categories, easy to remember colors and see where they are.
andrewdrake replied on at Permalink Reply
Agree with those photos. yeah, really cool but end users think "where am I, this is not my site?? what is that photo.....?"
andrew replied on at Permalink Reply
No, it doesn't. I don't really remember why we did that. I think it was because you shouldn't really uninstall a block that belongs in a package – but that's kind of a lame reason to hide them away the way we do.
Vivid replied on at Permalink Reply
well, what's funny, is I feel packages are more "hidden away" than the stock blocks. The blocks are found where we'd expect them, but getting to packages seems out of the norm. I would think the "blocks" page just kind of needs to be a Blocks and Packages page. Or could more simply be called "Extensions".
1db replied on at Permalink Reply
I'm a little late to this discussion, but I have to side with those who hate the new interface. I HATE the new interface.

I had composed a long rant, but it got more and more hateful as it went on, so I'm not going to make it public. I tried to write a shorter one, and IT got too hateful. Suffice to say, I vote no. And please, somebody, develop an add-on that brings back the real dashboard. Soon.
andrewdrake replied on at Permalink Reply
My vote also for the old dashboard addon. If I knew the system well enough, and had the time I would start working on it myself as I think it would be VERY popular.

I have been recieving feedback from a few end user clients, and they are unfortunately all in favour of old dashboard. It's simplicity is what they all like. You barely even needed to train them!
Ale replied on at Permalink Reply
While I agree to an extent that the new UI needs to be tweaked, please try to be constructive. There's no sense saying "I hate the new interface but I'm not going to tell you why..."

From my experience and opinion(!) there are two main concerns:

1. Many UI items are hidden in hovers. It would be more user friendly to be able to see them with a quick glance instead of hovering. This has been discussed before. Making the blue nav bar optionally sticky in 5.5.1 was an improvement in my opinion.

2. The concept of using dialogs as pages. With this I mean that majority of UI's, be it Windows or OSX or even the old dashboard are based on the idea that you have an webpage (or desktop) over which the dialogs/windows are being opened. Actually just like the in-context editing on C5 or the old dashboard, you have the underlying page and you open dialogs to do interactions. On the new dashboard, one might expect to see some kind of "dashboard home" view when coming out of dialogs, but it's a bit confusing that the dashboard is now just bunch or dialogs over nothing and closing the dialogs result in rather empty view.
markinspain replied on at Permalink Reply
I think this is so very very bad, I would use the word hate too! And to release as an official update, before the PAID add on's are all compatible, you are messing with people livelyhoods too. Whay shpould a web developer take so much time and care to ensure an update to the system actually works with everything on a site, it's an update and should be compatible with everything from moment one! It appears to me, all the great work that made Concrete5 so good, has been undone. I did say this very early on, but...

I just hope to god that someone sees sense and returns to the old interface, before concrete5 looses everything it gained AND before any of my clients click update and ruin their websites! I would say to the Concrete5 developers, stop smoking the Marajuana and you might see how bad the new Conc5 really is, bring back the original, clever design and brilliant, practical CMS.
jordanlev replied on at Permalink Reply
Can we please keep the criticism constructive and just talk about the specific things that need improvement? Saying you hate things and accusing people of using drugs does not help anything. It is not information that anyone can do anything useful with.
mikedonovan replied on at Permalink Reply
I agree completely. Well said.
Phallanx replied on at Permalink Reply
I found that I was much happier after I merged some of the dialogues/screens (whatever you call them).

For example cache. You have a cache page which has most of the settings you need. But the first thing I want to do when I change the cache setting is clear it. So I have to come out of that then go to a rather lonely dialogue that has one function. Clear cache! So I added the button to the other page and ditched the lonely dialogue.

I've done this for a couple of the other features (merged the dialogues) and feel much happier about it now since it is less clicking and waiting and all relevant functionality is in one place (less links in the menu and less memory used in my brain)
jordanlev replied on at Permalink Reply
@Phallanx, what you say about combining some screens makes a lot of sense to me. I think with 5.4 there were too many things combined on 1 page, but with 5.5 the pendulum has swung the other way -- too many things separated. Should be easier with the new dashboard infrastructure to get the right balance in future versions.
Veronikan replied on at Permalink Reply
I've just begun working with 5.5 and I want to add to a few issues that others have raised, with hopes that this is constructive and helpful.

1. Mouse action. I agree with a previous poster that number of clicks should not be the paramount concern with usability. Hovers and pop outs can lead to mouse errors that are far more frustrating than an extra click. Even experts are not great with mouse precision. On the concrete website I often have this issue with drop downs covering up links or text boxes.

2. Blocks and packages. It didn't make sense to me to separate these so completely, and so I could not find how to install an uploaded package. With that, on top of the add-ons that didn't work at all with this upgrade, I had about an hour of simmering at the screen.

3. Dashboard interface. I agree there is a sense of floating or homelessness now that the dashboard is comprised of pop-ups. An earlier poster mentioned that this is psychological. I find it is important to have a sense of a home base, that gives me a road map overview and from which I can measure where I am in a digital environment. I don't have a UI study citation but this seems important: "Offer users stable perceptual cues for a sense of "home."

This is similar to an issue I have with the concrete website. I rarely use the forums because I can't construct an internal view of them. There is no index page that visually references their structure, there are only two lists, the most recent posts and a list of the sub-forums. I feel like I can't tell what is going on, there are too many choices and no way to know what is important.

Also, on the new dashboard interface, I find hunting through the lists of links to components visually tedious. I think this might be improved with the addition of some simple graphics.


Among my clients are some elderly, non-tech savvy folks whom it took considerable time to train on the previous version. I won't be upgrading their sites until we all have both patience and budget. :)

Anyway, thanks to all the team for your hard work.
Steevb replied on at Permalink Reply

My parents work a bed breakfast in the UK. They were using 54.2.1, they are now running 5.5.1.

They both like the new look, "Oh, thats better, I like that".

They are in seventies!

The debate goes on...
Phallanx replied on at Permalink Reply
Marmite5? :)
Love looks through a telescope; hatred, through a microscope.
Nattering nabobs of negativism and hopeless, hysterical hedonism.
Steevb replied on at Permalink Reply
Nice analogy,
But even so, why can't people embrace the change?
andrewdrake replied on at Permalink Reply
Concrete, Concrete 5.5.1, Concrete 5.6.0

Sorry, just trying to add some humour :)
Phallanx replied on at Permalink Reply
Because opinions (at the moment) are polarised to the extremes. That will change as the new version matures and if the comments are taken on board and not to heart.
DtotheOR replied on at Permalink Reply
I agree. I dislike the new UI. I don't understand why the new dashboard is inside what looks like a popup window. If I see a popup window I want to see it above the page I am currently on. There is no reason to redirect me to a new page just to show me a background picture. If it's going to be inside a popup window it should at least keep the page I was on and be draggable above it.

Additionally, the dashboard page is just a magnified version of the dashboard drop-down. Why have a dashboard page at all? Especially, when it takes fewer clicks to view the drop-down dashboard. IMO it would be more logical to have one convenient but more difficult to use dashboard (the drop-down) and one less convenient -more clicks and loads- but easier to use dashboard (the dashboard page).

I also find the new dashboard page less user friendly than the old one because the navigation flow gets disrupted. If I am looking at page types, for example, I want to still be able to see other options on the dashboard page. I'd have to either select, "Back to dashboard" or hit the dashboard icon in the toolbar. And that's only if I want to see the dashboard page. I still have the option of viewing the dash from the drop-down. Now I have 3 routes to seeing the dashboard instead of one clear way. Too many options none of which are the way I got there in the first place. No user wants to first remember what their nav routes are then weigh their nav route options. I want to mindlessly navigate while I think about the work I am doing. Additionally, I think being able to see all your dash options is particularly useful for new users still getting use to the division of tasks. Sometimes you navigate to a dash option and are not sure if it's the correct page, but if you see your other options you can rule things out more quickly.

I also find the 3 column listing difficult to scan. I'd prefer a layout that is a blend of the older and new version. Just left navigation with the sub nav listed under it.

The update comes with good and bad. I just wanted to share my opinion in case it has some validity and could help Concrete5 improve. I will most likely continue using the older version until the new look has been tweaked more. Thank you for providing such a great CMS!
vincedelaking replied on at Permalink Reply
I 've been playing a small three weeks with the new UI and seems to like it a lot. The intelligent search rocks and considering 95% of my clients will use the EDIT entrance I feel like a happy men. So thank you core team to get ride of the 2001 feel of the old dashboard.
Steevb replied on at Permalink Reply
4 me I love it,

In the process of updating all sites.

Done three or four, I think it's three, could be six.

Anyway, will do the rest when I can.

Sooooo much better, so much FASTER, quicker to work with and to make adjustments to. Easier to pin things down and move around.

W3C, Page Speed, Google tools and others moaned about download speed, access and timeout's with previous versions!

Not anymore!

Now if I talk to a client or look at a site that is not C5.5 I'm not looking forward to working with it!

I'm pushing to upgrade all, so far so good.

I will agree with certain aspects, It could do with a slight tweak, but I will not go back.

Mmm, deja vu!!!

I was getting bored, maybe even complacent, but now C5 has moved forward.


Looking forward to the next installment?

To the moaners, come on now, get a grip! No one heard of 'Moore's law', I've been doing this for ten years and I'm still trying to catch up!

OK, what I don't like, but some have been addressed.

No1. Background image in dashboard, can fix it now.

No2. Slight confusion with how to get certain parts of dashboard. I liked to call 'indexing', now you call 'Automated jobs'

No3. Really annoying, rollover on down arrow in any 'pane'. You have 'down arrow', then 'question mark', then 'star' then 'close'. Down arrow has a mind of it's own!! sometimes the 'drop down' will appear and sometimes it will not. Sometimes It will go away and sometimes it will not?

No4. The ability to show just sets in the file manager, with a button push I mean. This is probably my biggest pi** off. I used to be able to just see the sets I wanted to see.
I have 135 images, they all show up in list. I would like to isolate a set, like I used to.

Maybe a couple of other things, but, 4 me I love it.

Perhaps with some of the points I moaned about, somebody may put me right?
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
I know what you're talking about with that carrot drop down, it gets finicky sometimes - we will keep an eye on improving that.

The sets you should still be able to do. Just explore that sets field at the top of the file manager.
Vivid replied on at Permalink Reply
this may just be me, but I'd love to see the submenu found under the carrot to be done away with. I prefer a static sub menu at top.

Imagine if every website you went to, you had to hover over a tiny arrow to view the menu.

I think I'm with you franz, and can agree that getting to somewhere initially in the dashboard is faster from the website. But should I really have to hover over something every time to view a menu of where I want to go next? That is where, I think, getting around has slowed down a bit.

If you're in the backend already, why not have SOME fixed menus?
Ale replied on at Permalink Reply 1 Attachment
If you want to see a static sub-menu under the dialog title instead of hovering over the carrot all the time , here's a quick and dirty solution:

!!!NOTE: requires renaming a core file!!!
1. Download the attached file (zipped dashboard.php)
2. Unzip and copy it to your_site/helpers/concrete/
3. Rename the original core file (your_site/concrete/helpers/concrete/dashboard.php) to something else or you will get errors about redeclaring the ConcreteDashboardHelper class.

Please note that this is quick and dirty at its best, as modifications are mainly done as inline style definitions. I did this in 5 minutes and it _seems_ to work but I don't give any guarantees.

I wonder if it was possible to override an helper without need to rename core files?
Steevb replied on at Permalink Reply
Got it, thanks frz!

Will now email clients the sets info.
rfairbairn replied on at Permalink Reply
Have to say I'm a big fan of the new dashboard, its slicker and quicker.

I have 6 sites to install in the coming weeks, they'll all be using 5.5

Thanks guys for all the hard work
KateD replied on at Permalink Best Answer Reply
My first reaction to the new dashboard was one of consternation - kinda felt like the floor had been taken out from under me, it was a bit disorienting. I didn't *think* I was going to like it.

But after working with some test installations of it, I'm finding that I'm really flying through the work a LOT faster than I used to. It really speeds things up when you don't have to wait for all those page loads between each step. So I would say that is enough of an advantage to make it worth the temporary discomfort of changing how I work.

So at this point I'm looking forward to eventually upgrading my clients to it, but I'm going to hold off on it for now, until I know all the add-ons they're using will work in 5.5.x.
MrGrowBizz replied on at Permalink Reply
Andrew put out a couple updates yesterday on github that aligns the dashboard hover and dashboard selections so that selections are in the same place on each. This really cleans things up and helps in making selections instinctively between the 2 views .

1) css 1 day ago dashboard home and system [aembler]

2) single_pages 1 day ago moving systems and settings down to the bottom of dashboard landing [aembler]
AttevoConcrete replied on at Permalink Reply
Can you name ONE other CMS in the world that uses a ROLL-OVER MENU for their ENTIRE DASHBOARD???

jordanlev replied on at Permalink Reply
I don't think this is a valid criticism. There are many things that Concrete5 has that other CMS's don't, which is why many people love using it.

If you don't like the roll-over, that's cool -- but I don't think Concrete5 should only do things that every other CMS does.

By the way, in 5.5.1 you don't need to use the rollover -- you could just click the dashboard button to go to the menu as a dashboard page.
fastcrash replied on at Permalink Reply
Okay, let's c5 core team take the path they want. it's open source after all, let them lead the path for the c5 future.

ps : i guess you are the one click 'Update Now!' without back up first? thats why you are so pump-up with the case-sensitive, hehee
AttevoConcrete replied on at Permalink Reply
ps: Assumption is the author is error.
KateD replied on at Permalink Reply
You're right, AttevoConcrete, nobody should ever be allowed to do anything nobody else has already done before. Only problem with that kind of thinking is, if we really followed it, by rights we would all be back living in caves and hunting wild animals for a living.

The C5 team seems to value our feedback, but don't be surprised if they are not overly concerned about the fact that they don't do things the same way everyone else does. Thank God there is someone who doesn't!
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
moth replied on at Permalink Reply
Well.. there's lots to like in this release for sure, and while I prefer the new UI elements (buttons, forms, styles), I have to say I massively dislike the way things like the "Search Pages" results are now crammed into a tiny box with no room for growth. Add a few more columns to it? It basically implodes in on itself and becomes an outright mess.

There's no need for this. There's MASSES of room to the left and the right and frankly I'm not interested in seeing pretty pictures - I'm interested in finding Pages, and viewing their attributes, and seeing as much of them as possible so I can glance down and across the list and Get Stuff Done.

Please at least give some of these windows a relative width to the browser port... I'm sure I can hack it in myself, but really... I'm puzzled how you got to this.

Still... good work otherwise.
JasonStone replied on at Permalink Reply
Yeah, that's really disturbing. Design over usability comes to mind. Puzzles me too. So much space everywhere but the windows that have the important stuff inside are soooo tiny.
jboss replied on at Permalink Reply
The performance and global area improvements are fantastic and worth the price of learning a new user interface. In any community, there is a certain percentage of the population adverse to change. You can witness a similar reaction currently in the Ubuntu community in regards to Unity.

As a personal preference, I do find the old left nav on the Dashboard more intuitive, but I admit this could be because I'm just used to it. I can see the advantage of grouping items as simple text links -- particularly when you have a complex site with many plugins and related settings.

From a client perspective, I think the notion of global and intelligent search vs. static tab/menu-based navigation is more confusing. However, it is up to us to organize/limit the dashboard and train clients properly.

Open-source is an often thankless job, and as developers -- we can guess how much effort has gone into this release. So thank you.
jakubt replied on at Permalink Reply
I have an funny issue with new dashboard. I wanted to simplify it for users so I disabled several dashboard pages for them using Advanced permissions on System pages (BTW i thing this function needs more publicity). The static dashboard is fine and shows the options which I want, however the hover dropdown only shows "News" link and nothing more.

PS: Another idea - I see that many people would appreciate something like "Main dashboard page" for their clients. Why not to do a simple option which would: 1. Swith off the hover Dashboard menu and only link the button to the Dashboard page 2. Lead all Xes in dialogs and all "save" buttons in dialogs back to Dashboard - maybe this would do many people with not-so-tecchie clients happy.
jakubt replied on at Permalink Reply
I think I have found out what confuses me in new UI. For example go to the "/dashboard/system/basics/interface/" dialog.

From user perspective:

There is something like a dialog, which aside from information inside has three navigational parts:

1. The prominent "Save" button.
2. Very well recognized "X" icon in the corner.
3. Not so common triangle which looks like "more options for dialog" or something.

There are my expectations from this familiar UI:
1. Clicking the save button would (after saving my preferences) take to the point where i was before going to the dialog (or at least to some home page).
2. Clicking to "X" would (without saving) lead me to the same place.
3. Triangle would offer some "advanced" features.

Now what it does (in terms of navigation).
1. Save button - goes nowhere.
2. X button - goes nowhere.

and you know what - the simplies and most expected functionality (going back where i was) is the last option of what looks like the "advanced" triangle button.

I think this should be changed.
jordanlev replied on at Permalink Reply
+1 on this -- all are things I'd like to see as well (along with the idea in the "PS" from the prior message)
JohntheFish replied on at Permalink Reply
That the dashboard drops into a wasted empty page after nearly every dialog completion is something that also frustrates me. Your ideas get my vote.