Welcome to the future of concrete53 users found helpful
Right now 5.7 is a Work In Progress.
There's loads of bugs we probably don't need a list yet.
We will be using Git Issues as we do our own work. If you have some time to dedicate, please pick a Git Issue and start codin' away.
There's a bunch of explanation and commentary over here:
Feel free to ask any questions here. Thanks!
You add a page from the side panel on the right.
You must first choose what type of page you want to add.
You then get dumped into composer for that page type.
You can Save and Preview right away from that composer page type and it will dump you into in-context editing mode for that page.
I'm not sure that adding more choices to the create content process is going to make it more intuitive.
I can see opportunities to make switching between in-context and composer even more front and center, easy to understand, and consistent.
The shift away from "you must first navigate to the parent of where you want this new page to live under" seems like a real improvement in ease of use. People are always wondering where the "staging area" is in concrete5. I've often heard "okay how do I make this page live now?" the answer being "it already was because you hit publish instead of save draft" was not awesome. Now drafts work the way people would expect them to.
Please consider also providing a mechanism more akin to the 'navigate where you want it and put it there' approach we currently have.
I also hope the dotted lines around editable areas have re-appeared.
I set up a test C5 5.7 site a while back and I'll try the newest version when I have a moment but in the meantime, here's a quick rant ... why is everyone hating on TinyMCE?
I find it works really well and can be as simple or as fully featured as one likes.
Redactor may be OK for simple stuff but I was testing the 8.2.2 version the other day and found it was a bit too 'light' in some places:
- I couldn't find a character map (you know - for adding pesky symbols like © and non-breaking spaces etc.)
- Once a colour (or BG colour)is applied to a word, there is no easy way to remove it again (choosing 'none' didn't work for me)
- In fact there should be a clear selection's styles/formatting button for this.
- I can't see how the code is so much cleaner than TinyMCE's either ... in fact it seemed to me that the opposite is true.
- I also find the status bar in TinyMCE very useful as it shows at a glance where you are and what formatting has been applied. The word count in V4 is also handy.
It may well be that I a missing something (perhaps you are modifying the C5 version), but on face value, I'd give Redactor a cautious thumbs down I'm afraid.
Just installed the latest 5.7 and will have a butchers.
Doesn't work too well with Firefox22/W7 so trying it with Chrome/W7. Here are a few initial thoughts.
Can't get move to work
Ambivalence towards Redactor growing ... happiness levels going down!
Please bring back borders for areas (in fact outlines may be even better so it doesn't mess up layouts)
Find the UI slower to work with somehow though this may be due to unfamiliarity.
Hope this is not C5's Windows8 moment :)
But now your "forcing composer". Seems to me the pendulum has swung the other way.
Is there not a place for both? Some people honestly really prefer that 1) go HERE 2) click "Add Page".
I get what you're trying to achieve. And I think for that "focus" it's much improved.
But I just don't see why a non-composer option is all that bad. Seems like the "+" button could just simply include an "Add Page" option pretty much just like it works now.
And, to top all that, you're not providing us developers that have page based apps any API for composer to create custom composer interfaces beyond blocks. That sucks to be honest.
So, for example, for ProEvents, I have to create a custom content block just so I can have a composer view with the tabbed interface for all the advanced options and attributes we offer. Why???? Because customers do not like an ominous mile long form to add an event....they want a nice, organized, sensical interface. Not a long ass form.
Not saying you should do anything just for my benefit here.....but again, you're really hurting extensibility here. Your making it damn near impossible for me, an application developer, to succeed honestly.
As 5.7 stands now, it's VERY application un-friendly.
Seriously....do you not have any clients that have applications built on top of C5??? Do you have no experience with this? How are you going to integrate more complex enterprise management systems into 5.7????
I don't see how you can/could have and still be convinced that "slide out panels" are the answer and really all that usable in more complex contexts.
Just like "live search" is not he answer to everything.
Just like "composer" is not the answer to everything.
I'm very concerned.
I have hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of client software built on top of C5. Companies with hundreds of employees to manage and train that have trusted both me and Concrete5.
I am concerned that forcing composer is BAD in higher end contexts with ver complex tools and forms, and that your refusal to acknowledge these edge cases will all but doom both me and C5 in their eyes.
I'm very, very concerned.
I like the new ideas. I like the new look and vibe. I like many of the changes. But I have clients that have $40,000.00 invested into ERP & Oracle systems. That as of C5.6 still have a relatively decent and cohesive dashboard experience.
Applications integrated with your API are out there. I don't know what else to do or say here except beg you....
PLEASE, I am begging you publicly, let application extensions to the Core be a consideration at least.
I do actually see work on a page_type composer custom template layer. So that's good.
There's so much that's broken that it's really hard to tell without code spelunking.
Uhh. Yes, we have built quite a few applications on top of concrete5 in our day.
No, I don't think we're doing anything to keep folks from building dashboard pages the way they want to build dashboard pages in their apps. We've never taken a step backwards in terms of flexibility to make progress towards usability, so I don't know why you'd worry we're starting now.
I don't see why you need composer templates to work one way or the other. Pro-blog can function as a series of dashboard single pages like it always has. No?
tinyMCE and moving to redactor.
After spending weeks reviewing our competition in the builder space
(squarespace, wix, weebly, yola, webs) none of them highlight their
equivalent of block areas until you're rolling over them. Not that we're in
the business of doing things because others did, but I'd imagine if this
isn't something the average Joe can learn, we'd see more lines around stuff
out there. Not saying we have it dialed in perfect yet, but frankly it is
hard to not chalk up most of the feedback in this particular thread to
CEO - concrete5.org
Nope. I think you're just getting honest feedback that you just don't like.
That seems unreasonable to me that you would just write off feedback as "I hate change".
That said, everyone's not going to agree on everything.
Do I think removing highlights is good or bad?? I don't know....who can tell really. I liked the indications of where stuff goes...but it's not really "breaking" workflow like some of my other concerns are.
Redactor: It's a step forward. We've used it in our mobile apps and love it. It's a massive improvement. Good call.
broken at the moment, but there's some nice TR videos of it behaving as it
should months ago.
Block areas that are completely empty do infact have a border around them
now. We did this because, yeah - how would you even know something COULD go
Block areas that have something in them do NOT show a border now. The
thinking is if you want an image above that content block, you're already
thinking that and you're going to simply try dragging it to where it goes.
Right now the JS for that dragging is overly picky, but the build I saw
Korvin working on yesterday felt much easier.
The motivation behind moving the lines as much as reasonable/possible is
the same in-context motivation we've always followed. With redactor working
in the page we are a big step closer to feeling like a word processor where
theres absolutely no difference between reading and editing. We're
basically saying "look if we can let the average Joe place content more or
less where they want it on the page WITHOUT having to teach him what a
block area is -that's awesome". Doesn't mean there aren't times where you
will need to understand what that block area is about, just means its a
layer deeper on the onion of features that is concrete5.
CEO - concrete5.org
Anyway, I really like almost everything I'm seeing so far in 5.7. I just need to get in and play around with the new version and then hopefully I can provide some more constructive feedback. Keep up the great work guys!
I don't mean to sound dismissive on this issue, I do think that this is one
approach where you're either going to have it just intuitively work for 98%
of people or its going to be an utter confusion. It's important to get it
dialed in right.
I would encourage anyone who doesn't get why we're thinking this way to go
setup a demo of squarespace, wix, and webs. You don't hear much about webs
but they're actually one of the better of this batch. If you build websites
for small organizations with budgets in 3-4 figure range and you're not
looking at these products, you're not familiar with who you're going to be
competing with shortly - if not already.
CEO - concrete5.org
Still don't get what is/was so bad about TinyMCE though?
I never encountered any problems with it. In fact I find it rather comprehensive and easy to use, especially for when the site is being built and populated. I think V4 even does an inline version.
So will Redactor at least have a special character/symbols map? How else can clients put in symbols?
I also miss the full page option and the fact that the editing window (text area) can't be re-sized. How about undo/redo buttons?
As for the dots ... I was playing around with 5.7 and noticed that when you drag a block from the left bar, you have no idea where you can drop it until you wave it over the entire page.
Not sure how the others do it but this is just not user friendly at all. The areas should at least light up when the drag starts.
I think I remember reading somewhere (Andrew?) that this lack of indication was not intended behaviour and will be re-introduced at some point ... is that so? That would solve the problem somewhat.
I don't think that change sucks at all - 5.4 > 5.5 & 5.6 for example was very good, but change is not always for the better: the new text-less icons are too cryptic, for example, and there is no need to remove the text labels.
The demo is awesome. Check out the inline editing!
+1000 for this instead of redactor.
I'm going to see if I can use it now and replace it now in the 5.6.2 version
1. There will be some visual indicator about where areas are when dragging blocks.
2. The small hit areas on dragging blocks into areas are going to be expanded with a friendlier drag handler. This means that it won't be quite some cumbersome to hit the "sweet spot" between blocks (especially since right now there is no indication of where one block starts and the other stops.)
3. The entire area ought to hover when blocks are dragged into it as well as the blocks inside it. We're still tweaking this with regards to making it look as good as it can without pushing blocks all around the page.
4. Actually dragging blocks into layouts vs. above layouts is kind of a trainwreck at this point, but the functionality is there.
Redactor may be OK if it is customized heavily to at least get the basic requirements in but as it stands, it is just too dumbed down.
But a forced "shift" towards composer is a fundamental change, that over time, in my mind, will create an expectation that more complex applications with more options also be within that same workflow.
So, I am now left with the question: how do I add "ProEvent" to the composer "Create Page" and maintain the workflow and clean interface that users like and appreciate about our products?
My initial thought is to create a dummy composer view that simply redirects to dashboard pages.
It's the fundamental shift, or really "demand", that is worrisome to me.
And, I still think that for a simple "add a page", what you're doing right now with the slide outs feel like an extra step to me. Comparing 5.6 to 5.7, 5.7 feels more cumbersome to simply add a page and "do stuff".
Which, by the way - weather or not that is an adequate position of work flow or not is moot. You know very well that the first time someone sits down to see "ok, is this platform something we can really use or not" that they want to do exactly that - add a page and "do stuff".
So basically, their first impression is ultimately going to be "wow...that was a lot of work for something so simple."
For example, I want to add a page under the "about" page ;
go to page ->hover over edit ->click "add subpage" ->chose a design -> fill out some stuff and go.
go to page (out of habit and the fact that this is what you expect) -> click on the sitemap icon (which there is no indication by the way what the hell it is) -> click on the type of composer page -> then fill out all the garbage -> then click "Publich Target" -> then click WHERE you want to put it -> then click publish.....all so you can get to the same state of creating a page. Which is simply "I want to add a page and do stuff to it"
You've actually hurt usability in this very basic & simple task imo.
I'm passionate because I care. Because you have a lot of people that have spent considerable portions of there life promoting, praising, writing, syndicating, contributing, building, selling, and extending your platform.
My reputation and word is as much at stake as yours. You flippantly break stuff.....I look like a dumb ass.
It's not that I for one just simply don't like change. That's not it at all.
I'm fine with you're vision and progress and goals. They seem really good and ultimately best for the CMS.
Perhaps I should rave on and on about some of the things I love. I think I may just do that in another thread. At the very least so that you see the full scope of support for what you're doing.
But as much as I may like or see value in XYZ, I feel apt to voice concerns regarding things that I honestly think will hurt the CMS and it's reputation.
Those are important things too.
- I dont' see why now we "have" to drag and drop dark-on-dark icons to an area (with 1/3 the screen shifted off screen on an 11.6 MBA btw). It's neat....but not always ideal. Why would remove the simple "add block" from the areas when in edit mode? Great to add new features....but you're removing things that actually part of users workflow and habit. Why??? What is the reason for that? You already have the code! lol
- I still think the icons in the navbar should minimally have a tooltip btw.
- obviously, adding a page and doing stuff feels very cumbersome to me.
I mean, really....it's not that your "adding" things. Those are cool and all. It's that you're removing things. Simple and useful things.
It doesn't do much good to attract new users with a shinny new whatever, to then lose the same number because of no familiarity.
To me, it seems like we're just really excited about slide out panels. Wonderful....can we please take a closer look at how people actually use it now????
Not like another icon will hurt you there.
some more clear design thinking. I know there's a "all icons must have
labels" debate elsewhere (sorry gang but: mens room, ladies room, entire
park service icon system - totally viable if you do it right), but I do
agree it's hard to know what the difference is between page panel and the
dashboard panel icons on the right.
The edit, settings, add icons on the left make a lot of sense IMHO however.
They're all related to the page you're on, they're all base ideas, and the
icons describe a generality we can't get away with. (eg no "Exit edit mode"
vs. "Edit Page" switching depending on mode, just a consistent icon and we
CEO - concrete5.org
up usability studies on concrete5 over the years is that adding a page is
If our readdressing that problem causes you to rethink the problog
experience, that seems natural and expected to me.
Perhaps its not clear in the current release, but the dashboard has moved
to a side panel including 3rd party installations. So with very little
updating at all i'd expect problog to show up in the right panel when
someone hit the dashboard icon.
You want it ProBlog Page to show up in the add page sidebar? Okay, you're
going to have to explore the way page types work now. The only thing I'm
actually hearing out of your posts is you think composer interfaces should
be more customizable so you can make tabs. My reservations about that are
mostly about consistency, but fundamentally it's not something that I'd
look at and say "thats insane and out of the question." It is challenging
to read past the overwhelmingly defensive tone in your posts, find the high
road, and actually consider the gist of the concerns you have. Just sayin'.
CEO - concrete5.org
A few years ago when I was looking for a an open source CMS to replace proprietary code, I set up a test for some experienced users of the existing code. Add a page, add a picture and some text. I ran this test on several big CMS players and on concrete5. c5 easily came out top. With no training at all they could all do it. I suspect that if given the current build of 5.7, my test victims would all struggle the same way they did with Joomla.
Does adding a page in 5.7 pass the Franz's Mom test?
I like all the wonderful new slide/drag/drop ways of doing things. I don't mind the composer way of adding pages being being made more attractive. But I am completely baffled why adding a page needs to become counter intuitive for beginners just because composer suits the workflow of expert users.
Is there a technical issue with the architecture of the 5.7 UI that prevents the old way of adding a page from being included? Why argue so forcibly against just leaving the existing method in place?
Not sure how well it would work here, but it is possible to just make a custom form 'work' in composer without a lot of effort now.
You could also do something like a dropdown in the composer setup page where you pick between Default (fieldsets), Tabs, or Accordion for section layout. Seems like that wouldn't be hard to do, either.
I'm just saying - hey, X seems not good to me, here's why.
I'm giving you explicit reasons what/why, from myself and my clients perspective, what concerns we have.
I think that's valid and worth consideration on your part honestly.
Not just me, but others here. These are people that beat the streets for the CMS. People that in some cases all they do is sell,build,modify,rework,design Concrete5.
I think that deserves credit.
Now I certainly dont' think you design your platform around what everyone/anyone wants.....but i think if you have have X number of professionals that deal with clients every day say "hey....this is not cool" - I think you listen.
All of us in this thread want the same thing: A fantastic C5.7 release.
You say your "studies" or "findings" are that the way you're forcing page creation right now...I'd say your studies are with the wrong audience. lol
I just outlined above the difference in page creation: 5 steps vs 4. You can argue all day long about "our findings...blah blah blah"....ect... 5 vs 4 - that's math. We can't really argue math here. 5 steps is more complex than 4. always.
I'm not arguing for my products sake, as you might assume btw. I'll do what I have to do to bring value to our products. That's my responsibility. Not yours.
And if I were, then I would assume I would be the only one in here bringing up the points I've mentioned?
But I'm not. There are others, a lot of people, that have some usability concerns.
I think there's merit in that.
Not personal. Just voicing concerns in the hopes that some positive consideration will happen.
There's lots to be liked about 5.7 but there are serious concerns that are being expressed here by people whose knowledge of the CMS is almost as deep as your own but whose views are enlightened by more experience with 'regular' clients rather than the Cambridge Press's of the world which you clearly covet.
2) I hate wix. I hate Squarespace. If I wanted to work with those....well then I just simply would. People come to C5 to get AWAY from those canned solutions....why on earth would you ever want to imitate them or use them as your reference point?
3) when we looked into the newer tmce for a recent mobile project, it still was not very mobile friendly. Redactor most certainly is. I am pro-redactor. But if something is also mobile friendly....I'd be fine with that too.
4) if you only count "clicks" as a "step" and not a "hover", then the old way was really only 3 steps. The new way is 5. Way way better. I can't even imagine a scenario where anyone would suggest 5 steps to simply add a page and do stuff is better than 3. Ever.
5) bring back "add block" with dialog when a page is in edit mode. It's not like it would be hurting anything to have it there, and would go a LONG way towards migration / learning / training issues.
6) I do think changing the "+" sign to a "block" icon would be better. Because that's really all that pane does. Especially when users are so used to going to that very same spot in all previous versions to hover and add a page....the brain just naturally links "+" to "add a page". Even if a user had never seen C5, I still think that would be the natural inclination. I want to "add" a page...oh look, here's a plus sign." WRONG!!!! I mean, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt that your UI goals for your robust CMS is not "well, after enough time of making that mistake they will catch on....we have it right...everyone else's inclinations are just wrong."
Well damn man.. yeah it actually was a "study". Mhawke: this is the stuff I was trying to curtail with my comment of "its challenging to read past...". We're eager to get feedback, but common guys - I don't put air quotes around what you say and expect that to go over well by adding "not personal" at the end. Just a touch of professionalism in this public thread is all I ask. Golden Rule and all - gets us all moving forward. Lets keep it feature focused and not a shouting match of IMO.
In this case what I'm referring to is a study some students and a usability professor did in in Finland at the University of Oulu and shared with Andy. They found, as I often also have seen during training, that things start to get hard for folks when they're asked to add a new page. Yes, in-context editing works great when you see a typo - but no it's up hill to not have a staging area and have to explain your site is a tree before someone can create hello world pages. That's a thing we're trying to solve in 5.7.
Never said we had it perfect, never said it couldn't change. As I said in my reply, I'm not sure what the complaint is actually about here. The dashboard is easier to get to, the ability to create a strongly typed page (which is what I believe Chad is shooting for) is more front and center... I don't get it. I wasn't trying to say we weren't interested in negative feedback by saying "so far 'change sucks'." I'm saying I TOTALLY GET that change DOES suck and I'm questioning if we're actually deep enough on this to be past that initial "woah this is different" experience and actually into a measured debate on feature approach. Apologies if that didn't come across, I see now how it might not have.
you're effectively basing a major paradigm shift on a bunch of college 20 year olds?
Are you more experienced and knowledgeable now, or when you were 20? lol
I'm telling you, I have never, in training hundreds of people EVER had anyone complain about creating pages or adding blocks. Ever.
In fact, I've never had anyone ever come back and ask "now how do you do X again?"
It's like you're creating a problem when there really isn't one.
Besides all that, I have very little issue with composer, or a new way to add blocks...I have issue with removing existing ways that really worked well to begin with.
I don't know who your working with or training. I really don't.
But I DO know who I have trained and worked with, and who most of my colleagues have...and let me just tell you, it's everyone from soccer moms to IT guys.
I've never once heard a complaint about adding pages or blocks. not one single time.
Now...page_types is a very different story. Which is where I think some of your new line of thinking really helps. I think that's great, and a big kudo's to Andy and yourself for really stretching page types and composer pages.
But to me, your really hurting the workflow for existing users by removing simple "add page" and "add block" functionality. Not to mention newcomers that would just simply prefer to do it that way.
I mean...I'd just be happy with a return of some basic work flow that was already there in addition to your new way of thinking honestly.
Right now as 5.7 stands:
- I can't simply add a page under a page in the same 3 click process I do now. That's negative.
- I can't tell when a page is in edit mode where I can "do stuff"
_ I can't put a page in edit mode and simply hover over an area and add a block. That's strange.
Add a page and do stuff. That's really what people love about C5. And they should, because it's great.
The shift away from "you must first navigate to the parent of where you want this new page to live under" seems like a real improvement in ease of use. People are always wondering where the "staging area" is in concrete5. I've often heard "okay how do I make this page live now?" the answer being "it already was because you hit publish instead of save draft" was not awesome. Now drafts work the way people would expect them to.
Where do you suppose they get that expectation of a "staging area"? I could be wrong, and that's okay, but my observation is, probably from their experiences with some of the "old-school" cms's, because that's what they all do. So until people get up-to-speed with the newer paradigm of content management that C5 brought to the arena, wouldn't it be natural for people to expect this?
The clean, direct way of adding new pages was one way that I always though C5 was "visionary" and "next generation". It's one of my favorite things about C5, and my clients have always loved it, especially those who came from old-school cms's that made them constantly go back and forth between some backroom "staging area" and the place where you can actually see your content. Did it take some getting used to? Sure, because C5 is different from the others, but in some very good ways.
To me, that initial discomfort of learning to add pages as sub-pages of the currently-viewed page is one of those "step out of your comfort zone to discover a better way of doing something" sort of things.
That Future is wonderful ... Il think in the same way at time, Inline Edit is an Must-Have for Editing Sites at Time ...
Great Work !
I had a play with Webs and I really liked it. If that's the direction then kudos.
I've never used composer. It's just too confusing and awkward. My sites aren't blogs and there aren't multiple editors. I'm of the brigade that just goes to where I need one and "add subpage" and, like Chad says, do stuff. I just throw a load of blocks down and rearrange until I'm happy. This is my workflow and I'm quite happy with it. It was similar with Webs which, although it didn't have the ability to add a sub-page in the short time I played, it didn't force me to dive off to another interface somewhere-just choose the page and start editing. I could choose which page I wanted to edit from the bar and I expect if there were an option to add (there maybe one, just didn't see it) then It would be a button.
I like that areas are highlighted with ants. It makes it clear where I can and can't put stuff. This enables me to visualise how the page will look in my head before actually moving/adding stuff. I suppose I'm lucky that if that disappears I can hack the code to get them back again. But I really don't want to have to do that.
Redactor doesn't cut it for me. It's not enough. Whilst I use a cut-down editor for user input (Jacks Advanced Guestbook, for example), I really want a proper editor for content. I think it would be a great addition as a block but I couldn't live with it as the only editor.
I guess there may be more misery than just for Miser :)
Yes. Sub/super scripts aren't available either as far as I can see. So things like trademark symbols (which you can't get, maybe can insert as raw HTML) would be problematic
- I'm probably one of the biggest fans of the composer, I use it in most of my projects, I've done video blogs about about it, etc, so I'm liking that it has been elevated in status to being more of a core feature rather than just another dashboard page. (although I see this as a good thing, I use the composer for _certain_ kinds of page creation, not all, so I think it's a BIG mistake not to provide other ways of creating new pages)
- I am liking the dashboard sidebar, I think this will improve the usability of navigating around something like eCommerce's dashboard pages.
- The new Conversation block, it looks very handy.
- The Gathering block also looks really exciting - I hope it will be fairly design agnostic, so we can extend and go nuts with it.
- I really like the way the layout editing is heading. I try to avoid using layouts too much, but when they are needed it'll be great to have more control, something I can configure to work closely with my theme.
- I REALLY like that I can add new blocks between existing ones straight away, instead of having to move them later on. Time saver.
- The 'Compose Form' building, where you can add groups of form controls (for page properties, blocks, slugs, etc), looks very impressive. It's also interesting that you can edit different defaults for the different page templates, for each page type.
Things that I'm not currently fond of:
- Feeling my way around a page when dropping in a new block to find the editable area spots is just horrible. I don't know if I'm dropping a block into a global area or a normal page specific area as there's no colour differentiation or labels. I appreciate that it could get very messy to show all the areas, but surely there is nice way to do this, using subtle hints. Editing a page I had the same frustrations, I tried for example to edit the footer area on the default theme, forgetting it's hard-coded (I hovered over it in vain, trying to get something to come up). I think it's critical that we can see the name of the editable area we are dropping a block into too, not just where it is.
- I'm assuming the dark look of the add block sidebar is unfinished, the colours used are very inaccessible contrast wise. (remember people with disabilities use concrete5!)
- The block options, to show stacks and the clipboard, is not obvious (I think this is just unfinished styling though)
- The toolbar icons still in my opinion aren't visually descriptive enough, they need text or as Chad suggested at least tooltips. The left side of the toolbar has actually increased in the number of buttons, from 1 to 3, but has become less clear in purpose. I know there is a separate debate about icons with or without labels, but what I'm reading here is that experienced concrete5 developers are getting confused, I know I've not found the icons intuitive enough initially, and I'm not looking forward to training my clients over the phone and not having an actual word to actually direct them to look for.
- The sitemap in general seems to have had the context menu removed, the one that allowed you to quickly do lots of things to it. I also can't drag and drop to move the nesting of a page, only the order. Hopefully that's just because it's just unfinished.
- The context menu when you click on a block to edit it, the options appear grey even though they are selectable. This initially gave me the impression these options weren't available.
- The little concrete5 icon on reddactors toolbar is actually a button to link to pages, files, etc. It's in no way obvious these features are available under that button, it at least needs something like 'Insert...' near it. It's inconsistant to use the concrete5 logo on the main toolbar purely as decoration but to then use the same logo at the start of a toolbar as a functional device. It has to be both or none.
- I couldn't find how to re-edit a composer driven page via the composer for ages - I realised it was under the Page Settings sidebar. I guess this makes sense as it's related to page attributes (and where else would it go?), but I almost feel it should be under the actual edit button (for composer driven pages, give an option to 'Edit in Composer' or 'Edit directly'), just a thought!
- Basic things that often would take only a single click now seem to take multiple clicks. I know this was a complaint in 5.5, so maybe it's a not a big deal.
- I don't like the way the discard/save/publish buttons in the composer hover over the fields - it's almost implying you don't need to fill everything in. I'd rather have them fixed at the bottom so you review all fields before committing to something.
- I miss the dashboard image of the day! :-)
I'm wondering if some of the concerns of developers in this thread could be alleviated by proving a few UI options, in the same way as they were created for the photo of the day in the dashboard. There could be options to include labels on the toolbar buttons, or options on the area highlighting. I'm thinking the area highlighting might actually need some colour options anyway, in case someone's theme is green. I know it's dangerous to start trying to solve these design decisions with lots of configuration options, but one of the great things about concrete5 is that it's a framework/platform, not just a sitebuilder, that can be used to create highly customised systems. So if there were some site config options or something buried in the dashboard to make things a little more suited to a client or a project, I'd personally be happy.
My handful of loose change!
Yes, dragging onto areas is a bit picky at the moment, new JS is on the way to improve that. I totally agree something clearer to get across global areas should happen.
Yes, the dark look is unfinished, but no probably not as much as you might want to believe. There are tidbits like the icons not being blue that don't match Roberts comps, but part of me does agree with you that the left pane got really really dark somewhere along the line...
The sitemap is half broken. It's gonna do more than let you jump to that page. Sounds like from other heated debate it might get an "Add Child Page and Jump To In-Context Editing Mode" option... wish us luck on that label. ;)
Add-block overlay windows are likely borked on styling, don't worry about that at the moment. Yes, redactor concrete5 icon makes no sense, i feel like we have a comp for that we haven't dealt with... I think there's a new UI for the layouts bar too..
As far as the icons and edit mode, yeah we're trying to make that stuff intuitive enough that a short video on first install or just some clicking around would explain it all. I do think a tool tip type fade in of "Settings for this page..." could help a lot. I'm concerned that having the labels under the icons really makes the toolbar very heavy and in your face from a design prospective and there's plenty of examples in life where people get away with strong icons that have no labels.. It's a dance we're going to have to do.
I agree it seems that the save/publish buttons need more attention in composer. The intention there is really to try to make it clear that you can edit any page EITHER in a form (composer) OR in in-context.. I'm hearing that's not quite getting across yet.
I also miss the bg image of the day. happily it shows up at the top of a news feed rethink... (there's a huge zip file of comps listed at the bottom of this page:http://www.concrete5.org/developers/5-7-wip/... )
Thanks for taking the time to put your thoughts together in a way we can digest. It is appreciated.
I had a good look through the comps, I should have done that BEFORE fiddling around with the WIP version! (I encourage anyone reading this thread to check them out for a better impression of how things may fit together)
I particularly liked the 5.7_R12_07_Location.png one, showing how to place a new page in the site map, it gives more visual feedback that you've actually clicked/selected the spot in the site map you are after.
Now that I've see the left hand sidebar mockups, I can see how the dark look could work with bright icons. I'd still suggest though that the greys on the blacks still aren't contrasting enough from an accessibility point of view though.
On 5.7_R12_10_AddPanel.png, the Stacks panel has both very small and poorly contrasting text, but more importantly I think this mockup highlights why I think this sidebar should have a light background - when content is in the clipboard, it's much more likely to be content that appears as dark text. Currently with 5.6, when I have a design with a dark background and white text and content is shown in the clipboard it can be very hard or impossible to read. So I'm thinking it's best to stick to a light colour wherever ad-hoc pieces of content like that might have to be displayed. Although the dark does look nice with a bright colour on top of it, I do also find it a little jarring on the eyes when the rest of the c5 interface is on the lighter side.
So Andrew, your note is the first thing that makes sense to me in this thread. You are integrating Redactor, not simply using it. My integration of TinyMCE in my CMS is lighter than light; I'm using it.
So it won't be Redactor per se that we need to know about. We'll need to understand C5's implementation of Redactor.
I think tinyMCE trumps Redactor in terms of features/functionality
Step One: Make a package with a tinymce content block?
Step Two: Profit!
The only things I've spotted are something to handle symbols and something to do sub and superscript, but I reckon both would be able to be built pretty quickly as Redactor plugins.
As HereNT suggested, making a TinyMCE powered content block for 5.7 is a feasible project, as would making many other rich text editor powered content blocks. There are already addon blocks that provide other methods of editing content, but they have their own content rather than taking over the editing of existing block's content.
If I were developing such an addon (which I have absolutely no intention of doing, I am just speculating), I would look at also creating a job or dashboard page to convert core content blocks (ie currently TinyMCE-3 powered, soon to be redactor powered) into the addon's own content block alternative. For completeness, it should also convert back again.
The other thing isn't a feature per se but rather compatibility with Internet Explorer. In just trying the demos I had some problems; in some cases Imperavi lists the browsers a feature works with and IE is omitted. My clients are mostly in the U.S. and the usage statistics from their sites demonstrate an overwhelming majority IE usage.
That's why I see Redactor as not quite done.
>What features are you thinking of that TinyMCE has that Redactor is missing?
Try inserting an image. Extra points if you can figure out text flow around it.
What am I missing?
Web only. What about from the CC5 filemanager?
I was going to add that it's worth exploring the image add feature on the demo athttp://imperavi.com/redactor/ and to also have a look at the video underneath it. Some pretty interesting/modern stuff happening here. Redactor appears to have it's own file manager for picking images and an uploader - obviously these things haven't been enabled in the WIP as it needs to integrate with concrete5's own file manager.
From playing with the demo I think it straight away handles image placement better and more cleanly than TinyMCE. It even automatically adds in appropriate right/left and bottom margins to give it some space around the text.
I am relaxed. I've already replaced it with TinyMCE4. I don't even have to use the "edit block", just click on it (although they could do that with redactor).
Redactor appears to have it's own file manager for picking images and an uploader - obviously these things haven't been enabled in the WIP as it needs to integrate with concrete5's own file manager.
Image handling is not Redactor's feature. You must write your own image handler to make it work.
I agree with Franz: If customers see WIX et al. they like it so much because it is dead simple and it really is the way to go. But on the other hand: the new solution has to be chosen wisely. There is plenty of other (new) crap around. And concrete5 should not be crippled and still stay mighty as it is (or even become mightier) - a delicate task!
Things things I'd like to see:
Avoiding tree different buttons on two different areas of the editor to choose between external (urls, emails) and internal (pages, documents) links. Either one button that lets me choose after pressing it like:
- Internal Page
- External Address (accepting tel: and sms: and everything else that may come)
or four equal buttons
A solution that is easily configurable.
But I want to be clear that I'm not criticizing C5's choice of Redactor. When 5.7 is done it will contain an editor that is based on Redactor and tightly integrated into C5. What I realized from Andrew's message above that Redactor was chosen because of its easier malleability, giving C5 the ability to make it their own.
Anyway, great work so far. I'm excited to dig deeper into the 5.7 version on github.
What I am concerned about is the basic workflow processes built into the core (or being removed), especially removing a well used and easy for beginners 'add a page' process to force everyone into using a composer based process more attractive to bloggers and enterprise clients.
Really impressive work and some extremely nice easy access to properties of a page
-Add page, sitemap and filemanager access should be easy to reach.
-Highlight around editable areas - important change that means you can't see what can be edited easily...
-Why inspired by the 'canned' CMS market? Where are you going?
I am a newbie in C5 terms compared to others here (coming from a Joomla Junkie, Drupal flirting background)
For my money composer highlights a crucial conceptual issue - which is that clients/UX dont really get attributes as a place to add content - especially when they have been editing pages for 20 minutes and feeling confident. It makes sense for page settings, hide in nav, feature this, but once you start adding content here (composer blog intro/desc, thumbnails) then the best experience of editing content goes a bit weird. Does the off canvas UI help solve this? Cant tell
As far as I can tell the 5.7 UI uses the OffCanvas approach of FB and others to do something that Offcanvas was not always intended to solve/do. Offcanvas is great at dealing with mobile navigation - but was it ever intended for containing functional drag and drop elements to come on canvas? I think it was a mobile first idea. Sure it can be extended and should where useful to. I can see issues for non-desktop users trying to drag a block to the bottom right on a macbook pro/air 11"/13" - can you get there?
Actually i think the OffCanvas functionality solves one thing which was the modalicious nature of C5 - too much modal UI for me. I really like the properties access I can see in the video
Are CORE team and hard core devs best UX guinea pigs - apart from Finish 20yr old students of course?
Some of the best feedback can be had from sitting people down, videoing them and watching them 'muddle through' the tasks (see Steve Krugs "dont me think"). If we start with "add a page", "visit a different page" , then "go back and edit that page you made" I am pretty sure we'd get some interesting data to throw into the mix.
C5 Crowd sourced UX Party anyone?
Compare and contrast 5.6 and 5.7 ux tests and agreed tasks?
Can the community become involved and contribute / drive some ideas thru UX feedback/testing?
This platform (Comment/forum) seems an impoverished place to deal with such complex and obviously passionate issues but a good starting point to express concerns and delights
1) I miss the Dashboard "full view" where you could just take a quick glance and see what sub-pages are under each section. I, for one, can't automatically remember every subpage there and can't always remember the right keywords to type in search box, so I have to look around.
2) Many people already said that the add block sidebar is way too dark. Doesn't make sense to have lot's of nice icons there that you can't really see :)
I would also like to see an option of "minified" add block sidebar with labels only (and maybe just the small icons without big rounded boxes around them). It would take much less space and I'm pretty sure most people remember the block types by name, not by their icons.
3) From a developer's point of view I'd really like to see the option of adding page directly from sitemap. Especially when creating a new site and maybe having only the default page type it's nice to able to build the site structure quickly (to test navigations etc). Now it would take a lot of clicks via composer. Also, I personally see the sitemap add page feature kind of a more intuitive way of adding pages...I've never actually learned the habit of using the add page button under the edit hover :)
Quick question... How can I revert to a previous version without visiting the page? If the page is broken, I can't get to the 'Versions' tab. Or am I just blind?
+1 to Ale's previous comment about minimizing the dead space on these slide-out menus. I experimented with the core css once by removing whitespace on the Add Block modal (and several others) and you'd be amazed at how much faster it is to find blocks and add stuff when there is twice as many blocks displayed at once. Whitespace works when you have lots of real estate to play with but if one of the goals is to make it more mobile-friendly then the real estate just ain't there.
I am also concerned about not seeing the sub-items under the top-level categories in the Dashboard. When I updated concrete5 in the past, the first thing I did was to 'star' 80% of the sub-items so I could find them. For example, how is a client supposed to know if something is a 'System and Setting' thing or not? When the core team puts things in these top-level categories, it's kind of arbitrary and the casual user has no way of knowing why you decided that it should go under one category or another.
I believe were still keeping the sitemap (and flat view/page search) in the Dashboard where you can do all sorts of fun power stuff. Look at its presence in this new panel as an addition, not a subtraction of something that already is helpful elsewhere.
The balance of providing room for information to be parseable vs. enough information to bother parsing is always a great debate. I 'spose the refrain of 5.7 is going to be fewer modal windows means less waiting means more information in your face faster = better..
However IMHO these suggestions/features would ease workflow and be more intuitive for adding pages and blocks
- The Add Pages button slide out panel has a sitemap that could also benefit from the same popup menu accessible from the dashboard sitemap or a subset of the popup with just Visit, Add Page, Design, Permissions, ...
- The context/popup menu for Areas should include Add Block that would slide out the side panel for blocks and allow clicking a block to add it to the area for more specific placement of blocks in areas.
I agree with ChadStrat that its good to maintain workflow especially if it's intuitive for users and will enable them just add a page and "do stuff".
Lets keep the Simple and useful features as we add and improve c5.
Loved this discussion and read it to the end - great contributions/opinions guys
My spare coins
Yes, you should be able to add pages to specific spots in the tree from that dashboard side nav.
No, a usability study isn't two 20 year olds just offering their opinions as fact. While that may fly here, what they did was sit a cross section of normal people down and ask them to accomplish real tasks. They found a number of things, most of which confirmed our own experiences with training clients.
In broad strokes:
Editing something that exists with in-context editing makes sense to everyone.
Adding something new was challenging.
Thus, we explore better ways to accomplish it in 5.7. I don't think we're ready to compare 5.6 to 5.7 yet, I agree there's some devil in the details that needs to get dialed in as we play with it before we'd expect a Joe to prefer it over what is already out there in production.
but as chadstrat mentioned: limiting the workflow to composer isn't the best solution. different types of end-customers do have different types of approaching their target. and different types of websites _need_ different types of workflows & adding/editing pages.
of course you C5-guys do have another perspective than me or other "resellers", but Squarespace should neither be the competitor for you nor for "us". I believe their market is quite another one than our both is.
just my 2ct.
What I don't believe is that 5.7 gets us any closer to their user experience as far as one-click website creation is concerned. As long as we still require clients to understand nerdy stuff like custom attributes, cryptic page handles and the philosophical relationships between Page Types, Page templates, Custom Templates, etc then we have a ways to go. Apple hides it's horsepower behind simple interfaces that anyone can learn to use quickly. There were more powerful MP3 players out there when the iPod was created but Job's genius was in creating the "every man's" music device with revolutionary ease of use. The web-builders out there have the same advantage of vertical integration that Apple has in that they can control every aspect of the add-ons they produce. If they have great designers who build in 90% of the features any business would need, then businesses will adapt their needs to the add-on instead of paying someone to adapt the add-on to their needs. Close enough is often good enough.
5.7 is primarily an interface makeover, not a 'order of magnitude' re-write. As I see more and more web traffic being driven by mobile apps, I wonder how long it's going to be before all of the traditional websites we have built in the past few years will be obsolete regardless of the framework in which they were built.
I'll have my morning coffee now and maybe I'll post something more optimistic later on ;-)
and that's not the best intention when doing this business.
and somebody already thinking about squarespace & co will never call a webdesigner to ask for a price. and this guy will never install php-mysql-server-stuff on his own.
good point, but I think there are two main user groups for C5: the end-customer and the web-guy. cutting C5 down to the end-customer needs will annoy the web-guys, who love C5 for being so adaptable and flexible from the technical side.
I didn't leave Joomla & Co. to get it back now.
and yes, mobile web is the future, but mobile device screens are getting bigger with better resolutions, so the hardcore-mobile-optimized stuff will fade away and the touch-input-stuff will remain.
yeah, hopefully your 2nd or 3rd coffee boosted your mood.. ;)
As I continue to play with 5.7, I like the interface, but get the feeling it could be more ergonomic for developers if such a distinction was made.
It might not be as big of a deal for, say, a small business. But for individual users? Could be huge.
According to that, 31% of internet users are mobile only. I also tried to find it again, but there was an article interviewing one of the high-up people at Wordpress. He said something like 40-50% of their users were managing their websites through mobile apps now.
Of course, that's a full app, not actually using the CMS in a browser. Maybe that's an option?
I don't think that even if you have better resolution on a mobile device that you can just ignore those users. The actual *size* is the same, especially for phones. Your finger is the same size. Maybe you can see the whole dashboard or page, but if you can't really click on anything...
I worry about the 'race to the bottom' that this could bring about, too. There's a great article here about how that's working with wordpress themes, but it doesn't seem to be loading for me right now:
The gist is, when you have these 'super themes' it makes everyone think that developers aren't really worth anything.
If I was running a fairly large company and a developer pitched c5 to me, I'd go check it out. Watch a tour, read some docs, etc. If that looks basically like one of those cookie cutter type web builders, I'm going to be pretty skeptical that it can actually do what I want, and I'm not really going to trust that the developer actually knows how to competently do anything, since they're using a system like that.
I guess it's a matter of who the end customer we really want is. Personally, I don't want someone looking to spend next to nothing for their site. That whole enterprise section on here will probably need go away if we start chasing after people looking for a $5/month site. Nobody will be visiting it.
Some initial thoughts:
Toolbar should have text and Icons, make it an option for those who want text, it will help some users.
I miss the Sign out button in the upper right, having to click on dashboard then click sign out is just adding more clicks to my life.
I think the Add Page button should be on the left, there has always been a work flow, we go left to edit, add pages, etc, go right for search, dashboard, sign out.
I have really gotten to like the recent history that is displayed when you hover over Dashboard in the 5.6, it would be nice to keep that somehow.
I don't think the sidebars need to be as wide as they are
Almost invisible down arrow for selecting clipboard, stacks etc, it's kind of awkward and you're making me click more. Maybe when you hover on the + sign you get those options too? Same for Page Settings, hover on the cog and get a list Design, SEO, etc., click and go direct to the sidebar you need, it would be faster.
Please have a settings option to list Blocks by name or list by icon. I see no need for the big square icons, it just makes for more scrolling. More scrolling, more clicking, is bad.
Very hard to tell when you are in edit mode, areas need an outline when the page is in edit mode. An optional grid overlay might be a nice feature too.
Think you should keep the ability to add pages from the site map, when developing a new site it's been a good place to work when you are adding in bunches of pages.
It's shaping up nice, but think Less Clicks when you are redesigning the UI!
What is better about it from an end user's point of view ... For example, how do you tell your clients to add symbols like © or – (ndash) or a non-breaking space etc.?
I can't see it has any advantage over TinyMCE or CKEditor for the end user ... both can do inline and are much more fully featured.
I have used extremely complex software programs (3D CAD designs in large machine assemblies and circuit board designs). I like your new effort to build control access into side panels, moving away from the dialog-esque dashboard. It is a bold move on your part but one that I see takes you closer to what I am more familiar with. I would think the power in the new design is quite obvious. Your intentions may have been to address the 'user' market but you are also heading towards the look and use of other major software programs that have been around longer and have had to expand their toolboxes to meet the ever-expanding demand on their software capability. It is a good direction. It is a direction that other software 'forerunners' have taken as well and I think it is wise to essentially be following in their well-worn path.
I think we agree that the 'squarespace/1and1/wix' marketplace is extremely limited in capability and you can bring that competition to it's knees by helping developers build more advanced websites to meet more specific customer needs - cost effectively - and that is C5's heritage. Racing to the bottom is a good strategy if you think future expectations of web development will be less complicated because customer's will be demanding less - not more - capability, features and customization to fit their targeted customer base.
So while it's nice to help Grandpa do something on the web he is not going to power your financial future. 'The kids' are coming and the Concrete5 Core Members need to be asking themselves this question: "What tool are these kids going to use to build their vision on the web?"
Right now, it appears to me that C5 has the intellectual horse-power pulling the wagon (filled with less-than-knowledgeable programmers who are pulled along it's learning curve) because the more experienced like the system's flexibility and extend-ability. What a perfect scenario! So you add a more complex UX in order to facilitate more advanced and quicker usage via side panels which is a well-proven design implemented by (almost?) every complex software on the market and that might upset a few customers who like the one-click ability to post a blog? ... bummer.
In my view, your vision is correct. I trust the color contrast, icons and 'numbers-of-clicks' will work themselves out in the wash.
Thank God you've got a vision. You're definitely not getting tired. Must be nice to come to work each day? (Keep up the good work.)
(I share your sentiments, I just don't think I could put them so succinctly!)
3D CAD softwares also have pop-up menus such that exist when clicking on a block area in C5 now.
Clicking to access the properties of a screen object is in fact part of the UI experience of the likes of Solidworks and ProEngineer. (I worked with 3D software for over 15 years)
Right now, the core team has abandoned this feature, as well as "highlightable objects" within the workspace.
So, I like your 3D software very much....but I think you are vastly missing what it is fundamentally missing in 5.7 at present.
Slide out panels are "neeto". I get it. But if you ditch simple usability in favor of something trendy....you've ultimately made a very bad discussion.
Indeed, context-menus are a major source of accessing object properties quickly in advanced software - so too are the sliding menus.
I'm surprised you see C5 as going so far askew, Chad. I think you agree that C5's lure is your ability to customize it. If they in fact make it more cumbersome in order to compete with the 1and1/wix/squarespace market then they will have missed their marketplace and shot too low. On the other hand, do they really need to keep it so brain-dead simple that a computer novice can do it? I mean, if a customer is so limited in knowledge then isn't he/she really only trying to do a couple of repetitive things and therefore able to learn a few clicks? You see no benefit in 5.7 that would help you work the system from a UX that is accessible entirely from the front-end like those CAD programs you used?
I think Frz is right, the low-end 'one-size-fits-all' website source is coming if not already here. Let's recognize it and sell what we already have in our toolkit - a better CMS that can handle the additional custom software designed specifically for them. If C5 can 'make it look simple' so the 'ease of use' compares to the low-ball players who can only sell their generic (and very limited service) then so much the better for you!
1) How much easier will it be for you to sell your better, more complex CMS to the uninformed simply because it 'looks just as easy' to use from the get go?
2) How much time do you spend selling customers on the fact that this software can be extended to meet their needs well into the future? Don't you think that pitch is going to become more and more difficult when your competition's software 'looks' more 'cool' - even though it takes the user a couple more clicks to get it done?
3) Is the concern about 'you getting it done' OR 'your customer getting it done'? You and me, we're writing code - we're not changing anything in TinyMCE,right? Does your customer care about whether it takes them 3 or 5 clicks to make something work? I would argue that they will buy 'intuitiveness' not a click or two less.
4). I think what 5.7 is striving for is mostly 'marketing' but does have some added benefit for those of us who code; namely the easier access to the dashboard.
5). I do not see these changes as being so drastic that it will derail the non-computer customer from using it. Contrary, if C5 looks 'clunky' then your future customers will choose to use the competition because - as Michael has said - they don't really understand what they are missing anyway.
6) I like that C5 is 'keeping it's product shiny.' Personally, I don't want the old Volvo sales pitch - It's boxy looking but it's good. I say make it look pretty just like the simpleton "web-host-here-as-my-sub-domain-and-you-can-change-some-CSS-by-using-this-git-repo-and-yes-that's-as-much-coding-as-this-system-will-allow-you-to-do" service and get me in the door so I can show you what a real website can do and - yes, I can code that for you too.
How about a list of what you 'like' Chad? You made mention earlier that you were going to do that. That might make hearing your complaints / concerns a little easier - because I do think they are legitimate.
Slide out menus are useful....for some things.
Popup menus are useful....for some things.
icons are useful...for some things.
drag'n'drop is useful...for some things.
Here's what I know...in fact:
- there is no visual feedback on what areas are editable in edit mode currently.
- there is no popup menu to interact with those areas.
- meaning, you are then forced to use drag'n'drop.
- and since you can't see where you can actually "drop" things...you have to guess.
Again, as I have stated before, my issue is so much less about what IS there, and so much more about what ISN'T there.
The core team has removed things that my clients, some of which have more than $200k+ invested into Concrete5, will have to retrain entire departments on for very simple and basic things. As apposed to having some form of familiarity.
The core team has not reported any actionable "we hear you...we agree" list. Leaving me in a situation where my clients are asking me questions I can not answer. "Are they REALLY going to force page addition this way???!!!!" I don't know. I have no idea.
My goal here in this thread is to represent both my personal view of helpful and unhelpful change, as well as my clients.
I could honestly give two sh!ts if anyone likes what I'm saying.
I'm on the streets dealing with large scale clients every day, as well as fielding thousands of input every month from product sales. I don't have to "guess" or make "educated assumptions" or "reasoned assertions" on what people are using C5 for or what they are looking for. lol I hear it....every week. I know exactly what most people do and don't like about C5.
And I think Frnz hears these same things and somehow gets "we need wix!" out of all that? dunno. I'm totally confused by the whole matter.
I do think there are positives. There are many. (see my post) But migration/update path are remiss and tragic at the moment.
If we go through this whole process and people do not express concerns...valid concerns by the way...then we risk the chance of this issues being totally overlooked.
I want Frnz to look like a genius. I do. I want him to advance the CMS as far as possible. I only stand to gain from that.
And I have little issue with most of the things added in 5.7 to be honest.
I have serious concerns about things removed however. And if it's not fixed....5.7 will prove to be Frnz'z worst nightmare.
I already hear from developers and designers weekly on this subject. Trust me when I tell you....I am not alone here in my concerns.
It's not just my opinion here at play. As much as some here would like to believe.
I'm just basing this on following this thread, but what screams out to me are
-no visual feedback on what areas are editable in edit mode
-no popup menu to interact with those areas-
-forced to use drag'n'drop
I believe there's a good reason why some "old adages" are in fact such. Having said that, I'm not trying to be cute & hope this doesn't come across as trite, but let's not forget...
"If it isn't broken, don't fix it".
The road of business is strewn with the results of these decisions - both made and 'NOT' made. If you truly believe that nobody is gunning for anything more (in 'this' [arguably] the world's most advancing field) then don't try to fix/update anything and ride the wave of profitability as long as you can. My view, this industry is still shooting fiercely and it is still very young. Franz and Andrew have shown a terrific acumen for having their finger on the industry, nobody here would argue that. Essentially, this is a public thread for a boardroom discussion; most boardrooms do not like heated personalities because they taint what needs to be an incredibly logical thought process. That's why Franz has ignored Chad; but that's not to say he is not listening to him.
In their videos, Franz and Andrew have made mention that they were inspired by their competitor's design and felt the industry was developing a look that was becoming 'accepted' by their (potential) customer base. To incorporate that is not to say they are 'losing their way' and becoming what they should not be. In my view, to 'stay close' to their competitors in the UX look and feel means they are staying relevant to a customer base that is becoming 'trained' by experience. That's a safe decision, not dangerous. The core of C5 still holds the tremendous advantage that will continue to be it's calling card well into the future. The more people become learned about website development the more relevant the capability of C5, with a UX that has implemented an industry standard look and feel that makes 'the switch' less daunting by both business owners and 'content managers' alike.
Personally, I do not feel Chad is correct in his overall view and certainly not his delivery; not caring 'two sh!ts' and questioning whether C5 has had any experience with sizable customers are derailing his own concerns from getting legitimate address. He's passionate, I'll give him that.
I believe the amount of work that C5 has put into this new UX is worth it for the reasons I have mentioned. The complaints I am hearing seem like - if proven significant - could be readily addressed with addons to 'bring back' some of the contextual functionality if needed.
I came to concrete5 because it was worlds ahead of the competition in ways that were hard to describe to my fellow developers until I showed them the system's architecture and what it could accomplish. The first thing they noticed was that editing the page was intuitive precisely because there were boxes around all the editable areas. Just because the designers of some other 'prettier' interfaces have decided not to put boxes around their areas does not make it the right decision.
You say that businesses need to take chances but I don't see copying the competition (see attached screenshot of Weebly's interface) as taking much of a chance. Apple didn't become Apple by doing what other companies did. What I am saying is: by all means modernize the interface but make it better than the competition's, not the same or worse.
Hey, I like the interfaces offered by the likes of Weebly/Wix/Squarespace but I don't believe the 5.7 interface, as it's currently deployed, brings concrete5 any closer to the functionality of these competing interfaces and in my opinion serves to obscure and bury some of the most common functions. A training nightmare will bury some small development companies that can't charge their smaller clients enough to cover the costs of such training. Large clients expect upgrades in software to be followed by a 'for-profit' training seminar but such is not the case with smaller clients. It will be 'death by a thousand cuts'. As Chad said, we all want the core team to succeed and although they drive the bus, concrete5 is what it is today because of the strong contributions made by the members of the community, not in spite of them.
In my opinion (and that's all it is), an interface upgrade was way down the list and it has diverted the energy of the core team away from some important things. IMHO, if the core team had put their enormous talents towards increasing the underlying functionality of the code base or making the sites easier to clone or building out a public-facing API or any number of things that would truly aid in extending the reach and enabling connectivity to external services, concrete5 would be much further ahead.
But here we are so we all need to feel free to express our thoughts (with passion or with restraint) and hopefully some of the suggestions made here by some very experienced developers and business people will make it into the final version of 5.7.
You make the claim that you, as a 3d CAD expert, understand what the web market needs. I think you're wrong and far reaching in some of your assumptions.
You make the claim that making a concerted effort to compete with multi-billion dollar backed insta-site platforms is the way to go. I think you're dead wrong here. I have sales figures that VASTLY disagree with you on this. Not just in small part...vastly. Web Shops and Design Houses are the users bringing growth and return faithfulness to C5. Win 1x DYI Insta-site'r- get 1 user, and possibly some referral. Win 1x Dev shop, Get 4-5-6-7 users plus all of their referrals. It's a no brainer.
You make the claim that the reason the core team has not responded to community expressed concerns is because of my singular, ChadStrat's, attitude. I certainly hope you're wrong. To which, if it were the case I would say: "get over yourself" What are we twelve year olds here????
You either want the truth or you don't. If you don't want honest feedback...then don't F'ng ask for it.
Seriously. Don't ask. If you're not going to listen, acknowledge, learn, and grow from feedback and treat your community like something other than a damn conspiracy theory...then don't ask.
Gosh...you must be right...the dozens of developers and designers that generate millions of dollars of revenue strictly based on C5 are dumb asses and whiners who simply hate change and merely want to complain about something.
There's no POSSIBLE way a group of fine thinking people who speak with and work with C5 customers every single day could have any clue what people complain about or ask for. !!!
Whatever man. I'm done here. Good luck to you.
There was no disrespect shown to you and there was no overbearing statement that my perspective was the only correct one.
Cheer up. And Happy Holidays. :)
I'm just not going to let you make flippant claims and not have any accountability here. If you don't want the accountability.....then don't make a claim. Not hard.
No hard feelings on my part. I say what I mean and move on. I think that's fairly obvious by now.
It seems the highlighting of the editable areas is not only an easy fix but one in which Andrew and Franz have said they are still trying to finalize it - so I don't see that as going away; but again, easily fixable if they leave it out for some reason.
I think where you see C5 as copying the UX I see them as making the same effort to bring access to the backend that other major software providers have done - the least and latest of which are the competitors in this industry. (Who's copying who here?) While your screenshot does show the look familiar to the competition, I think the bigger C5 goal is to 'unclunk' the dashboard in order to do the things that you state should be done. That dialogue-esque dashboard gets burdensome to click through - don't you think?
Chad made the argument that the forcing of a drag and drop UX would make it tougher to build upon the system. I guess for him it would. I can't stand clicking through all that (context-menu) stuff so I am used to exporting the system and reusing it as a starting_point each time. Or, I'll put the code base to build custom pages into the startup routine. But as you say, the C5 team should make that easier to do - but now we're coming back to a 'cluttered dashboard' again.
I guess we will live and learn. Again, thanks for your thoughts.
On a slightly different business note (and because we all seem to agree everyone wants the best for the platform), I recall Franz saying the major upgrades of the past were also times of significant growth in the popularity/use of Concrete5. I believe he was saying those times saw a "bump" or higher than normal influx of interest and "new blood". This would make sense. A major release is a time of hightened attention. Frankly, this really is a publicity and public relations opportunity as well. This leads me to a question though. Help me understand, why is as much of this discussion focused on the weebly/Wix/Squarespace's, and at the same time nothing about "the Gorilla in the room"?
What Gorilla? Come on! What's running over 50% of the dynamic websites on the net? It's Wordpress. (Ducking...)
Seriously though, it's not (and I'll venture to say never will be, even with big corporate money being thrown at them) the weebly/Wix/Squarespace's. So who cares about them. That's not our market and never will be. But that's not my point because most us here are already in agreement on that. My point is, why not have more discussion of how this time and opportunity might contribute to grabbing a big chunk of the Wordpress marketshare?
Again, it seems there's much attention being paid to these insta-platforms. I suppose it's because of the UI changes and their UI. But what about marketshare?
I realized before posting this would probably be more appropriate in it's own thread, so I started a discussion here
Personally, I share the concerns ChadStrat brought out and feel that in 5.7 WIP there are somewhat bad decisions being made UX-wise. However, I do know that the Core team has given some kind of answer that they "are working on" the area highlight issue. In my opinion the drag and drop method should not be the only way to add blocks. One reason is that for at least few years some people will be using/updating their sites on underpowered computers or sluggish low-end tablets where such fancy drag and drop system will turn into an unusable slide show. I'm fine with context menus, as I'm familiar with them in almost every (desktop) software.
When ChadStrat brought out the question the clients are asking "are they REALLY going to force page addition this way" it kind of reminded us developers asking "are they really transforming the dashboard into single pages looking like dialogs" during the alpha-state of 5.5. There was a lot of criticism toward some decisions, but the dashboard renewing process went on somewhat "as-is". Things got better by 5.6 while there were still some issues about the feeling of "homelessness" (not knowing in which part of dashboard you currently are) and also some Core-team add-ons (eCommerce for example) were more complicated use. Now, looking at the 5.7 dashboard it kind of reminds of 5.4 more than 5.5 (especially looking at how efficiently it uses screen estate). My point is that could we have avoided the round-trip to somewhat-cramped-dialogs-leading-to-blank-screen-if-you-close-them world if opinions from the active community members and/or professionals would have been listened more carefully?
(the above is not maybe the best comparison, but I hope you get the point)
I'm sure Frz and Andy do not have all the day to read forums and answer questions, but when there is a major release in WIP, I think every sensible criticism should be read carefully.
P.S. Sorry if I sounded a bit harsh expressing some points. English is not my primary language and some things I write may sound rude unintentionally.
We try not to get sucked up in the vortex of personal opinions presented as fact. There's just not enough time in the day and we'd rather work than argue. This has been a hard lesson for me to learn personally. When we launched open source in late 2008 it was amazing when we had 10 new people come to the site in a day. I personally responded to each new post in any forum as if it were a client. Today we get an average of 8,000 visits a day and I have to bow the forces of capitalism and focus much of my energy to those who are paying for help with our free product. It is what it is - the way I try to deal with it is give a lot of these threads time to mature on their own so I can cherry pick the good fruit. We also throw a heavy slice of yelp review mentality in here too, you rarely hear from folks who liked the meal just fine. I'd never stick a poll in the forums here and take the results as gospel. That's not me devaluing anyone's opinion, that's me telling you all I've met many very smart programmers doing many cool things with concrete5 that simply don't have the time, interest, or patience to even have a community account here. We view the community as a huge voice, but not the entire audience. That being said, there are truths that come out of this stuff. Thank you for the passionate debate.
Yes, we are looking to the web builder market as an example of UX solutions that anyone can use. No that doesn't mean we don't serve big clients or somehow are deaf to those needs. Frankly we're not sitecore or alfresco, and being a PHP open source platform we may never really be able to own what I consider "big" development. I hear big client and think millions and typically dotnet/java, but yes, we do large 6 figure projects for mid sized businesses (1-4b) all the time. I wouldn't worry about us throwing the baby out with the bath water. We're looking for balance, which we've generally been able to achieve over the years. There certainly is an argument that enterprise software doesn't need to look good, and in fact is more sellable if it doesn't, but that's not a world view we get excited about. We're more in the "hey if its a pleasure to use, you might start using it in ways you didn't plan to before" camp.
Historically, when there's well reasoned things that seem like they're universally agreed upon, I believe we do a pretty good job of getting them in there. It's nice that Chad wants me to look like a genius, but that's not really what gets us going in the morning. A great product that anyone can intuitively understand is the measure of success here. We're ready, willing and eager to take risks to get there, including changing decisions we've made in the past or maturing the core in a way that might damage some marketplace sales. None of this is news.
Ricalsin: yes - thank you for articulating what we're trying to do so well. For others reading and wondering, yeah, listen to what he said. ;)
EditMode/Composer concerns: We've made a few very simple tweaks to the new page experience that we plan on showing off in this weeks totally random. Shockingly simple stuff but I think it goes a long way.
This oatmeal post resonated with me:http://theoatmeal.com/comics/making_things...
I don't have an issue with the new Ui,slide outs...ect. I will have lots of fun with those and do some cool things.
I don't think slideouts are the answer for everything though.
Thank you for chiming in. I hope you do consider the block area / area popup nav though. That is a big issue.
Great Idea! But I have a concern, I think most of people will get the error "You must choose a page to publish this page beneath" when every time they will create new page, even if they are familiar with concrete5 (like me). It might be better to change default to Composer Mode first, or show message above the publish button like "You must choose the location before publish".
an interface upgrade was way down the list and it has diverted the energy of the core team away from some important things. IMHO, if the core team had put their enormous talents towards increasing the underlying functionality of the code base or making the sites easier to clone or building out a public-facing API or any number of things that would truly aid in extending the reach and enabling connectivity to external services, concrete5 would be much further ahead.
I think sometimes it gets forgotten that CC5 is a framework in the charge to be best-in-league. A very good framework, but requires Web Designers and Developers to make customer websites no matter how sparkly the editing interface looks.
If emphasis was more on the core support for features and integration, the designers and developers would create the Wix style interfaces which, after all, are just blocks with a customisable edit bar. Give the core a drag 'n drop API and an edit bar API and developers will create the the widgets and the Graphics Designers will make it look sparkly.
it' remembering me in old days pro kontra 5.4 vs 5.5 about that AI Menu hover kill intent in the top right(intelegent somewat dont remember excatly), Scrapbooks vs stack, 'cool' background image, automatic connect marketplace, full composer, etc
because just to understandingAble c5.4 took me 2 years, well its on my free time after all, afterwork, or maybe as developer(semi developer i think) i'm to dumb :(
no hard feeling okay :)
I like controlling what customer's can do to the backend of their site. Usually, content managers need to only know a few things and do it repeatedly. Hiding other tasks from them keeps the interface simple and protects the system from being damaged.
Are you planning to use your task-based permissions class to control what's viewable in the slideout panels? I am picturing a 'settings page' where I can 'drag/drop' slideout icons into a bucket that is assigned to a user group.
That would give total control as to who can do what and go along way to simplify the training of specific customers.
The deeper answer, yeah - i see what you mean. It's a pain the butt to set all those by hand today to limit dashboard access and there are likely simple things that we can do to make it a lot easier to lock down parts of the dashboard to subadmins in a way that makes sense.
Another is the blocks and stacks. Yea it seems nice to drag a block or stack over to an editable area but it seems like a lot of extra steps. If you think about great software you think about all the extra ways you can do the same thing. Giving someone an extra alternative is always a plus. With that being said keeping the add block or stack on left click to the editable area should stay.
I have been with Concrete5 pretty much from the beginning and liked that you were doing things different then the other systems. Now it seems that you are being more of a follower then a leader. Just a bit disappointing.
Is there a project launch date yet?
I agree that you should probably highlight editable areas. Otherwise editors would have to guess with the pointer by moving it all over the screens. Do re-think that please.
An impossible suggestion: Rebuild on top of an existing well working and easy to use framework, such as Laravel 4 :) gawd that would be great!
Apart from that, get it into beta, then stable and released!
First off - great to see the core team breaking new ground.
I’ve been playing with 5.7 for the better part of a day, and I think I’m coming around to the UI. I'm sure there is still a long way to go, but in the interest of honest feedback, here are a few things that stuck out as odd to me:
- I can click on an existing block and edit it, but why can’t I ADD a new block?
- Drag & drop screen for new blocks more cumbersome than current point’n click.
- Also agree with area highlighting confusion. Esp. for adding new blocks to an area.
- Why can’t I ADD a page from the Dashboard sitemap? This seems counterintuitive.
- Can I expand Redactor to include special characters?
- The Sitemap Sidebar seems fairly redundant/useless.
Adding new pages was very confusing for me. It took me over 20 minutes to figure out how to get a page published.
If you’re going through the trouble of having the ability to add a new page with the Sitemap Sidebar, then why go backwards and force the user to the Page Settings AFTER the content is placed in order to publish it? I kept getting the publish error and didn't know what I was doing wrong.
Perhaps the WIP isn't working correctly.
Also - because the Page Settings tab drops you into the Composer, I find it weird having to look there to edit a page’s properties/attributes - Bringing the two tools together (Settings and Composer) in one tab threw me.
I think I'd rather get dropped into a "Basics" tab with no content editor, and leave the Composer as a separate tool.
My 2 cents. Hopefully these ramblings are worth something :)
> Feel free to ask any questions here.
What about reporting issues (bugs), making comments, and suggesting UI changes. Is this the right place for any and all 5.7 related stuff?
Eventually there is hope for a migration process, but it will probably be quite manual, especially on sites with a ton of custom code.
More info here:
We’ve been open source since late 2008. In that time we’ve had 40+ version releases, 6 major ones, and we’ve always maintained backward compatibility. You can take a 5.0 website and hit “Update” all the way through 126.96.36.199. It’s always been important to us to keep everyone moving forward together.
For the first time in 6 years, we’ve decided to not put backward compatibility first and foremost. We really wanted to have a clean slate, so we could embrace ideas that involved deep changes to the system. The ecosystem of 3rd party tools and PHP itself has changed quite a bit in the last half a decade, and we don’t want to be stuck in the past. There’s so much good new stuff in concrete5.7 that we’ve been able to include because we simply decided folks would have to migrate by hand instead of upgrading with a single click. We know that when you start playing with 5.7 you’ll see why we made this hard choice, but we want you to also know we’re not going to abandon upgrades again lightly. Wordpress NEVER does this, Drupal ALWAYS does this - we’re right in the middle: once every half a decade or so seems reasonable.
The main advantage for the users was:
-easy to use (red dots in edit mode to add blocks, and TinyMCE editor)
-very handy and clean dashboard
In my opinion 5.7 is a very bad move.
There was a very nice growing tree and now you cut it , trying to grow another one...
All addons, themes, websites are now thrown to the garbage.
-adding a new page takes too much time and painful
-editable areas now invisible, its like working like a blind
-adding blocks are very hard, cant drag it in the place I want
-5.7 works slower
-those fancy menu slides in and out sometimes stops working
-dashboard is not handy no more
and so on... lots of cons.
There are lots of BUGs in concrete5 5.7 and you still force NEW users to download it.
Concrete5 5.7 should be BETA and 2. in download link until all issues fixed like
I must say I believe that 5.7 is a good way but the release is far too early as I consider it still being quite buggy. So: the way is good but I'd have it paved a bit more before letting the masses drive over it. I fear that it throws c5 back in the high score of the most liked CMSes.
Is the editor abstracted from the architecture so that alternate editors can be packaged into it easily?
Add styling to a link
Set a link to open in a new window
Add an anchor
Format images, such as change the size
Add styling to a table
Add superscripts and subscripts
I need a text editor that can do those things I listed above. I am a user, not a developer.
1) Redactor Editor, please give us an option to choose another editor, that's pretty common in cms architecture.
2) Forcing drag and drop of adding blocks is confusing also let us click and add a block just like the old c5. There are also usability issues with dragging and dropping, someone older may not be able to do that well.
3) How are we supposed to override the jquery version and now bootstrap used by concrete5 in edit mode? I had an issue where the site is using a customized bootstrap dropdown file but C5 is putting in their non customized bootstrap dropdown file when in edit mode so basically the feature is overwritten and doesn't work in edit mode. By using bootstrap in C5 and not being able to overwrite it easily I will be forced to not use bootstrap on my sites so they don't collide. We had this problem with the jquery version in the old version and now we have it again with bootstrap now. It's not an easy problem, I understand because you need to lock down the c5 version to keep it working reliably and they share the same interface as the public site. Maybe jquery and bootstrap should be namespaced in C5 core somehow so it never collides with the public use of those libraries.
1. In the upcoming 5.7.4 release there will be an updated version of Redactor with more features and the ability to build Redactor plugins to add features.
2. 5.7.4 will bring back "Add Block" to areas menus
3. concrete5 5.7 uses an asset registration system to prevent collisions. Are you registering your theme assets in page_theme.php?
In this case I don't believe the asset registration system will solve this specific problem. Which is when you need to use your own version of bootstrap on the public front end and continue to have C5 use the original version once you are logged in so it continues to work. The asset registration system enforces that you use one shared version (either your own or C5's) which is great for most needs but what if you need 2 versions, one for the site and the other for c5.
Since C5 is loaded in the same browser as the front end there is no easy way around this problem, basically every time C5 uses a popular front end library like jquery and bootstrap it brings up the potential for version and functionality conflicts. Jquery was not as much of a pain because it's api and backwards compatibility is fairly stable across versions but bootstrap is highly volatile, the grid system and plugins have changed massively between v2 and v3.
So let's say you're site is using bootstrap 3 with the latest 5.7 c5 then c5 decides to upgrade to bootstrap 4 when that is available but bootstrap 4 is incompatible with 3, meaning you are forced to upgrade your site bootstrap to 4 as well or you'll get conflicts but what if there is no budget or time to upgrade or there are major reasons the client doesn't want to upgrade for whatever reason.
Anyway just a catch of using popular libraries in core C5, sometimes you need to work around these issues.
On a related note attribute field output could probably use wrapping in a div with the both the attribute handle and/or attribute key and type. Imagine we want to select all attribute fields of a given type, again currently impossible given the standard attribute output.
Similar lack of metadata causes a problem in composer along with a general lack of ease in extending it. The composer setup (programmatically) is a bit of a maze. There are lot of different objects that have to be loaded in a certain way to add attributes to composer sets. Going back to the issues with output, there is no differentiation between one composer set and another making it very difficult to implement any custom styling or jQuery controls.
In Razor Commerce we did solve all these issues but it took some pretty wild jQuery and PHP to achieve it. We made ajax callbacks that map the attribute id's found in output to the attribute handles. We then injected classes into the attributes allowing us to then make jquery selections.
Wordpress meta boxes provides a good comparison for composer in terms of an extendable structure. In WP it's fairly routine for plugins to add boxes of fields into the edit form for pages/posts. We'd like to see C5 think of composer in similar fashion whereby the goal is to make it easy for packages to setup composer controls, and change the arrangement of controls.
I actually did something very similar to the ajax call back you describe for user attributes once. It solved a specific problem, but I never considered it robust enough for general use and the code was not particularly easy to maintain.
Having experimented with such, I think your long term objectives would be better served by submitting pull requests to add the classes and metadata you need to attributes within the core.
Back when the core was only updated once every 12 months that wouldn't have been a practical solution. Now core updates are once a month to get 5.7 reliable and usable, such a solution becomes more realistic.
It has also become easier to override the core than it was in 5.4 (though I have yet to try and do that in 5.7), so that provides a fallback solution if you cant get a pull request incorporated and release.
Many things doesn't work
First of all I am new to 5.7 but used the older version of Concrete5 a lot.
So it can be my lack of knowledge of 5.7 can be a part of my problems....
The lack of creating a backup of the database is something which simply should work.
Not everybody is be able to do this manually.
I bought an addon which crashed parts of my site.
The owner of the addon asked me to update the addon....
In the picture slider it's not possible (?) to configure a delay between pictures.
The default Rich Text Editor is very minimal (But I found it is possible to extend some functionality)
Maybe I am complaining too much.
In general 5.7 feels good and has many nice features.....