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View Full Version : New user interface



Phil Jackson
12-13-2009, 08:31 AM
Evening all. After working on my plug n play content management system for what seems like decades and have now finaly got it to a point where it can be used, I gave it to my missus to use.......

I gave it to our lass as she has no patience and hates using things for the first time and, straight away turned mine off! So i've come up with an add-on that I've been working on this week.

Link to test page (http://www.actwebdesigns.co.uk/web-design-mansfield/index-test.php)

what it will do Is load the site looking relatively how it should do in a browser and then you can hover over the data you wish to edit, right-click and pick an option.

It currently only runs in ie6, Firefox and chrome and can only edit, delete, copy, paste above and paste below work but its a start.

It's also buggy but like i said its a start!

Let me know your thoughts

Apostropartheid
12-13-2009, 02:12 PM
Huh. That's kind of neat.

A couple of thoughts:
Why don't you bind it to the left mouse button too? There's nothing else you're going to do with it on the page and I found myself using it more often than the right. The context menu is a built-in OS action, and I don't feel it should be replaced.

Why do all your paragraphs have unique IDs/un-semantic classes?

And it takes aaaages for the WYSIWYG editor to load for me (Chrome 4), sometimes even after I'd clicked the save button.

Phil Jackson
12-13-2009, 05:47 PM
hmmm, loads pretty quick, but thats a prototype, curently in the process of a propper online demo where you can enter a site address to edit and save the output if you wish. And i've chucked jquery out the window for this one and learning javascript on the fly.

im not a javascript/jquery coder just learning as i go with php knowledge so i will perfect it don't worry :-)

Thanks for the feedback though

Apostropartheid
12-13-2009, 06:40 PM
I think it's erroring out: it just says "false" at the top and has a standard textarea instead.

Fumigator
12-14-2009, 04:45 PM
Wow that's really awesome.

Couple of interface suggestions: Like Cyanlight mentioned left-click should bring up the menu, just seems more intuitive. And when the editor is up, you have "save" and "reset" but the save button does not close the editor, so you click save and nothing really happens. You can close the box and changes are applied, but I would say "save" should close the box, or have a "save" and then also a "save and close" button. (But I think "save" should close the editor)

And then I wanted to add an image but I couldn't see that option in the editor.

And of course, if you could drag the elements around the page, that would be good. As it is, I don't know how I would do things like add a third column, move an element from the left column to the right column, etc.

Oh one more thing-- the wizzywigg in the editor can backfire-- when the text is white, it is invisible in the editor. Just something to give you headaches.

Rowsdower!
12-14-2009, 05:24 PM
That is pretty neat.

"Paste Before" and "Paste After" didn't working for me with your logo. Actually, it worked - technically. The styling didn't follow it though so the dimensions and background image were lost. The "blank div with a BG image" approach might be troublesome here, especially for people with no HTML/CSS background. I'm not sure what elements of this are relevant to the CMS though since this is really more of an issue with your particular method of layout.

Similar issues follow when trying to copy a menu item down into the page. The link appears but isn't styled at all like the menu. The user is probably going to expect to paste what they see as a green block with white text rather than a simple standard text link.

Anyway, I have to say that I wish the clipboard wouldn't clear after each successful paste. If I wanted to copy, say, an unordered list item and then paste it 6 times and then edit the text within I'd have to separately copy and then separately paste each one. That might get old fast. Plus there is no good way to select an entire list (such as the menu) for copying/pasting. If a user wanted to relocate the entire menu they would be out of luck.

I guess the idea is probably that you will give the user the option to "Insert" a list item, as the text implies, which would ostensibly solve the problem but still. Users will find new ways to break the system. If they're using a CMS they're probably using a copy/paste mentality rather than being so bold as to insert something and style it themselves.

So, all-in-all it's a very interesting concept. I think the biggest weakness is that you have, to a certain degree, unwittingly programmed it for use by people with enough technical knowledge not to need it. You might benefit by "dumbing it down" a bit for the user - which is, ironically, going to require more technical thinking and complexity on your part. You'll need to figure out a way to determine which styles need to be carried forward from a copied element in order to paste what the user expects to see.

Then again, if the user is meant only to edit the content (not the layout) then I guess technically this is all good. In that case you should probably restrict the copy/paste function to only be available for elements INSIDE the wrapper or some other certain set of div id's. Editing the text or image sources should be available everywhere, but actual copy/paste permission should be denied for basic layout structure items.

Sorry for the long and winding post. This has been a "stream of consciousness" post for me. :D Hopefully you can find something useful in it.

Phil Jackson
12-14-2009, 08:57 PM
Aha! got it! copy and paste... and the a copy style and paste style! your a good man.. this is just the start of an idea... i have more tricks to come!

Thanks for all the input will be doing and adding more things like sugested

Rowsdower!
12-14-2009, 09:29 PM
Aha! got it! copy and paste... and the a copy style and paste style! your a good man.. this is just the start of an idea... i have more tricks to come!

Thanks for all the input will be doing and adding more things like sugested

You'll have to be careful still with floats and positioning (and even clearing, for that matter) when pasting styles. There could be unintended consequences when the user copies and pastes such an element and they won't know how or why it happened. For this CMS you're probably going to have to compartmentalize everything to make it more modular.

It will be remarkable to see the final product, but what a nightmare you will have to face first!

bazz
12-14-2009, 10:19 PM
So, all-in-all it's a very interesting concept.

I think the biggest weakness is that you have, to a certain degree, unwittingly programmed it for use by people with enough technical knowledge not to need it. You might benefit by "dumbing it down" a bit for the user - which is, ironically, going to require more technical thinking and complexity on your part. You'll need to figure out a way to determine which styles need to be carried forward from a copied element in order to paste what the user expects to see.


That's how I see it too. Maybe saying it a bit too bluntly (sorry), but, I think there is little point is providing such technical wizardry for the sake of it. If technical people don't need it and the non-technical can't use it, what's the point?

I agree that it is a good, perhaps potenitally, a very good concept but the difficult bit is making such effective features simple to use for the techinically reluctant, as I refer to them.

I think you should keep at it, though.

bazz

Phil Jackson
12-14-2009, 11:23 PM
thank you, and as i state this is all a learning curb and i tend to do so. Will definatley keep at it if i keep getting such valid input.

regards!



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