Swing it like you certified

Sorry for the lack of updates, but the past few weeks have been hella busy.

And speaking of busy, I’ve just completed a three-day crash course on IBM Workplace Web Content Management.

It’s a new CMS that allows for end-to-end website development where you can create and manage multiple websites, with advanced personalization options. It’s pretty powerful in the sense that once you’ve defined all of the elements in your websites, you can implement updates anywhere by simply modifying templates. It’s like flipping the lights on or off in every room in your house by flicking a single switch.

The learning curve is a bit steep, though and as an administrator, you’re responsible for a hell of a lot of things. You have to create the user interface and set the workflows for everyone on your team, from designers to writers. You manage the architecture. You set authorization levels for everyone. You deploy the content and assets.

It’s ALL on YOU.

But what I like about this CMS, apart from the mind-boggling level of customization that lets you create templates for anything from content authoring forms to search tools, is that it complements the ideal web development process by emphasizing on information architecture.

It separates the content development process from the design process.

In English, this means that you need to sort out the architecture and get your clients to sign-off on your site map and taxonomy before you even think about content development.

In even simpler English, this means you need to really work step by step; you need to decide what goes where before you decide what it looks like, or how it’s going to be implemented.

This is great because it encourages a tighter design work flow. And discourages clients from adding last-minute content or tweaking last-minute design elements.

And there’s also support for CSS!

So, theoretically, you can stop being your client’s bitch. You can finally learn to say ‘No’ because saying ‘Yes’ might create unnecessary bottlenecks in your workflow that can lead to an extension on your deadline.

And no one really wants that, do they?

Now, just writing about all of this makes me feel like one of those dudes from the 501st Legion.

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Filed under Design, Development

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