things we learned

lessons from working in the design and web development business

“The Future of Content Management” – Notes from Rachel Andrew’s Talk at Smashing Conference in Freiburg


  • Everybody hates Content-Management-Systems (CMS).
  • Clients love to do a little bit of web design.
  • Bigger logo, comic sans – The web designer says no. But when the client says »I want to edit my site in MS word« – The web designer says yes – WHY???

  • We should not be giving content editors a tool to use to destroy their site.
  • If you provide something better than the Word experience of website content editing, your clients will stop asking for MS Word.
  • We cannot expect non-developers and designers to make sane decisions about document semantics.
  • A CMS is not a website design tool! Your CMS should be entirely focussed around creating great quality content.
  • Content editors are often the forgotten users when we deploy a CMS. This is not a new problem.
  • The CMS should help content editors make good decisions.
  • A CMS is often as much an enemy of good content as it is of good design.
  • The CMS allows designers to make semantic decision so the editor doesn’t have to.
  • The CMS protects the design and architecture decision made for the site.
  • If content editors are not worrying about editing the content, they can produce better content faster.
  • Content is stored based on what it means, not on what it looks.
  • A big textarea a is a terrible user experience for the content editor.
  • Your CMS should remove HTML elements.
  • Use structured content when ever possible! Avoid directly inserting HTML into content.
Oliver Beckenhaub

Author: Oliver Beckenhaub

Web Architect // Designer // UX Designer // Front-End Developer // Web Consultant // Videogamer // Eintracht Frankfurt Fan // Work: // Personal Blog: // Twitter @beckenhaub

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