When building websites, you’ve probably always made it a top priority to ensure you provide a positive user experience to your end users. Of course, this is one of the most important parts of building a site. However, as a CMS company with over a decade’s experience in the industry, one of the things we consistently see among new customers is that their websites failed to take into consideration the user experience of a key audience: their content editors.
As a behind-the-scenes audience, providing content editors with a positive user experience isn’t given high priority. However, what a lot of companies don’t realize is that a positive user experience isn’t just about making your editors happy; in fact, it will lead to massive increases in efficiencies, and potentially higher revenue. In other words, you could be missing out on a lot of potential if your content manager’s UX is not up to scratch.
The question you should be asking yourself is: is your CMS set up in such a way that it meets your content editors’ key workflows? This means ensuring that your content editors can carry out their daily tasks as easily and seamlessly as possible.
The benefits of a positive content editor UX
So what benefits could you be gaining by streamlining your CMS to meet your content editors’ workflows?
Increased efficiency: By making it easier for your editors to carry out daily tasks, you will obviously create higher efficiencies among your editors, enabling them to build and distribute content better and faster.
Improved speed-to-market: Being able to build content faster means that you will stay more competitive by allowing your editors to build and deliver timely content as fast as possible.
Reduced bottlenecks: A positive UX also means making it easier for your content editors to intuitively overcome any hurdles that may arise. The more intuitive your CMS is, the easier it will be to fix any issues.
Faster onboarding: Finally, creating a positive editor UX doesn’t only benefit your current editors; imagine how much time you will save onboarding new ones. New employees will respond much better to a CMS that has been configured with their user experience in mind.
So what can you do to make your CMS as intuitive as possible?
1. Consider your objectives from a content editor’s perspective
Your content editors will be largely responsible for managing all your web content, so it makes sense to make it a top priority to ensure they can easily fulfill their objectives.
This may go back to the very start of the process of choosing a CMS platform for your business. Does the CMS place a strong emphasis on content architecture? Is the CMS highly configurable? A solution that can be configured to meet your unique business needs and processes will be key here.
When it comes to building the content architecture, it will also be important to think about the specific processes your editors will need to carry out daily, and ensure that your CMS is streamlined to meet these. Bonus points if you can find ways to automate these tasks!
2. Make it easy for your content editors to make decisions
Part of making your CMS as user-friendly as possible for content editors is allowing them to intuitively work out the ways to carry out specific tasks.
One way you can do this is by offering in-line guidance within the CMS itself, such as descriptions assigned to specific text boxes or page components. This will allow editors to quickly become familiar with the purpose of each element.
Additionally, you can help them reduce risk of error by making it required to fill out certain elements of a page or post. In this way, if the editor tries to save or publish a page or post without having filled out every required field, a popup or a red text box will appear to let them know.
Another often overlooked way in which you can assist your editors is by limiting the amount of functionality they have access to. As the saying goes, less is often more, and your editors will thank you for making their job easier when building a piece of content. Your CMS may offer different access levels which you can use in order to limit editor access.
3. Protect the site architecture from inexperienced editors
This goes hand-in-hand with the previous point and it comes down to this: if you give your editors tools that they don’t understand, they will make a mess of it. That’s why access levels are so important too, because they help you prevent inexperienced users from making changes with potentially vast consequences.
All you need is to limit the editor access level to areas that are relevant to their job and their job only. This includes designs too; can you assist them in building pieces of content through layouts or templates without requiring them to deal with any of the code? By doing so, you will not only protect your site but you will also empower your editors to build better content.
4. Leverage dynamic content
Using dynamic content is extremely handy when it comes to replicating content across your site. Imagine having to add a page component, such as a banner add, to every single page of your site, manually. This is a very inefficient process that will take up a lot of your editors’ time that they could otherwise spend creating great content.
By offering dynamic content, you can empower your editors to create a piece of content once and seamlessly publish it across the site. What’s more, this will make it easier for them to keep that content up-to-date, as if they will be able to push any changes to that content across the site at the click of one button.
5. Automate repetitive tasks
Finally, another way to significantly reduce your editors’ workload is to empower them with the right tools to carry out repetitive tasks in bulk, and even automate them. This will largely depend on your CMS, but an example would be publishing or unpublishing a large volume of pages in bulk.
On the other hand, an example of an automated process would be if your CMS automatically sets up a redirection whenever there’s a URL change; imagine the time your editors will save!
Bulk and automated tasks are not only great for your editors’ UX, but they will also help reduce the risk of error significantly and give your editors peace of mind that everything is in order.