Curated for content, computing, and digital experience professionals

Day: September 28, 2007

WCM Usability Best Practice #1: In-Context Authoring

Over the next few months, I will post a series of 6-8 best practices for ensuring a high degree of usability in WCM implementations. This first entry in the series focuses on the ability for users to author content in the context of actual web pages.
While many vendors claim to support in-context editing, there is a lot of variation in how this feature is presented to users. In some cases, content authors fill in HTML forms and then click a preview button, which renders a virtualized copy of the web page. In other cases, authors double click on a staged version of a web page, which launches a WYSIWYG editor. Upon saving content in this editor, the author refreshes the web page and sees the updates. In the best cases, authors can simply edit content directly on web pages without having to fill in separate web forms or to launch an external editor. Content on web pages can be edited just as though it were in MS Word.
These differences may at first seem trivial, but it quickly becomes apparent to those who spend much time authoring content or creating web pages that eliminating unnecessary steps and reducing the number of applications in these highly iterative processes produces dramatic time savings throughout the organization. For example, if an enterprise has 25 content authors who each maintain 10 web pages daily, and each page update takes just 10 extra minutes because of redundancies, the time wasted over one year totals more than 10,000 hours. This represents about $500,000 of unnecessary labor costs.
Recommendation to enterprises: Be sure to analyze carefully during vendor demonstrations exactly how content can be edited directly from a web page. The most highly usable WCM systems will allow you to treat the web page like word processor.

Xyleme Unveils Xyleme LCMS 3.1

Xyleme Inc. announced the immediate availability of Xyleme LCMS 3.1. This is Xyleme’s newest version of its single-source solution for learning content reuse. Organizations use reusable learning objects from Xyleme LCMS to leverage training materials across any learning modality and to create a customized and contextual learning experience for each learner. Xyleme LCMS ease-of-use has been enhanced for its authoring component. A new configurable workspace provides multiple editor windows for simplified drag-and-drop and image and hotspot utilization, and new virtual document features such as find-and-replace and visual displays of version differences. A new tool allows organizations to automatically convert PowerPoint presentations into reusable XML learning objects. Text, bulleted lists, images, and tables are automatically transformed to individual assets that can be mixed, matched and reused across all blended learning solutions. Users have the ability within Xyleme LCMS to define the content assets to be included in any given output. Custom filtering also allows for the on-demand publishing of custom content that is based on user profiles, providing organizations the vital ability to provide a contextual learning experience. Xyleme has added mobile learning to supported outputs via the optimization of its search and navigation features. Reusable learning objects including text, images, audio and Flash can be pushed on-demand to mobile devices supporting these formats for real-time performance support. SCORM 2004 Release 3, is supported.

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