New or Overhauled Admin Interface
As Joomla and community extensions have grown and matured over the last 5 years, the admin UI needs to allow for the way the workflow and features have changed.
Doing Usability tests with 1st time joomla users is best the answer to improving joomla UI.
Al Boulley commented
While Nexus seems interesting, it's been 3/4 of a year since any subsequent discussion about it on this page. I would think Joomla better served by core admin overhaul as opposed to layering on a component. Node-0, I understand how complicated such development can be, so please don't take this comment the wrong way. I hope in the time since July 2011 you have made progress that you are yet to inform us of.
Here is something you can read about that's more open and gives you a good idea of what we're designing.
callum rexter commented
Hi all, although it is mostly a graphical change I recommend checking out rockettheme's mission control admin template - its free, supports 1.5 and 1.6. Has some nice features
I'll be publishing an official introduction to Nexus as well as launching a forum discussion about it in the next week. At that point, I'll cross post the project along with a YouTube video of the current Nexus interface.
Hi Blue, I don't mean to sound flippant towards your comment, however I must say that the reason I'm even creating Nexus isn't to make money, some of it will be GPL'd the reason is to stop this infernal squabbling about "Please do X better because I can't scratch my giraffe's back with features Y, Z and W" Um... No. Local storage doesn't mean much to a userbase that doesn't even have a visual editing interface yet. Local storage is a nice buzzword that people like to use to bolster the notion of "offline editing".
I live in Los Angeles, and I wouldn't dream of using even an iPad to use Joomla. Tablets can't do drag and drop, and forget about easy access to content uploading from a tablet (IOS or Android), because we considered a native app. Netbook? Sure those work fine, but local storage in Joomlaland circa 2011 is a feature looking for a userbase. Most user's of Joomla use it with an internet connection, not off in the hills whilst roaming the countryside, I should know, I hike in those hills. Now content versioning is good, and necessary, digital "paper tapes" which record editing histories and allow "stepping back in time" are needed for a mature system like Joomla. These features are however.... Tiny, tiny, specks of necessity when compared to the necessity of viscerally connecting the content creator and admin laypeople to the RESULT of their button pressing and knob twiddling.
That's priority numero uno! Priority numero dos is a solid drag and drop uploader utilizing HTML 5, but even that is relatively useless without a powerful media management strategy involving deep support of the core content/interaction types/modes (Photo, Video, Music, Document(s), Downloads) and Nexus will have a carefully designed strategy which integrates all of these facets. So compared to these needs, an "offline mode" is really quite off the mark (not the same as caching for performance). I'll be spending what limited attention I have on the core challenges. If an "offline mode" is critically important to you, I suggest doing some research on the technological dynamics of local storage database schemas and their relation to content management system data exchange and performance/behavior dynamics. It's a solid 2 month endeavor.
So the initial phase of Nexus will be all about the hand-eye coordination magic of drag and drop and automated decision trees and prompt based wizards along with automated "sanity checks, and convenience checks". These are all things that the corporate world has provided to it's customers for so long that people have forgotten that it takes a designer to figure out interaction dynamics, and a dev team to solve the tech hurdles involved in implementation of these "Don't make me think, just do the work for me" features.
What I, Joe H, the resident insomniac at Node-0 am focused on is: 1.) Making day to day work for normal people using Joomla easy and effortless. 2.) Making it very easy to experiment with site setup and layout without painful configuration tangles. 3.) Determining what the essential data processing processes are for laypeople and for administrators (which I consider analogous to "Laypeople++", which should be taken as a compliment, sort of...) and to then make it easy (I mean really really easy) for the aforementioned group to be able to access content and/or config-data and manipulate the CMS using plain-english logical statements from a console of sorts.
Please also pay atetntion to implementing HTML5 Local Storage in backend for a better and faster website administration.
Here's another tidbit: Nexus will allow all the current Joomla admins to continue using their comfortable workflows, whilst the majority of new users can simply ignore the current admin and go straight into the Nexus component for their content creation and editing work. Think "live updates of all edits", Think "Drag and Drop reordering of Articles, Modules and Menu Items in-page-view mode", If that wasn't enough, Think "Drag and Drop widget pallet (modules or other configurable tasks)". There's more of course, much more but it wouldn't be any fun to give away the plot :-)
Um, yeah, the answer is called Nexus and you'll be glad to know that there is one crazy architect and 2 demented programmers hard at work making a back-end interface for Joomla, reminiscent of iWeb. He he he.... Wordpress? LOL, yeah, nuff' said... Maybe we'll have a release ready by the end of summer... ;-)
Take a page from Wordpress, but go even further toward making it user-friendly, and watch the migration. With the way the social web is moving, websites need to be able to experiment quickly. The ability to do A/B testing, create unique landing pages and modify aspects of inbound marketing is a competitive advantage. Clients need to be able to do this without a steep learning curve. If someone can build a user-friendly admin for Joomla! that blows away Wordpress, the digital world will beat a path to your door.
stuart malcolm commented
The admin interface *really* could do with being made page-centric. The answer to the question "how do I add a new page to the site?" (Which is the first thing a new admin asks) SHOULD be:
Go to the page manager and click New.
Not the current trip through content manager, menu manager then module manager!
let users customize the most used functions the way they want it setup
If you don't like the admin template, overhaul it yourself. Personally I like the admin, it's super easy to change and when your bringing in content writers they are already familiar with the admin. Perfecting the admin would be great, but a complete overhaul is a waste of time and a risk of making it worse.
Eric Doriean commented
A tree view on the admin front page is required. Many cms's like http://www.silverstripe.com/ do it very well. Content articles, modules and components all connected on a single tree view. Not replacing existing functionality, just creating a new way of accessing it, so that users find it easy to manage their site once being built by an integrator.
Sure, modern admin UI is not very convenient. Other CMS, not as powerful as Joomla, have much more better interface.
What they obviously should add in new UI:
1) AJAX. Everywhere where possible. Better if it would be like in Ruby on Rails - AJAX when available, usual forms\reload when it's unavailable
2) Sortable lists. There's 2010 now, why we should still order items by entering numbers manually?
As well I suggest:
1) Visual module manager - that allows to put and sort modules inside the template
2) More customization. A possiblity, for instance, to choose whether to show certain blocks, olr not, and where to show them.
3) Session time left counter. There' currently graet extension named Session Meter, but I think it's functionality must be included into standart bundle. I'm tired of doing something and having "Please log in again" instead.
4) Search. Global, on all kind of items available for administrations
5) Mobile admin template included into standard version
I agree not to completely change the UI, but why not add drag and drop functionality (like module manager), a graphical view (with drag and drop) of modulepositions and better UI (remove all settings that is not nescessary - or even have own settings which settings to be visible for each user/client/group)
Moises Perez Cabrera commented
Agree, maybe some Ajax here and there. Noy a full rebuild because there will be a learning curve.
I agree. It needs AJAX for APPLY button, for example. Look at Wordpress admin. It's almost perfect. May be it can be integrated with JED for searching c/p/m. Just an idea.