Content Management System
Content Management System
Content Management System

Lead Product Designer: UX, UI, Strategy, Research & Design System

At National Geographic’s publishing core, lives our content management system. In 2018, we began deep-diving into research, stakeholder interviews, and creating new designs for a brand new CMS – to make writing and publishing content easier than ever.

Content Management System Design

Research

Research

Research

The team selected a group of key representatives from a variety of disciplines throughout National Geographic and held 15 group stakeholder interviews to determine our key feature set and improvements for launch. These features were broken down and categorized into what could be considered “Big Wins”, and divided into six key categories to ensure alignment and focus across both design and development.

The team selected a group of key representatives from a variety of disciplines throughout National Geographic and held 15 group stakeholder interviews to determine our key feature set and improvements for launch. These features were broken down and categorized into what could be considered “Big Wins”, and divided into six key categories to ensure alignment and focus across both design and development.

The team selected a group of key representatives from a variety of disciplines throughout National Geographic and held 15 group stakeholder interviews to determine our key feature set and improvements for launch. These features were broken down and categorized into what could be considered “Big Wins”, and divided into six key categories to ensure alignment and focus across both design and development.

Feature Breakdown
CMS Scripts

Interview Scripts

In order to identify key features and deliverables, we created four master scripts to interview a variety of stakeholders – Rights and Legal, Internationalization, Advertising and Sponsorship, and a more general producing/publishing combination script. These scripts allowed us to dive further into the more complex content areas of our workflows, but also utilize a script that was more easily applied to everyone. All interviews were done in person, and recorded in order to create a breakdown of further notes after each session.

Interview Scripts

In order to identify key features and deliverables, we created four master scripts to interview a variety of stakeholders – Rights and Legal, Internationalization, Advertising and Sponsorship, and a more general producing/publishing combination script. These scripts allowed us to dive further into the more complex content areas of our workflows, but also utilize a script that was more easily applied to everyone. All interviews were done in person, and recorded in ordre to create a breakdown of further notes after each session.

Interview Scripts

In order to identify key features and deliverables, we created four master scripts to interview a variety of stakeholders – Rights and Legal, Internationalization, Advertising and Sponsorship, and a more general producing/publishing combination script. These scripts allowed us to dive further into the more complex content areas of our workflows, but also utilize a script that was more easily applied to everyone. All interviews were done in person, and recorded in ordre to create a breakdown of further notes after each session.

Design Process

Design Process

Design Process

After identifying the feature breakdown and creating an initial roadmap with the product team, we divided the design work into six groups – 1) content creation, search and asset management, 2) templates, 3) content preview and publishing, 4) reporting and analytics, 5) UI for all previous groups, and 6) refinements to asset management and reusable modules. 

After identifying the feature breakdown and creating an intial roadmap with the product team, we divided the design work into six groups – 1) content creation, search and asset management, 2) templates, 3) content preview and publishing, 4) reporting and analytics, 5) UI for all previous groups, and 6) refinements to asset management and reusable modules. 

After identifying the feature breakdown and creating an initial roadmap with the product team, we divided the design work into six groups – 1) content creation, search and asset management, 2) templates, 3) content preview and publishing, 4) reporting and analytics, 5) UI for all previous groups, and 6) refinements to asset management and reusable modules. 

Options Dropdown
Image Search

Wireframes

By starting with wireframes, we were able to present interactive prototypes to stakeholders, utilizing keynote and InVision, in order to demo workflows and functionality of the new CMS before diving into the UI.

Wireframes

By starting with wireframes, we were able to present interactive prototypes to stakeholders, utilizing keynote and InVision, in order to demo workflows and functionality of the new CMS before diving into the UI.

Wireframes

By starting with wireframes, we were able to present interactive prototypes to stakeholders, utilizing keynote and InVision, in order to demo workflows and functionality of the new CMS before diving into the UI.

CMS Wireframes
UI Design

UI Exploration

Since content creation is the star of the show, we wanted to create a UI that helped highlight the experience of using the new CMS, while not overpowering the workflows. We went to Google fonts, leaning on Roboto for easily legible utilities and functions, and to create a visual difference during content preview. We also chose colors that provided a focus on actions, but differentiated from the colors used across our digital content platforms for clearer preview purposes.

UI Exploration

Since content creation is the star of the show, we wanted to create a UI that helped higlight the experience of using the new CMS, while not overpowering the workflows. We went to google fonts, leaning on Roboto for easily legible utilities and functions, and to create a visual difference during content preview. We also chose colors that provided a focus on actions, but differentiated from the colors used across our digital content platforms for clearer preview purposes.

UI Exploration

Since content creation is the star of the show, we wanted to create a UI that helped higlight the experience of using the new CMS, while not overpowering the workflows. We went to google fonts, leaning on Roboto for easily legible utilities and functions, and to create a visual difference during content preview. We also chose colors that provided a focus on actions, but differentiated from the colors used across our digital content platforms for clearer preview purposes.

Defining a System

With a fast timeline and roadmap, it was crucial to design a system that could be quickly reused and applied across hundreds of screens. In order to do so, I developed a categorized styleguide within Sketch, utilizing symbols. After all symbols had been categorized and saved, it created a quick and seamless way to being applying the UI to all of the user flows we had determined. This also allowed for a natural transition into Zeplin, which provided the developers with a way to quickly digest all of the modules, colors, typography, and user flows in one location.

Defining a System

With a fast timeline and roadmap, it was crucial to design a system that could be quickly reused and applied across hundreds of screens. In order to do so, I developed a cateogrized styleguide within Sketch, utilzing symbols. After all symbols had been categorized and saved, it created a quick and seamless way to being applying the UI to all of the user flows we had determined. This also allowed for a natural transition into Zeplin, which provided the developers with a way to quickly digest all of the modules, colors, typography, and user flows in one location.

Defining a System

With a fast timeline and roadmap, it was crucial to design a system that could be quickly reused and applied across hundreds of screens. In order to do so, I developed a categorized styleguide within Sketch, utilizing symbols. After all symbols had been categorized and saved, it created a quick and seamless way to being applying the UI to all of the user flows we had determined. This also allowed for a natural transition into Zeplin, which provided the developers with a way to quickly digest all of the modules, colors, typography, and user flows in one location.

Results

Results

Results

Below are the six big wins we identified and began building features towards. These features will be tested in a sandbox development environment with the same stakeholder groups we held interviews with, in order to understand our success in implementing an enhanced UX and providing features that are quick and simple for producers to use.

Below are the six big wins we identified and began building features towards. These features will be tested in a sandbox development environment with the same stakeholder groups we held interviews with, in order to understand our success in implementing an enhanced UX and providing features that are quick and simple for producers to use.

Below are the six big wins we identified and began building features towards. These features will be tested in a sandbox development environment with the same stakeholder groups we held interviews with, in order to understand our success in implementing an enhanced UX and providing features that are quick and simple for producers to use.

Intuitive

With features like drag and drop, tag based searching and inline editing, we focused on keeping the content creation process as simple and easy-to-use as possible.

Intuitive

With features like drag and drop, tag based searching and inline editing, we focused on keeping the content creation process as simple and easy-to-use as possible.

Intuitive

With features like drag and drop, tag based searching and inline editing, we focused on keeping the content creation process as simple and easy-to-use as possible.

Drag and Drop
Side by Side Translation

Fast

While the dev team is prioritizing performance for significant improvements on the back end, we also wanted to build features like side-by-side translation, that created speedier workflows and improved usability of the system.

Fast

While the dev team is prioritizing performance for significant improvements on the back end, we also wanted to build features like side-by-side translation, that created speedier workflows and improved usability of the system.

Fast

While the dev team is prioritizing performance for significant improvements on the back end, we also wanted to build features like side-by-side translation, that created speedier workflows and improved usability of the system.

Robust Search

In addition to allowing search by our custom taxonomy system within all areas of the CMS, users can search by common language terms, and lean on the powerful sort / filter options to continue to narrow down their search.

Robust Search

In addition to allowing seach by our custom taxonomy system within all areas of the CMS, users can search by common language terms, and lean on the powerful sort / filter options to continue to narrow down their search.

Robust Search

In addition to allowing search by our custom taxonomy system within all areas of the CMS, users can search by common language terms, and lean on the powerful sort / filter options to continue to narrow down their search.

Search Structure View
Import

Import

Many of our editors were writing in a variety of text editors, which often causes formatting issues when copying and pasting into a CMS. Rather than continue that workflow, we established a simple integration with Quip, to allow for a clean and simple text import.

Import

Many of our editors were writing in a variety of text editors, which often causes formatting issues when copying and pasting into a CMS. Rather than continue that workflow, we established a simple integration with quip, to allow for a clean and simple text import.

Import

Many of our editors were writing in a variety of text editors, which often causes formatting issues when copying and pasting into a CMS. Rather than continue that workflow, we established a simple integration with quip, to allow for a clean and simple text import.

Integration

In addition to allowing for imported text to start the writing process, we also took a look at simplifying our process for Photo of the Day, allowing data to be imported directly from Google docs straight into our CMS.

Integration

In addition to allowing for imported text to start the writing process, we also took a look at simplifying our process for Photo of the Day, allowing data to be imported directly from google docs straight into our CMS.

Integration

In addition to allowing for imported text to start the writing process, we also took a look at simplifying our process for Photo of the Day, allowing data to be imported directly from google docs straight into our CMS.

Integration
CMS Editing Content

Reliable

With a variety of security methods in place to protect our content, one of the concerns we heard from our stakeholders was making sure their content was saved and accessible at any point. We’ve created a variety of checkpoints to save content along the way, creating a solid version history for producers to access at any time.

Reliable

With a variety of security methods in place to protect our content, one of the concerns we heard from our stakeholders was making sure their content was saved and accessible at any point. We’ve created a variety of checkpoints to save content along the way, creating a solid version history for producers to access at any time.

Reliable

With a variety of security methods in place to protect our content, one of the concerns we heard from our stakeholders was making sure their content was saved and accessible at any point. We’ve created a variety of checkpoints to save content along the way, creating a solid version history for producers to access at any time.

CONTINUE EXPLORING

Lauren Glazer

Principal UX Designer

Get In Touch

glazerlar[at]gmail.com

© 2023 Lauren Glazer