Design for CMS
The architecture of
The successful architect creates beautiful design solutions backed by a fundamental understanding of the engineering and materials they are made from. They plan, design, and engineer with an understanding that the structure will be exposed to the effects of time and change. They monitor the progress and oversee the development. They create structures that remain relevant and functional long after their work is done. Think like an architect and create beautiful structures around dynamic content.
Table of contents
- Web Site Design Longevity and CMSs
The longevity and success of the design will depend on several factors, some of which may be out of the designer’s control. But the most important factors are within the designer’s influence, and should be accounted for.
- Stress-Testing a CMS-Driven Design
When a site goes from design comps to development site, a lot of change has taken place. Once the design is being populated with real content, and the navigation is functional, you should stress-test the design in two key areas: translative and invasive stress testing.
- Scaling of Dynamic XHTML/HTML5 Text
Dynamic content design should recognize and accommodate the effects of text scaling and length. The typeface sizes that you define are likely to be the standard from which most people view your design, but they are not set in stone.
- Design for CMS-Powered Web Sites
Compared to designing for static content (print or web), designing for CMS-output is an entirely different discipline. It requires a big-picture systems-thinking approach that might best be described as architecture.
- A Dynamic Layout Design System
What follows is just one approach to design that has worked well for the author. It should be considered a primer of the process so long as it helps with your design needs. It should not be considered a set of rules, as each designer may have a different approach.
- CMS Navigation Design
Design of the navigation system is one of the most important and challenging aspects to designing for CMS-output. Not only must the navigation system(s) make it easy for the user, it must accommodate and adapt to the growth of the site.
This series of articles aims to be helpful regardless of platform. Some examples include common platforms like WordPress, Drupal, ProcessWire, Joomla, Expression Engine, SilverStripe, ModX and others. Users of frameworks like Django, CakePHP, and Ruby on Rails (as examples) may also benefit from the approaches outlined here.