6 tips for author consideration in AEM development

We have talked for years about how developing with the author in mind for Adobe Experience Manager is critical. As the heart of your organization’s web presence, the author’s role is to deliver content out to the users that consume it and need it most: customers. Developers shouldn’t just make a component or authoring tool to satisfy business requirements, but really take time to build a tool that will make the content creation process best for the author. Below are 6 things that you, as a manager, can do to help developers take the author into consideration when they are implementing Adobe Experience Manager.

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Start with the problem
In the marketing technology world, two generalized statements can be made: authors want to generate content to reach customers; and developers want to make tools for the author to help them reach their customers. Often, developers have been known to make a tool that did the job but wasn’t very friendly to the author. But that doesn’t have to always be the case, especially if you are going to be developing for AEM. As a manager, you need to help developers take the author into consideration. Here are 6 ways that you can do that when implementing AEM.

  1. Be aware that a human is going to have to use this, likely on a daily basis
    If you imagine your best friend having to use this, and not some faceless person you may never meet, then you are more likely to make a tool that works as simple as possible.
  2. Hallway usability tests
    Grab a person who hasn’t been working on the project to come and use it. This should be in addition to your normal code review process that you do with your regular dev team. A fresh perspective is always helpful when you have been working on a project for a long time.
  3. Generate test content for your component so that you know how it works with all the needed material
    There are lots of reasons why this is a good idea. But most importantly, the developer is the first QA person. They should be testing everything out before it ever goes to anyone else to review.
  4. Appropriately sized dialogs
    Take some time to make sure that all of the dialogs are sized appropriately on all targeted devices, so that you can view the contents of them all easily.
  5. Properly labeled dialogs and component titles
    Properly labeling your dialogs and components can actually save you from getting unnecessary support calls from the customer when they forget the training that they received. Plus, it’s just good form to do it.
  6. Demo, Demo, Demo!
    Don’t wait till the very end of the project to show the author what they will be working with. Nothing is worse than getting to the end of the project and then having the customer tell you that features are missing or functioning incorrectly.

We at Axis41 think that the fundamental consideration you should make to have a successful AEM implementation is the author’s experience. And, thanks to Adobe Experience Manager, you have the ability to optimize the authoring experience to fit your organization’s needs.