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A brighter and bolder Contensis

Richard SaundersContensis product owner
5 min read28 September 2020

If you haven’t joined one of our recent webinars, or attended a Contensis event recently, you might be wondering why this new website is full of screenshots of an app that is more than a little bit different to the one you’re used to.

Well, today we’re pleased to announce a new version of Contensis.

This brighter, bolder Contensis 14 has been completely rebuilt from the ground up to provide the foundation for a more accessible, user friendly, and future-proof platform. A platform that will make creating, managing, and delivering structured content easy and enjoyable for any user.

We’ve done this by separating the content types and entries features introduced in Contensis 9 into a separate application. For now, you access this application through the existing Contensis dashboard – which we’re now calling Contensis Classic. However, as we add more features and functionality to the new app in the future, it will become a self-contained product completely independent of Contensis Classic.

There are too many changes to list in one place, but here are some of the major improvements you’ll find in Contensis 14.

A new accessible design

Contensis 14 introduces an updated design that is built to be inclusive to all who use it. The look and feel of Contensis hasn't changed much since we introduced content types and entries in version 9. In this release, we've rebuilt each component in our design system in the first step towards building a fully accessible product.

As part of this we’ve implemented keyboard navigation across the application, meaning that you can enjoy the benefits of the new usability improvements we’ve made whether you use the mouse or keyboard. For example, by popular demand you can now use drag and drop to reorder entry, component and asset fields – and you can do it with both the mouse and keyboard.

Change the view of the entry listing

The entries listing screen is one of the most used screens in Contensis, but with only 5 columns providing limited information, it could be hard to find the content you were looking for – especially when you might have hundreds or thousands of entries using the same content type. So, we’ve added the ability to customise the columns that are displayed in the entries listing screen to let you create your own preferred view.

You can now add columns to display data from fields in your entries – creating a more detailed overview of your content and making it quicker and easier to find the entries you need. These columns can display images, entry references, booleans and text fields, as well as system fields such as URI, Entry ID and content owner.

This makes it possible to:

  • display courses with their associated course code, description, and entry requirements
  • sort content based on whether a boolean field such as “Show on homepage” is true or false
  • show the URI of the entry – useful if you need to see the web address of an entry without opening Site View
  • include a key image of each of your products in the listing screen

You can reorder columns, or remove any you are no longer using to save space on screen. Then, when you have a view you want to show off to the rest of your team, you can press the share view button in the toolbar to copy a shareable URL that you can paste in Slack, post on Teams or send via email.

Improved search

As well as making it easier to organise your entries in the listing screen, we’ve also improved the entry search for those times you need to find a specific piece of content.

We’ve added the ability to search across all fields to find deeply nested content in your entries. It’s now a lot easier to find content containing information that has recently changed and needs to be replaced across your website or app. We’ve used this to find and replace references to old parts of the Contensis interface as we’ve updated our user guides for this release, but it’s equally useful for locating all instances of a specific name, acronym, date, or product code in your content.

To further refine your searches we’ve also added a toggle to only search entry titles, as well as the ability to search by multiple content types or content owners.

Understand how your content is connected

In big projects it can be difficult to keep track of the relationships between hundreds or thousands of pieces of content.

To help with this we’ve expanded the editor toolbar to give you the ability to see what entries reference the entry you are currently using. In the new entry usage panel you can quickly see that Roald Dahl is connected to many stories, a lecturer is associated with many courses, or a text snippet like a category is assigned to many types of entries. You’ll see the title of each linked entry, its content type, and the field that references the entry you’re currently editing.

To make it easier to find a particular linked entry, you can search by keyword or filter the list by content type. And, if you want to edit a particular linked entry, you can click on it to open it for editing.

Overdue updates to the composer and component editors

The composer editor now supports dragging and dropping fields – you no longer need to use the up and down buttons to rearrange content, which could be frustrating in large composers.

You can also now insert content between other fields or copy an existing field ready to be dragged and dropped into place in your composer. In the past duplicating and amending a code snippet, feature component, or other piece of content involved recreating it manually. Now you can simply press duplicate in the more actions menu to copy the field ready for you to make changes.

We’ve also added the option to make a component field open in a flyout editor for a better authoring experience. Components set to open in a flyout editor will open for editing in a separate editor overlaid on top of the entry currently being edited. Along with tabs, this gives you another way to simplify the authoring experience for your editors in large or complex content types.

Other updates and improvements

Other new features and significant changes in this release include:

  • The ability to search in the Management API
  • A new Security API for managing users and groups
  • A new HTTP Workflow API to create and manage custom workflows
  • The ability to identify a project by colour and initials

We recognize that building a user-friendly product is a never ending process, but we’re excited for you to start using this new design. Your comments, suggestions, and feedback have been invaluable in the development of this new vision for Contensis. So, if there are any updates you really like, or things you think could be improved, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch on Slack or leave a suggestion in the product roadmap.

If you are a cloud customer, you can raise a support request today to schedule an upgrade Contensis 14.

If you are currently using an on-premise version of Contensis, and want to find out more about moving to our cloud platform, get in touch to arrange a call from your account manager.

Richard SaundersContensis product owner

Richard is the product owner for Contensis – our CMS. He sets the direction and roadmap for the product. His background includes both user experience and front-end design.

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