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Friday, April 7, 2017

Umbraco Show and Tell, London edition.

Due to the great feedback and success of the world premiere of the Umbraco Show and Tell event in Copenhagen, we decided to pack up our bags and bring the event to the UK. More precisely, London.

Yes, we packed our bags, but the day’s keynote speakers were already in the UK - our two Umbraco Gold Partners: Mentor Digital and Zone.

Both agencies delivered inspirational and interesting presentations on the main topic: “The Great Umbraco Editorial Experience”, giving the audience plenty of food for thought as well as showcasing real examples of how exactly to carry out a great editorial experience.

Putting the editors at the ❤️ of the website project.

First up on stage were Andy Butland, Head of .Net Development and Ben Pilgrim, Senior Account Manager, from Zone. With their presentation they wanted to encourage the audience to give more power and credit to the content editors. They even named them the “unsung heroes of a successful website”. Not to neglect all the work that everyone else puts into the project, but to highlight the fact that the content editors are the ones that keep the website alive and thus, eventually spend more time in the backoffice than the developers.


The right way to build a great backoffice - keep it tidy, without compromising the design, and ask your editors what they need.

Slides from Andy and Ben’s presentation are available here.

Logical and visual help.

Next up were Holland Risley, Managing Director, and Hannah Snell, Head of Client Services from Mentor Digital. They showed us how to make a great editorial experience by the use of a logical and very visual backoffice. A backoffice that more or less resembles the actual website layout, giving the editor a clearer visual overview and understanding of how the content will look on the site. One of the key features to help make this possible in Umbraco is the Umbraco package Mentor Web Blocks, a feature (which you might already have guessed from its name) that is built and maintained by Mentor Digital themselves.

Mentor Web Blocks is a free and open source Umbraco package that simply lets the editor drag, drop and add blocks of content in the Umbraco backoffice. A visual tool that helps the editor get a realistic feel of what the site visitors will see ensuring a great and logical user experience.

4 main things to take from the UK Umbraco Show and Tell:

We asked the 4 keynote speakers to name the one main thing they wanted the audience to take from their presentation. We got 4 different inspirational answers:


Ben Pilgrim, Zone:

"A lot of organisations spend time on evaluating and focusing on the user experience on the actual site, but we want them to also consider the user experience in the backoffice of the site and thereby also focus on the backoffice end-user. A backoffice experience that’s as smooth as possible really is key if you want a good organic growing site."

Andy Butland, Zone:

"You should be open to include your client and relevant stakeholders in the conversation about the entire website. A conversation that is not just about how the site visitors should experience the site but also how the content editor should be able to manage it. Umbraco is very flexible. You can built the same feature in a number of different ways, so the way you decide to do it should depend on how the editor is going to manage the content. By being aware of this, the site will live on much longer because the content will be fresh."



Hannah Snell, Mentor Digital:

"Umbraco is flexible enough to do what your clients need it to, and logical enough for it to make sense from the content editor’s point of view. And please don’t be scared to ask your developers if they can do or built certain things in Umbraco for you, because it’s more than likely that they can."

Holland Risley, Mentor Digital:

"I wanted the audience to see and understand just how flexible Umbraco really is for content editors and how powerful it is when it comes to integration with 3rd party systems such as CRM systems and personalisation features - it’s so adaptable. With this level of flexibility you’re able to use Umbraco to make a very powerful and personal user experience for your site visitors as well as for your content editors."


A massive H5YR to all four speakers and a big thank you to the very interactive audience.

We hope to see you (again) at a future Umbraco Show and Tell - we’ll keep you posted when we know more.

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