Centre For Design, eZ Publish Case Study - Content Types

Content Types Defining all the content types proved to be one of the bigger challenges. It was difficult to identify patterns in the existing site to use as a basis to accommodate all of the content. For example, not all training courses had the same information; some had a breakdown of the content, others didn't. It took a number of revisions to be able to consolidate all of the content into eight content types that would allow CFD to port everything on the existing site to the new site. The content types were as follows: • Overview Article • Article • Project • Training Course • Publication • Link • Client • News The next step was to define each content type in more depth. Borrowing from database definition and OO terminology, we defined each content type in terms of attributes and datatypes. An attribute represented each element of a content type: for example, heading and description. The datatype represented how the information was to be stored, for example, rich text, plain text, or numeric. We also provided an example of each attribute as a part of the definition to ensure that the name of the attribute was meaningful and the datatype was appropriate. This was a very important step. In a previous implementation, we found that although the content type definition made sense during the specification stage, the definition no longer worked when it came to adding the actual content, and changes had to be made. Adding an example at this definition stage is a simple but effective way of checking that you are on the right track. The end result was a table for each content type. Here is the table for the Publication content type: Attribute Type Example: Title* Text line Design + Environment: A global guide to designing greener goods Author* XML text Field Helen Lewis & John Gertsakis with Tim Grant, Nicola Morelli & Andrew Sweatman Date of Publication* DateTime No example Publisher Text Line Greenleaf Publishing Limited, 2001, Sheffield UK Image Image Image of front cover of publication Description of Contents* XML text Field There is a scarcity of good, practical resources for those interested in minimizing the environmental impacts of products. A new book, called Design + Environment from Greenleaf Publishing, has been specifically written to address this paucity. The authors—Helen Lewis and John Gertsakis with Tim Grant, Nicola Morelli and Andrew Sweatman - have all been involved in EcoReDesign(TM), the innovative program developed by the Centre for Design at RMIT. The aim of EcoReDesign(TM) is to collaborate with Australian companies to improve the environmental performance of their products by following design for environment (DfE) principles. Download order form as a PDF file. Cost XML text Field A$50 Attachment (order form pdf) File Attachment Description Text Line Download order form The final step in defining the content types was to work out how the information was to be displayed. To do this, we created a sample display template for each content type that would show each attribute. This was an important step, as in some cases seeing the information laid out suggested changes to the definition of the content type that produced a better end result. It was far easier and quicker to make changes to the definition or display template at this point than after the site was built. The process of creating the information architecture document was long and difficult. The document went through several revisions and reviews with the client. During these reviews, we went through every element of the specification until we were sure that we had captured everything correctly. After each revision, we made sure both the designer and developer also had a chance to give their input from an implementation perspective. Overall, this process took approximately two months from start to finish; it took time to organize the reviews and coordinate getting all the right people together at the same time. Although it was a very difficult and complex process, it proved to be a wise investment; the end result required very few changes from what was contained in the information architecture document.