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Denis Signoretto
DevCon 2013: User Experience and Usability of Social Portlets Summary
November 4, 2013 2:03 AM

Denis Signoretto

Rank: Expert

Posts: 343

Join Date: April 21, 2009

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Hey guys,

It was great talking about UX today. I would love to see this conversation continuing after DevCon and open to even more people.
To that end, as agreed, I've created a new category in the message boards:

Denis, as the proposer of the DevCon session, what do you think of writing a first post summarizing the conclusions?


Participants: Jorge Ferrer, Maarten van Hiningen, Renata Willi, Sergio González, Jens Bruhn, Denis Signoretto, ...

Hi everybody,

As you can read above, (sorry to be delayed), this category was created after an unattended session at DevCon 2013.
As Jorge asked to me, I'm going to summarize all contributions and feedbacks camed up after the session

1) UX and UI in a portal context: portal web sites can be realized exclusively by custom portlets (using portal as a platform)
or mixing different existing types of portlets: OOTB (out of the box) portlets, third party portlets (local or remote),
marketplace portlets and custom portlets.
In the former solution manage UX and UI it's your choice, in the latter take in account that mixing different
typologies and implemetations can deeply affect UX and UI. Under this point of view the new 6.2 ADT (Application Display Template)
feature it's great alternative. (Consider the opportunity to develop market portlet with ADT support)

2) Translations: menu, labels, navigation items and messages it's one of the first thing the
"user experinces" browsing a web site or learning how to use a web application.
Good translations it's one of key factors to achieve an intuitive and easy to use interface.

3) Simplification: try to expose only features needed by your users. Unused functionalities increase complexity
and "user interface noise". Some time it's useful hide unused features or enable/disable them by user profiles.
Developing reusable portlets it's good to take care of:
- Permissions: developing portlets, introduce appropriate permissions granularity to allow creation of different user profiles/user roles
- Configurable advanced features: let the opportunity to enable/disables advanced features through portlet configuration (or portlet proprties)
- Customization: consider the possibility to customize existing portlet by hook or redefining views by ADT(Application Display Templates) - a great new feature available in 6.2.

4) Homogeneous UI: developing custom portlets try to reuse portal UI introducing carefully alternative UI.
The new Alloy UI 2.0 it's really improved. Mixing UI (buttons, modals, date selectors, etc.) with different Look&Feel
can be help to develop faster but can brings to a poor UI result (and a more difficult solution to maintain and refactor)

5) WYSIWYG and Editors: Web contents, forums, blog and wiki has different editors. Configure the same editor as default for all portlets it would be nice.
* Upload documents and images it's not so easy for naive users. It would be desiderable have the same functionalities and UI using a the editor.
(Good news !! Liferay it's working on it!, stay tuned ;)
* Inline editing: it's a great feature. Be careful to open it maximized (opening in layout can be too tight). Liferay 6.2 introduced
the new "smart In-place" editing in blogs. Hope to see it soon on simple web contents ( - if like that vote for it !!!).
* WYSIWYG in web contents: it's not always so easy to setup (in particular when developing) custom themes. Are there raccomandations or suggestions to get it working?
Most of times users would like to have WYSIWYG both in inline editing and editing content in control panel.

6) Preview: it's a functionality often appreciated by users. A lot have done in wiki, blogs and forum.
For web contents preview in the page it's a often requested feature by our customers.

7) Error messages: error messages should help user understand what's wrong and how solve the problem (if possible). Tracking user error messages it's a useful feature

8) UE Guidelines: As a conclusion (we were very late for lunch), Jorge suggested that definition of UI and UX Guidelines can definitely help.

If anybody want add feedbacks, ideas, just join this thread or open a new one.

Recalling the One Law od DevCon 2013, "Just our two steps emoticon"
Thanks everybody.

Best Regards,
Jorge Ferrer
RE: DevCon 2013: User Experience and Usability of Social Portlets Summary
November 18, 2013 2:14 AM

Jorge Ferrer


Rank: Liferay Legend

Posts: 2771

Join Date: August 31, 2006

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Thanks Denis!