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Nick Smith - Business Development & Account Manager at Felinesoft

It’s widely agreed that Umbraco CMS is one of the most versatile and configurable platforms around. However, as powerful as this tool is, it’s only as good as the people with the skills to customise it and really make it their own.

For this reason, I was excited to have represented Felinesoft at the first ever Umbraco Show and Tell in the UK!

Hosted at one of the stunning etc venues in London, the venue was filled out with some great Umbraco Partners (including ourselves, in our humble opinion) all here to keep ahead of the curve and help drive Umbraco forward from a user experience (UX) perspective.

The purpose of the event was to:

  • Inspire people to create better projects and to get the UX manager to expect more
  • Allow Business Developers to better position Umbraco
  • Focus on the user experience from the content editor’s perspective as well as satisfying the end client’s needs
  • Make complex editing simple

First to the stage to give a keynote were Andy Butland and Ben Pilgrim from Zone Digital. Aptly named The Great Editorial Experience, the guys at Zone shared their expertise in Umbraco design; not just from the perspective of how a website is going to look for the end user, but by how it’s going to be managed by the editor. For most websites, editors will spend much longer working with Umbraco than developers will so it’s important that they are a valuable part of the wider strategy.

Next up were Holland Risley and Hannah Snell from Mentor Digital. They shared their insights on some of the biggest challenges today, including content that changes based on device and language, personalisation and simplifying Content Editor user journeys.

Hannah mentioned that she can say yes to almost any Umbraco requirement due to its flexibility. I love this, Felinesoft very much believe this too. Leveraging Umbraco’s flexibility and coupling it our industry knowledge and expertise, we are able to solve a variety of both complex and beautifully simple problems with Umbraco. This ultimately delivers a solution truly fit for purpose.

 Photo of myself (left) and Anders Tran Sørensen (right), Major Friends Maker at Umbraco

There was also talk about the challenges with project delivery where, often, solutions providers work in siloed departments; UX, development, project management etc. At Felinesoft, we understand this and have addressed it through providing within each project, a dedicated BA, UX designer, Project Manager, seasoned developers and meticulous testers. This ensures that the project delivery runs smoothly and that all of our departments sing from the same hymn sheet.

As Niels Hartvig, one of the Founders of Umbraco, wonderfully put it at the end, there can be too much complexity in the tools we use. Sometimes we forget that people are more concerned with how they can get their message out there to their audience than the excitement over a bells-and-whistles tool.

Also, people tend to look in the wrong place when it comes to designing software and look toward technology first, as opposed to what really matters. Humans. People. As we try hard to develop user centred design solutions we have to bear in mind that it’s not just the tools that make the project, but the people that club together to understand, collaborate and develop the tool.