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Beyond Infinity with Plone 5 - 
Are We There Yet?

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A story of how University of Jyväskylä is doing a big website renewal, including challenges like organizational restructure, new brand, new theme, new intranet, new search engine and migration to new Plone 5.

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Beyond Infinity with Plone 5 - 
Are We There Yet?

  1. 1. BEYOND INFINITY WITH PLONE 5 - 
 ARE WE THERE YET? RIKUPEKKA OKSANEN - PLONE CONFERENCE 2017
  2. 2. THIS TALK IS ABOUT WEBSITES ▸ In 2016 University of Jyväskylä started a massive website renewal process - upgrading from Plone 4 to Plone 5, designing a new brand and new theme and changing to a new organizational structure. ▸ In my presentation last year I tried to anticipate the challenges we would face and how Plone 5 could help us. ▸ Now it's time to look back (and forward) on how things went, where we are and what we could learn from the experience. ▸ This is about Plone 5, theming, Mosaic, agile, and people.
  3. 3. PREVIOUSLY, IN PLONE CONFERENCE 2016 ▸ https://2017.ploneconf.org/ Ploneconf2016/talks/to-infinity-and- beyond-with-plone-5 ▸ https://www.slideshare.net/rioksane/to- infinity-and-beyond-with-plone-5 ▸ https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=XmWbUFXaV3A
  4. 4. WHO, ME? ▸ Rikupekka Oksanen
 rioksane@jyu.fi ▸ Twitter: @rikupekka ▸ Plone-user/site builder/support/trainer/
 project manager since 2004
  5. 5. LET ME TELL YOU A STORY... ▸ Of hard-working heroes, occasional bureaucratic villains(?), massive challenges, last-minute surprises, monster-sized bugs and perseverance... ▸ ...and website content. Lots of it!
  6. 6. IN THE LAND OF FINLAND NEAR NORTH POLE... ▸ Year 2017, when it rained. Jyväskylä
  7. 7. UNIVERSITY OF JYVÄSKYLÄ ▸ A significant multi-discipline research university and an expert in education ▸ https://www.jyu.fi/en/university ▸ 15 000 students, 2600 staff
  8. 8. PLONE AND UNIVERSITY OF JYVÄSKYLÄ ▸ Using Plone since 2004 ▸ 7 (now 6) faculties, several departmental sites, separate institute sites ▸ Separate site for students and applicants ▸ About 90 Plone instances - of many are customised applications (such as video portal, payment services, study material portals etc.)
  9. 9. WWW.JYU.FI
  10. 10. STATS AT WWW.JYU.FI MAIN WEBSITE ▸ Pageviews 1 700 000/month ▸ Visitors 200 000/month ▸ Content: approx 100 000 pages, portals, forms. ▸ Another 100 000 of files and images. ▸ Hundreds of content editors all around the university
  11. 11. WEBSITE RENEWAL IN 2016-2017 - ASPECTS ▸New organisational structure 1.1.2017 ▸New brand #JYUnity #JYUnique ▸New theme ▸New intranet (for staff) ▸New search engine ▸And Plone 5 everywhere
  12. 12. CHALLENGES AHEAD ▸ Content editors: new Plone version and theme, new org. structure, actually have to delete something ▸ Project management and support: communication, managing expectations, new guides, trainings ▸ Developers: Plone 5 or 5.1 beta, 
 migrations, new theme, better search, 
 smooth releases, tools for content 
 editors (new portals with Mosaic)
  13. 13. OUR HEROES
  14. 14. UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS UNIT ▸ Content managers; responsible for brand, intranet (and the whole renewal)
  15. 15. CONTENT EDITORS ▸ All around faculties and departments, going through all content and learning new structure and Plone 5 version
  16. 16. NPC: AD AGENCY ▸ Designing new brand and new theme
  17. 17. PLONE DEVELOPMENT TEAM ▸ Maintaining the old, while creating new: migrations, theme, search, support and training
  18. 18. VILLAINS? ▸ "Change Approval Committee"?
  19. 19. CHALLENGE 1. ORGANISATIONAL CHANGE
  20. 20. NEW ORG STRUCTURE ▸ Combining faculties and departments ▸ Moving people from faculties under administration (University Services -unit) ▸ New responsibilities, as website content editors were given to new people
  21. 21. ONE (GOOD) THING WE DIDN'T ACCOUNT FOR ▸ Some faculties and departments actually wanted to "start over" with content ▸ So it wasn't just content migration to the old stuff ▸ It slows down the process, but eventually will enhance content quality ▸ Right now: lasta 4 faculties under construction in preview- sites, with only partially migrated content
  22. 22. NEW PEOPLE DOING NEW STUFF ▸ Previously, the people responsible for updating Plone content were stationed under departments (amanuensis, secretaries, planning officers) ▸ In 2017
  23. 23. TO PLONE 5 ▸ Website renewal could have been done on Plone 4 ▸ But upgrading to Plone 5 seemed like future-proof option ▸ This decision was done by IT Services and Plone team - it was a technical aspect no one questioned.
  24. 24. OUR PLAN A YEAR AGO...
  25. 25. OUR PLAN A YEAR AGO...
  26. 26. LAUGHING
  27. 27. WINTER 2017 ▸ First new faculty site https://www.jyu.fi/hytk was released in 3rd January 2017, as planned with migrated content and new theme ▸ Problems: ▸ Caching - changes didn't update immediately ▸ Performance - slow ▸ Old site still visible - broken links, wrong content, search problems ▸ Shock about the new theme
  28. 28. WINTER 2017 ▸ Solutions: ▸ Tweaking theme ▸ Fixing issues (cache, performance) ▸ Training, Plone 5 guides ▸ Lots of communication ▸ Forming www-editor -groups for new faculties
  29. 29. SPRING 2017 ▸ In March 2017 another faculty https://www.jyu.fi/edupsy was released ▸ Release was much smoother than the previous one ▸ In April a new intranet site was partially released - the "helpcenter" for staff: https://uno.jyu.fi/helpcenter ▸ Other new Plone 5 sites also released ▸ Problems: old faculty sites were still visible in searches
  30. 30. SUMMER 2017 ▸ Releasing more smaller Plone sites, creating preview-sites for another faculties and departments ▸ Plone Midsummersprint in July 2017 ▸ https://www.coactivate.org/projects/midsummer- sprint-2017 ▸ Other Plone development and releases ▸ In August: prioritisation for autumn: main website released next (before intranet, other, faculties etc.)
  31. 31. SEPTEMBER 2017 ▸ In August: preparing to release www.jyu.fi main pages come new semester (four main portals) ▸ Last minute changes to theme, but also approval from new rector ▸ Theme was ready, cotent almost ▸ September 7th 2017: Release of www.jyu.fi main website
  32. 32. Huge visual navigation, no navigation bar, video embed
  33. 33. Campus news and events, statement of the schools philosophy
  34. 34. More news, alumni in the news
  35. 35. Huge social media integration tile Footer with links
  36. 36. AND ▸ We start to get feedback...
  37. 37. ▸ HELL BREAKS LOOSE!
  38. 38. ▸ HELL BREAKS LOOSE!
  39. 39. EXAMPLE FEEDBACK 1 ▸ "Email does not work!" ▸ "Too modern" ▸ "Too big images" ▸ "Just PR material and empty slogans" ▸ "Cannot find anything" ▸ "€%&*###&%!!"
  40. 40. EXAMPLE FEEDBACK 2 ▸ "Men are researchers, studying, or leaders, women are just a**es" ▸ Do not underestimate the power of visual message of huge images... ▸ Slow, huge images
  41. 41. GATHERING FEEDBACK ▸ We have Plone forms (fi/en) for feedback ▸ First couple of days, about 50 messages ▸ In a month, 150 (in our case, quite a lot) ▸ Bad: 75%, OK: 15%, Good: 10% ▸ We added selection on role of the person giving feedback, resulting: ▸ Staff: 75%, Student: 15%, External audience: 10%
  42. 42. CONTENT IS KING ▸ You remember this https://xkcd.com/773/ comic?
  43. 43. SOMEHOW THIS HAPPENED
  44. 44. Letter from the president Letter from the president
  45. 45. Campus news and events, statement of the schools philosophy
  46. 46. More news, alumni in the news
  47. 47. Full name of the school! Campus map!
  48. 48. SERIOUSLY ▸ New main website is aimed first and foremost to external audiences - that should have been better communicated to staff members ▸ Theme is radically different to the old one. Too radically? ▸ Feedback on search results was really useful - deleted old content, improved Google Search results. ▸ Generally, when you renew something, people start giving feedback also on issues that were already there before the renewal.
  49. 49. THEME AND THE NEW BRAND
  50. 50. DESIGN HELL? ▸ Oatmeal comic: 
 http://theoatmeal.com/comics/design_hell ▸ Be warned.
  51. 51. AND so on...
  52. 52. DESIGN WELL ▸ Note: not sayin' this happened at our university, just sayin' ▸ The theme was approved in 2016 by high level people, but after actually releasing the first faculty site, some backlash appeared. ▸ After that, many changes this way and that - a challenge to devs ▸ Next time: better documentation on what was decided ▸ However, overall the finished website looks very similar to the theme ad agency originally designed
  53. 53. WEBDESIGN AND LOREM IPSUM ▸ Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet ▸ Beautiful!
  54. 54. LOREM IPSUM SUCKS (IN FINLAND AT LEAST) ▸ https://www.jyu.fi
  55. 55. OLD FRONTPAGE
  56. 56. §
  57. 57. ADAPTING THE NEW THEME TO PLONE 5 ▸ We got a new whole theme bundle (html, css, javascript) from the ad agency. The idea was that we could use it as it is. ▸ The new theme was run through university administration and it was accepted ▸ The first version of Plone adapted theme used the theme bundle as it was, with only small tweaks. ▸ But as it quite often happens, when you actually release something, changes started coming. ▸ We ended up to doing all the templates again for ourselves -> there was a big amount of work ▸ But - this way all the elements were created to be renewable especially mosaic theme fragments (carousels, news items tiles, feed carousels, social media embed tiles etc.)
  58. 58. ON EDITING MAIN WEBSITE ▸ Mosaic makes it easy, yet powerful ▸ Customised tiles
  59. 59. FALLBACK DIRECTOR AND VARNISH ▸ Using a tool called Fallback Director with Varnish we still can have content under same domain coming from old or new Plone site, example: ▸ https://www.jyu.fi/erillis - old site ▸ https://www.jyu.fi/fi/palvelut - new site ▸ Even logging in works well ▸ This allows us to release content in smaller pieces - that's agile!
  60. 60. INTRANET ▸ One portal for all staff in Plone ▸ Departmental intranets in Plone here and there
 ...or no departmental intranets or anything ▸ IP-restriction for viewing (not a very good idea) ▸ Plone Ldap problem
  61. 61. OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2017 ▸ Release of Intranet main portal in week 43 (waiting for administration approval) -> NEW priorities -> Intranet portal will be released AFTER all faculty sites ▸ Moving from Google Search Appliance to Solr ▸ Helping faculties to publish their sites ▸ Creating new dexterity type and mosaic layout for project pages
  62. 62. NEXT: SEARCH ENGINGE ▸ From Google Search Appliance to Solr
  63. 63. VERSION BETA? ▸ Plone 5 has been robust ▸ In our main website we have been running:
  64. 64. LESSONS LEARNED(?)
  65. 65. LESSONS LEARNED - PEOPLE ▸ Website renewals should be appropriately resourced - this time there was no actual project in place either in university communications or IT services or in departments ▸ More people on board would have been nice ▸ There was a project for brand renewal and theme design, though ▸ However, while change is hard, it also in some level energised people - different day, different stuff :)
  66. 66. LESSONS LEARNED - COMMUNICATION ▸ We did have: ▸ Internally public preview-sites throughout the year ▸ We did seminars for content editors ▸ Public pages for describing how the renewal goes ▸ Trainings for staff ▸ Some email info ▸ But it is not enough - only after you release something the truth comes out. So more information the better! ▸ Using Flowdock chat system to actively communicate between IT and communications unit and Ad agency
  67. 67. LESSONS LEARNED - PRIORITIES ▸ Other projects or development needs in parallel ▸ Prioritising stuff makes it easier to pull through ▸ We had a "website renewal steering group" which had (almost) enough authority to put things in order ▸ Important to show information on what is decided about the priorities
  68. 68. LESSONS LEARNED - N'SYNC ▸ To release a departmental site we need synchronised action from each three: the content editors, university communications and development team ▸ Often we push some preview-site further by doing more migrations, installing add-ons, customising theme ▸ Parallel action is needed, but maybe not the most efficient way ▸ Some push from the administration would be good?
  69. 69. LESSONS LEARNED - PLONE 5 ▸ Editing: usually well received by content editors ▸ Toolbar is nice, UI is pretty and clean ▸ Mosaic features ▸ Missing features from Plone 4? Nope. Undo maybe. ▸ Basic trainings are easy: Simple editing can be teached in 15 minutes, managing content in 2 hours ▸ Overall Plone 5 has been a good thing in the renewal process
  70. 70. LESSONS LEARNED - MOSAIC ▸ Truly a powerful tool - drag'n drop is a blast ▸ Customised "theme fragments", e.g. RSS-feed carousel, hero image carousel, social media integration - much used ▸ Different pre-defined layouts available: department page, faculty page, document page ▸ People are adopting Mosaic view quite fast ▸ Mosaic pages are now actively updated, compared to Plone 4.3 with Portal View add on
  71. 71. LESSONS LEARNED - OTHER NOTES ▸ New sites are technically fast, but portals and frontpages are very visual and content heavy - designed that way ▸ Caching problems - faster content or actual content? ▸ Internet Explorer still sucks :(
  72. 72. BONUS: MOSAIC DEMO
  73. 73. DEMO ▸ Seeing is believing ▸ Mosaic everywhere ▸ University main page Mosaic ▸ Department main page Mosaic ▸ Help Center Mosaic
  74. 74. EDITING A MOSAIC FRONTPAGE ▸ https://sneak2.preview.jyu.fi/fi/etusivu
  75. 75. FACULTY PAGE - EDITING AN ACCORDION
  76. 76. THEME FRAGMENT - NEWS PICK
  77. 77. THEME FRAGMENT - FOCUS POINT
  78. 78. DEPARTMENT LAYOUT - HERO CAROUSEL
  79. 79. HERO CAROUSEL - SELECTING ITEMS
  80. 80. HERO CAROUSEL - SETTINGS
  81. 81. NEXT - THE ROAD GOES EVER ON...
  82. 82. QUESTIONS? ▸ Rikupekka Oksanen
 rioksane@jyu.fi ▸ Twitter: @rikupekka ▸ https://www.jyu.fi
  83. 83. THANK YOU! ▸ PS. Remember to check my other presentation tomorrow :)
 https://2017.ploneconf.org/talks/organizing-a-plone- sprint-lessons-learned-case-midsummersprint-2017

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