Content Management System design

Before building a website in CMS, it is important to have a good understanding of what to build and who the audience is.

A high volume of content can heavily influence the look and feel of the site and the site hierarchy. When determining the content, design for ease of maintenance for the people who take care of the system.

Review website design prerequisites to help you set expectations, scope deliverables, and define reasonable time lines. Consider both the planning and execution of site design, to understand how sites are built, and to provide a working overview of the CMS.

Timing is important when considering the addition of content management. Successful deployments of the content management system usually take place after phase 1 processes (for example, Incident, Problem, Change, Catalog, and Knowledge) are in place. This is especially true if the team has limited website design experience. Waiting until phase 2 of deployment gives administrators time to work in ServiceNow and to understand how the organization uses the system and what business needs it meets.

Also consider the maturity level of data in the ServiceNow system. Depending on the ITIL processes used, content management is only useful and effective once the data within ServiceNow is established. Ensure that hierarchies, tasks, and workflows are well-defined. For example, before creating a catalog interface, confirm that the service catalog has been in place for some time, has been used, and contains data. The same is true for a knowledge management interface, particularly when high ratings or view counts define article placement on the page.

Table 1. Website design prerequisites
Prerequisite Ensures that
Organize the content System content and CMS content is complete.
Identify team members The process is not delayed by a lack of resources.
Prepare the data within the instance The instance has all the data the CMS presents.
Leverage the corporate style guide The CMS site conforms to the corporate look and feel.
Use prototypes and rapid web design The structure of the CMS site is clear and planned out, either on paper or an electronic file.