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Template designer persona

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Revision as of 20:35, 23 January 2008 by Chris Davenport (Talk | contribs)

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Kate is a 32-year-old web designer. She has a BA in fine arts and has had her own business in graphic design and web design for the past 10 years. Kate is fairly conversant in HTML and CSS and keeps up on cross-browser issues. She taught herself HTML and CSS and isn't afraid of looking at web page source code to discover new ways of designing with HTML/CSS. Kate loves the idea of using Joomla, because she isn't a programmer, and has no interest in learning how to program, although she can cut and paste javascripts into the head of her HTML files.

Kate recognizes that offering flat HTML websites are no longer a viable solution for many of the clients who hire her to create their websites. She is thrilled that Joomla offers interactive functionality for which she has no capability to program on her own.

Kate is quite keen to use Joomla, as it allows her to evaluate an extension before presenting it to a client. In the past, Kate has hired a few programmers who could never deliver what she needed. By using Joomla, she is able to bypass the anguish of hiring a programmer, and not knowing if the programmer will leave her in the lurch.

As intrepid as Kate is, she has had a hard time understanding how to set up a website once the basic Joomla package has been installed. She would like to see one-stop documentation on how to create her own templates at the Joomla documentation site, as well as how to use Joomla's admin backend. She would love to have a content creator tutorial she can direct her clients to so she doesn't have to spend a lot of time training them on how to use the CMS aspects of Joomla.

She likes the idea of having a vanilla template to design from so she customize it for different clients easily and quickly. Kate wishes she could find a forum on the site that is focused to web designers, just like there is a site on the forum for developers. Right now, she can only search keywords and often the search results are way off target for her needs.

Subsequently, she must spend hours trawling through the forums to get answers, which is monstrously frustrating to her. The vocabulary used in the forums is unfamiliar to Kate and appears to programmer-centric and intimidating. She doesn't know what OOP means, or what a class is unless that's referring to a CSS attribute. It's all so confusing to her.

Once working a little with the default Joomla package she discovers that the engine generates table code which is not W3 compliant, nor is it accessible. Kate has a regular contract with the Department of Health in her state and she must make sure that all her designs are Section 503 compliant, so site visitors with disabilities can access the content. She may lose her contract if she can't make the site available to voice readers that make the site content available to blind visitors. It's imperative that she be able to remove tables and have full control over the presentation of the site's content. But currently there is no documentation that shows her how to turn off tables.

(Little does Kate know, were she to dig long and hard enough that she would be able to turn off tables, but it means she must create template overrides. Kate does not know PHP and has no CLUE what a template override is.) Kate longs for parameters switches in the backend administration that would allow her to do something as simple as turn on or off tables.

When Kate visits the Joomla support sites, she is quite confused where to go find help and would like to see Joomla documentation meet her needs on how to get her job done as quickly as possible. This is her primary documentation "goal." She doesn't need information on how to write CSS or how to create a W3 compliant template. She can do that in her sleep. What she wants to do is understand how to insert classes and ids into the vanilla template so that she can have full control of the presentation of the website content.

She also wants to understand what modules, components and plugins are. Not how they are implemented or programmed, but what they can do to help her to organize her content or offer functionality to her client. She would also love to see different implementations of the same module or component so that she can understand different ways to use them. This is not available in the current Joomla documentation.

In addition, Kate desperately wants to be able to access the stylesheets for her modules and components all from the backend. She would prefer not to have to edit the stylesheet by hand everytime she wants to make a change. She would love it if her stylesheets were fed into a form in the administration backend where she could edit her style sheets, click "Preview" and see the change.

She is overwhelmed with all the code that comprises Joomla, and doesn't understand why there isn't an easier way to access stylesheets, like in Dreamweaver. It would be helpful if there were a Joomla user guide on how to use DW with Joomla, without fear of munging the code and breaking the entire code base.

It would benefit Kate if with every default and third-party component or module that she installed, there was a list of all the style declarations in the HTML included in the documentation of the extension so that she wouldn't have to hunt them all down by setting up the modules and then figuring out every configuration the code would generate so that when her client added content and changed parameters, her template wouldn't break (and make her look bad).