Tridion Content Analysis: Part 3, Inventory

  1. The Trivial Example and Question
  2. Context
  3. Inventory
  4. Process
  5. The Answer
In Part 1 of this Tridion Content Analysis series, we saw the trivial article example and knew something didn't quite fit. Part 2 explained why context matters. Let's clarify the details by taking a content inventory.

Part 3: Inventory

For each of your page and content types, if possible bring:
  • Wireframe, screenshot, or comps
  • Content details (including hidden information such as alt text and SEO metadata)
  • Business and technical terms
  • Who authors which parts
  • Where else you use all or part of this content
  • Priority and update frequency
  • Existing content management system (CMS) entry forms
  • How you expect this to be managed in the CMS, used within your website framework, and possibly incorporated with your build process
Here's an example inventory. I don't necessarily collect and write down all these details each project, but this reflects the conversations, notes, and meetings I've had and seen for Tridion functional analysis. You can feed any formal content audits into this as well; I've excluded the typical "identifier, audience, and URL" suggested by Content Strategists.

Content Type
Field or asset
Example /
Estimated
instances
Author(s) and Layout
Also used in
Managed?
Priority and Frequency
Product Teaser
Image
Picture of book/
Dozens
Nivlong
Product Details
Custom CMS
High,
updated
annually
Product Teaser
Product name
“Create and Break, The Book”/
Dozens
Nivlong
Product Details
Custom CMS
High,
rarely
 updated
Product Teaser
Short description
"A blog about nothing, really"/
Dozens
Nivlong
none
Custom CMS
High,
updated
monthly
Product Teaser
Price
$0.01/
Dozens
Automatic
Product Details
From external feed
Low,
auto-
updated
daily
Product Teaser
Read more link
Dozens
Templated
From template
High,
rarely
changes
Product Details
Product name
“Create and Break, The Book”/
Dozens
Nivlong
Product Teaser
Custom CMS
High,
rarely
updated
Product Details
Image
Picture of book/
Dozens
Nivlong
Product Teaser
Custom CMS
High
Product Details
Price
$0.01/
Dozens
Automatic
Product Teaser
From external feed
Low,
auto-
updated
daily


I'm not sure if such an inventory is commonplace, but it makes implicit assumptions explicit.

We can then "refactor" fields to get a high-level approach at schema design and template logic. Each duplicate item might be a shared schema field. Each presentation variation suggests a different template.

For example:

Possible Schema Fields
Template(s)
Image
Product Full
Product Summary
Product name
Product Full
Product Summary
Short description
Product Summary
Price (from external feed)
Product Full
Product Summary

“Read more” link in Product Summary

Tridion is flexible enough to handle the details, you just need to specify what goes where.
The specific format you collect this information in doesn't matter as much as going through the process; I don't care if you do this in your head (impressive if you can), use magnets and a white board, follow Big Design Up Front, practice agile (big or little "A"), or do a POC with a follow-up "real" implementation.
Feel free to recommend other columns or analysis questions. I've seen the basic approach at converting page and content types into schemas and templates dozens of times, but I'm curious how the details differ between consultants, projects, and regions.
When the architect says, "no no no no no, Alvin, the crucial thing is..." or your technical shakes his head with, "it won't work," or the infrastructure guru gives you a wink and remarks, "well, you could do that..." it means they've processed this input and see something you've missed.
Let's break that process down in Part 4.

1 comment :

  1. My SEO fu must be better if I'm getting comments from "Custom CMS."

    ReplyDelete

Feel free to share your thoughts below.

Some HTML allowed including links such as: <a href="link">link text</a>.