Rocket Conf’ 2015 was a full day of inspiring and useful talks from members of the team here at Zengenti HQ. We also invited a few non-Zen friends to share their wisdom and experiences with our lovely clients. For us, the conference is proof of just how important the Contensis community is to our users. They were able to chat, share advice and best practice, or ask us a question or two over coffee.
As well as a host of universal talks, following delegate feedback in 2014 we split the conference into two streams this year to cater for our content hounds and our code-loving cats. We received great feedback from people who were able to make the most of their time with the crew, learning about Contensis in a way that was most valuable to them. People told us that 'seeing the roadmap to for future versions was very useful', that there were 'great presentations and networking afterwards', and that it was 'a very good and useful day'.
With two streams full of great information there were plenty of tips for people to take away from the conference. Some highlights included:
Zach Beauvais's discussion of the importance of content strategy and good governance when managing your website. Zach stressed how vital it is that every piece of content on your website has an owner. This owner is responsible for making sure that the content is correct, up-to-date, and consistent. Zach recommended running websites like newspapers. Newspapers have an editor who sets the agenda, helps agree standards, and checks facts.
Jon Moore's talk about the future of CSS layouts. He looked at using grid and flexbox modules in CSS3 to create beautiful responsive websites without being forced into somebody else's way of working. Whilst frameworks such as Bootstrap or Skeleton can speed up projects, using them means adapting to a new way of working. Grid and flexbox allow you to dictate orientation, spacing, and order using just CSS.
Gabriel Smy’s look at writing purposeful content for your website. Gabriel talked about the importance of addressing the needs of users, writing in a clear and direct style, and aiming for a reading age of 12 or under.
Jon Maskrey explaination of why usability is important and the best methods for testing whether your site is easy to use. By testing the information architecture, design and layout, and user interface early on and throughout the project you can easily avoid usability issues. It’s crucial to test on small groups and then iterate between tests. Most importantly, zero testing means zero insight!
Francesco Martino's case study looking at the growth of the EUI website since it moved to Contensis. He touched on the success that the EUI have had with using Varnish to speed up their website speed and on the great working relationship that we have with the EUI team.
Product owner, Rich Saunders, also gave us an insight into some of the features in the latest release of Contensis, R8.2, and we took a look at the future roadmap. The next version of Contensis will introduce master pages, structured content, CXM features, and other improvements. All of these new features will make it easier to publish relevant content to the right audience.
As usual there were some funny tweets, some new faces, and a lot of tasty giveaways. After the conference we headed to Le Monde for Rock-it. The post-conference social was another chance for us catch up with Contensis users. Some of us even headed for a late night burger afterwards!
Our next community events take place this autumn. The Contensis user groups are more product focused than the Rocket conference. They give users the chance to give us their feedback and provide input that will help shape the future of Contensis. The Zengenti team will be on hand to offer advice on developing and creating content with Contensis. Join us in Leeds and London this autumn.