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Usability Target Groups

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This page belongs to the Human-Computer-Interaction - Team (category HCI)

Can we define various target groups for whom version 4.5 should have improved usability?

This is very important to do so our conversations can be more specific when we discuss improvements. The same change doesn't affect all target groups equally much. An improvement for one usergroup might even make it worse for another - if we don't consider these differences.

Lets describe the main types of users. This could later be the basis even for defining backend user roles which is a suggested improvement :-)

ISO 9241-11 definition of "usability": effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction with which a specified set of users can achieve a specified set of tasks in a particular environment.

Target Groups

Website visitors

  • Description: Those who visit TYPO3 made websites.
  • Objective: They should experience consistency in website functionality coming from the core
  • Keywords: out-of-the-box usable sites
  • Solutions:
    • Make default templates/output user friendly and consistent, following accessible guidelines

Monthly Editors

  • Description: Editors using TYPO3 so infrequently that they can't remember how it works! Typically maintaining very few pages once twice a month. Also referred to as "Dummy user", "Basic user", "End users"
  • Objective: They should easily log in, navigate the backend and perform their tasks without being confused where to click and what to do. Focus on "Effectiveness"
  • Keywords: Supportive, friendly, intuitive
  • Problems:
    • Can't remember TYPO3 from time to time
    • Feel alienated or overwhelmed when they log in
  • Solutions:
    • Wizards (which requires no training and memory) for typical tasks
    • Simplifications
      • Easier configuration of trimmed down backend
      • Dummy-backend, task oriented and icons/menus found in similar locations to popular software applications - simple directory tree on left, functions across top, workspace underneath. Use similar labels and icons that assist in the transfer of knowledge from other software to Typo3, speeding user-comfort and familiarity
      • Improved Start-up page / task center?
    • Examples/Resources

Daily Editors

  • Description: They use TYPO3 every day or many times a week. They are experienced, have learned the tool and don't suffer problems to remember how it works. Actually, it is believed that this type of user is pretty happy and successful already.
    • More advanced use of extensions and configuration options are still not committed to memory
    • Still don't think about TYPO3 in "developer" terms. Some work flow does not feel intuitive
  • Objective: TYPO3 must be an effective production tool, supporting their work processes and lowering repetitive tasks. Focus on satisfaction and efficiency (effectiveness is implicit)
  • Keywords: Efficiency, stability, intuitive
  • Problems:
    • (? Don't know - maybe some luxurious problems like appealing icons?)
    • Work flow for configuring extensions and other options are not intuitive
    • Not good representation in TYPO3 for "why" we have to create multiple record types to define one thing
    • Not apparent that LIST VIEW is only way to view, add, edit records used by frontend plugins
    • EXAMPLE: To add a calendar event, user must create 1) category records, 2) targetgroup records, 3) organizer records, 4) templates for multiple views, 5) event record... finally
  • Solutions:
    • AJAX solutions to boost performance and flow?
    • Look'n'feel improved? (Less important than flow)
    • Many small quirks from the no-brainer page
    • Define "best practices" for work flow and make steps more intuitive -- to the editor, not the backend database
    • Define context-sensitive help (? buttons) for each field -- include info about how this field relates to other fields and will impact the site


  • Description: Superusers of TYPO3. Might have admin account to create new users, install extensions etc. Doesn't change templating, but does all the advanced content tasks.
    • More advanced use of extensions and configuration options are still not committed to memory
    • Still don't think about TYPO3 in "developer" terms. Some work flow does not feel intuitive
  • Objective: Easily manage users, get statistics out, set up plugins / extensions,
  • Keywords: predictability, consistency, stability, power
  • Problems:
    • Understanding the differences and uses of FE user vs BE user
    • Huge variety in the way that extensions are configured and administered can impede the administrator doing their job if templating is required to tweak extensions.
    • Educating other content editors who are less freqently exposed to Typo3 - troubleshooting their difficulties
    • Unexperienced administrators have problems when something is not working (database errors, ..)
  • Solutions:
    • Create standards that extensions should follow, so that RTE usage, Templating methods, configuration principles are the same for all extensions (adhering to that standard): "Know one? Know all!" is the principle.
    • Ensure documentation is complete, and includes up-to-date screenshots of each step, and is written in simple English assuming no understanding of coding at all.
    • Define context-sensitive help (? buttons) for each field -- include info about how this field relates to other fields and will impact the site
    • Improved Start-up page / task center that provides fast help through simple wizards? (like backup or db check)

Occasional Administrators/Editors

  • Description: Admin of (usually smaller) site that sets up and runs site and updates content occasionally (few times a week to once a month). Might update extensions & tweak templates, needs to administrate users & site. They likely run and are responsible for the whole site, and might have some help with content updating.
  • Objective: Easily update content, get statistics out, and occasionally setup users/content editors/plugins.
  • Keywords: predictability, consistency, easy-to-use/intuitive, power-wanna-be
  • Problems:
    • They do not use Typo3 everyday, and certain things (add users, add/configure extensions, tweak templates) may forget how to do and get frustrated
    • They need to have both full site admin and content editting but it needs to not be overwhelming.
    • Similar problems listed for Administrators and Monthly Editors
  • Solutions:
    • Need a full admin capability, but simplified so can do most popular admin tasks as well as content updates.
    • Similar Solutions listed for Administrators and Monthly Editors

Site Developers

  • Description: These guys are setting up TypoScript templates, installing extensions etc.
  • Objective: Make templating and configuration easier and less "random" and experimental...
  • Keywords:
  • Problems:
    • Always confused with TypoScript
    • High learning curve (probably due to low guidance and validation from system)
  • Solutions:
    • Best-practices defined (eg. for templating)
    • Unified Templating API
    • TypoScript property editor and validator, all inline documented and fool proof.
    • Kill all references! All properties are inherently known and exposed by the code itself!

Extension Developers

  • Description: Developing extensions (plugins/modules) for TYPO3.
  • Objective: Support rapid development which yields high consistency code supporting standards for extensions.
  • Keywords:
  • Problems:
    • Produces a lot of junk most of the time which is hard to share because its so specific!
  • Solutions:
    • Improved Kickstarter (inspiration by Ruby on Rails)
    • Better API and standards
    • Best-practices defined


  • Description: Someone heard of TYPO3, download it and is now about to install it and play with it for a project in mind.
  • Objective: Get a simple file-tree with 2 or 3 level page depth, html/css template with dynamic navigation, news extension or blog, and members-only (password protected area) working.
  • Keywords:
  • Problems:
    • Installation problems? Requirements? Perhaps a wizard that automatically retrieves the server configuration and displays with a message that yes this config will work or not it wont, and save to an easy to find log file.
    • Installation sourcecode check? Perhaps the install tool could check the md5 hashes of all files, whether they are uploaded through FTP correct, or whether a bug has been created.
    • Turned off by boring interface in install tool
    • Not sure if install tool needs to be followed step by step, or not.
    • Doesn't find TYPO3 easy to get quick results with
  • Solutions:
    • Make install tool much better, nicer and friendlier to the first time installer. Make him feel the love :-) !
    • Make really nice standard templates (repository?) easily downloaded an applied through wizard
    • Scaled down backend, generally improved usability, skin ; features to make him feel comfortable and at home from day 1.
    • TYP03-light distribution (a la WEC packages)?
    • Edit written manuals to ensure they are completely up to date for 4.0 (or 4.5 :) ), with up to date screen captures,
    • Package all text based material needed to get initial "lite" package running in one manual written in English that assumes no prior coding experience.
    • Improved Start-up page / task center that guides the BE user at the first time through BE (interactive way -> Bot?)


  • Description: Administrators, who have to install Typo3 and the tools that are needed
  • Objective: Easy to install and maintain, high security