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An Argument for Complex User Interfaces

Credit: Flickr user SWF Photography

User Experience (UX) design is an important aspect of almost every software application. Most users benefit from having a simple, easy to understand interface that offers intuitive choices to achieve their goals. Advocates of the simple approach point to surveys that measure how users respond to the design of an application, where simpler interfaces almost always garner a better rating.

The challenge is that not all applications can be reduced to a simple model. The current trend in UX design is to break a complex task down into a set of smaller, simpler interfaces, and then give the user a method of selecting or stepping through each of these interfaces. In some cases where a lot of this input is required, the user is guided through a sequence of simple steps to achieve a complex goal. This doesn't work. It's the opposite of the one-step checkout process that works so well for commerce sites, and we need a better solution.

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Save Time and Money by Using ACP for Joomla Content

Presentation Title Slide

The title of this post is what I should have titled my presentation at the 2012 Joomla World Conference. That's also how I should have structured the presentation. Much the same material, but the benefits first. The marketer's version of "Keep it Simple, Stupid" should be "Present the Benefits First, Idiot". Next time I do this presentation it's going to be organized to do just that. Until then, this will have to do.

The best way to put it is this: ACP is very useful when you have a lot of articles with similar elements and you want the flexibility to change the way all those articles are presented with a single update. If you have something like 300 product brochure pages in your site, or 10 executive profiles, then ACP is worth learning.

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Louis Landry to Joomla: So Long and Thanks for All the Fish

Gone fishing

With this reference to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Louis Landry – a major contributor to the Joomla project as a principal architect of Joomla 1.5, Joomla Platform, Core Team member, frequent speaker at Joomla events, and generally all-round sensible person – announced his departure from the project "for the forseeable future".

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The Two Most Important Things You Can do to Secure Your Joomla Site

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Maintaining a secure web site is a top concern for many people. Everyone is looking for the one way to make sure their site is always running, safe, and secure. When someone expresses concern about the security of their site, I usually ask them how old their most recent backup is. Most don't know, or don't have any backup at all.

The harsh reality is that no system is ever going to be 100% secure. It doesn't matter what that system is, be it Joomla or the mainframe system that runs your bank account. It's important to keep your system up to date and to defend against hackers, but at the same time keeping your site up and running means defending against several other factors that include hardware failures, failed business relationships, and security issues beyond your control. For example, if your hosting company doesn't keep their control panel software up to date there's nothing you can do — short of switching hosts.

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Joomla World Conference Starts Posting Videos

JWC Logo

The exceptional organizing team has started to post video sessions from the recent Joomla World Conference. They're available at on the conference website and are being uploaded at the rate of about ten a day. This is going to be a great resource for the community. Personally I'm looking forward to catching up on several sessions that I missed.

The conference organizers also got a copy of all the presentations and we can expect to have them posted soon. Members of the local Joomla User Group Toronto hope to be delivering some of these presentations locally in the new year.

First Joomla World Conference a Resounding Success

JWC 2012 Group Photo

For three days from November 16-18, over 300 Joomla enthusiasts gathered at the eBay/PayPal campus in San Jose for the first-ever official Joomla World Conference.

Attendees were able to follow several streams, including Development, Integration, and Visual Design. Between sessions there were non-stop discussions, and the opportunity to meet people I've been working with for years but never met in person.

If there's one word to describe the conference, it's overwhelming. But that's in a good way.

Read more: First Joomla World Conference a Resounding Success