During my internship at LiveWall, a Digital Creative Agency, I was involved in a project for the platforms team. This team customizes platform applications, and I specifically worked on their Laravel CMS, tailored to each client's needs.
In September 2021, LiveWall received a project to investigate and enhance the user-friendliness of the Larawall CMS. My research question was, "How can I design a user-friendly Larawall CMS?"
Throughout this project, I applied various research methods, including working on wireframes, designs, prototypes, and a proof of concept.
At LiveWall, the existing system combines Laravel with the open-source package Orchid, which provides standard CMS elements and the interface. To improve the user interface's usability, I created a redesign while considering the existing interface. During the process, I conducted research on UI Design patterns, focusing on how standard or basic components like filters or search bars generally function.
Based on the project requirements, a list of UI Design patterns that could be used in the project was compiled.
After the UI Design pattern research, I created wireframes and Version 1 of the designs. Through usability testing, it was determined that users strongly preferred the new design. Using their feedback, I developed Version 2 of the designs. Adobe XD was used to create the designs.
Een tabel pagina in het huidige systeem
Een tabel pagina in het nieuwe design
During the implementation of the designs, I noticed that Orchid was not the most suitable package to incorporate the improvements. Besides being user-friendly for clients, the CMS also needed to be developer-friendly. Unfortunately, Orchid lacked many standard CMS elements such as filter options, a global search bar, and bulk actions. Additionally, the incomplete documentation and difficulty in making styling adjustments made it challenging to work with.
As a result, we decided to explore alternative packages. Research was conducted on various packages, and a list of requirements was established. From this list, three packages were selected and developed into prototypes. Eventually, Backpack was chosen as the best alternative, and we proceeded with its implementation.
Proof of Concept (PoC)
The proof of concept confirmed that Backpack is a good alternative to Orchid due to its user-friendliness, customizability, and better documentation. User testing showed that Backpack was positively received, with some minor issues in table functionality. Overall, Backpack is considered a modern and user-friendly CMS.