Google bashes enterprise CMS

I must say, I tend to agree with Google's attack on Enterprise CMS systems for being difficult to use and generally behind their consumer-focused counterparts.

The sad fact is that a lot of CMS interfaces are clunky and very confusing. These kinds of systems (similar to intranet applications) do not have the same competitive pressures - it is much more difficult and costly to move to a different CMS platform than it is to use a different search engine - and often the user interface suffers as a result.

In my agency days, we often spent a good deal of resource on perfecting the usability aspects of the public-facing website, yet the CMS interface was left to the programmers to sort out for themselves. There were usually very good budgetary reasons for this, but you hoped that the website content wouldn't suffer as a result of the CMS interface.

At Associative Trails, we have always tried to make our CMS/employee interfaces as easy to use as possible, but it can be difficult as you never have access to the high-volume usage analysis that can help evaluate a website interface.

It can only be a matter of time before the enterprise CMS market follows the search engines and splits into different solutions for different verticals. Focusing CMS functionality on specific market sectors means that more of your users will want to do similar things, making effective interface design easier and easing the introduction of information sharing and social software techniques into these workflow-led beasts. Hopefully, there's a big market opportunity out there!

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