Content profile and functional brief


What is the eZ Community ?

The Product

eZ Publish is an Open Source Content Management System chosen by thousands of enterprises and organizations world wide. It helps you build corporate websites, intranets, webshops and media portals. eZ Publish is 100% Open Source, available either as a free download or as an enterprise solution “eZ Publish Premium” with support, guarantees and maintenance.

eZ Publish is a PHP content management platform, now relying on the Zeta Components ( formerly known as eZ Components, more information here ), high-quality libraries.

More on the product :

The Community

The community around eZ Publish started right from the moment the product was made open source : the first second ! It all began in Norway, where eZ Systems stems from, in a small place called Skien. This crowd of bearded developers kinda grew, and became international. Many users of the product popped up around the world : that was the first ages of the eZ Community. Since 2001, first scientifically acknowledged signs of community life around eZ Publish, the product and her community moved ahead together, landing today with :

  • One of the best Content Management Platforms
  • 35 544 members in the community
  • 77838 forum posts
  • 75 articles and tutorials
  • 200+ partners
  • Hundreds of projects & contributions

The Company

eZ Systems is the world's largest Open Source Content Management software company.

eZ is a profitable company with more than 5000 paying customers from more than 100 countries around the world. We have a true global presence with employees from 23 nationalities and offices in Norway, Denmark, Germany, Japan, France, Belgium and North America. Our international team supports partners and customers at all continents.

eZ Systems is the creator of eZ Publish, an award winning Open Source Enterprise Content Management System, with more than 200 thousand installations and registered users in more than 130 countries.

eZ Systems was founded in 1999. The eZ philosophy of openness and information sharing is still the basic guideline for the company, employees and Ecosystem.


Mission Statement

Here is a small sentence meant to give a long-term view of what we would like to achieve. This should be useful when thinking the design and ergonomy of the community's entry gate, :

"To create a vibrant ecosystem around eZ Software, constantly increasing openness, attraction, helpfulness, innovation and intensity of this place. This ecosystem should be the absolutely right place to daily step by when working with eZ Software, bringing knowledge, contact, help, indirect involvement in the product's evolution, business, and fostering a strong feeling of belonging."


Site Users

This is the list of personas : the user types and what they are looking to get from the site.


This is a user who has no experience with eZ Publish and is evaluating CMS solutions. They are viewing the community site to help them decide if eZ Publish is the right solution for them. They will be looking at the thoroughness of the documentation, forum participation and level of help given to problems. They will also like to see the community is relevant and active in terms of code contribution, and sometimes be sensible to the presence of local communities.


They have downloaded eZ publish but don't know where to start. They may be having trouble installing the software or working out how to do some basic tasks. They are looking at the articles and tutorials for guidance, asking questions in the forums and possibly looking for assistance from a local eZ Publish practitioner. The ease in which they can find information and assistance will determine if they continue with eZ Publish or move on to another product.


These users have installed eZ publish and created there first sites. Their experience is limited to the functionality available via the administration interface e.g. creating new content classes, setting up users and creating templates. It's likely that they are using one of the standard eZ publish packages (eZ Flow, eZ Webin) as a basis for their sites. They sometimes struggle with some of the more advanced functionality and ask complex questions on the forums, which may go unanswered. They will reply to forum posts where the questions are within their ability to answer. They may provide blog posts, articles and tutorials. Custom functionality is added by installing extensions from the projects site. They start being able to customize existing extensions, and are learning how to create their own. They may occasionally file bug reports and comment on existing ones.


Experts have created several eZ Publish sites, custom extensions and have a very good understanding of the product. They are heavy forum participants and provide answers to questions. They are likely to hang around on the ezpublish channel on IRC, and be active in the "social media" surroundings (twitter, google wave). They are more likely to provide blog posts, articles and tutorials. They trigger projects ( and/or are active in some of them. Their good understanding of the product naturally pushes them to use the issue tracker when they spot an issue or for proposing an enhancement. They are the kernel of the eZ Community, creating its attraction, gravitation.

Site Goals

  Objective Definition Goal Review Current Status
Active Users Help the community grow

An active users is someone who, at least in the past 6 months :

- Initialized a new forum topic

- Replied 6 times to existing forums

- Fed back 1,5 issues ( = 3 times a year )

- Commented 2 times on an existing issue

Increase the number of active users by 10% per month ( means 162 active users at the end of december this year ) Monthly 69
New members Increase findability of the community and increase systematic advocacy. Amount of new registrations on the community portal. Increase the amount of newly registered users by 5% each month Monthly

March: 307

February: 280

Page-views per month Measure helpfulness and attraction of the community portal. Page-views figure picked from Google Analytics. Increase the amount of page views by 4% per month. This is equivalent to having 175000 page-views for next december. Monthly 122000 page views for the [08/03/2010 - 07/04/2010] period

Content Structure / Sitemap

Here is the current information structure, represented as a tree. Currently the Articles and Tutorials sections are separated. They contain very similar content though, hence the merger below :

|-- Forums
| |-- Forum 1
| | |-- Forum Topic 1
| | | |-- Forum Reply 1
| | | `-- Forum Reply 2
| | |
| | `-- Forum Topic 2
| | |-- Forum Reply 1
| | `-- Forum Reply 2
| |
| |-- Forum 2
| `-- Forum 3
|-- Articles & Tutorials
| |-- Tutorial 1
| |-- Tutorial 2
| |-- Tutorial 3
| |-- Article 1
| |-- Article 2
| `-- Article 3
|-- Blogs
| |-- Blog 1
| | |-- Blog entry 1
| | |-- Blog entry 2
| | `-- Blog entry 3
| |
| `-- Blog 2
| |-- Blog entry 1
| |-- Blog entry 2
| `-- Blog entry 3
|-- Projects
| `-- (RSS feed displayed, can be moved somewhere else)
|-- Directory
| |-- People
| | |-- Member 1
| | |-- Member 2
| | `-- Member 2
| `-- Companies (Partners)
| |-- Partner 1
| `-- Partner 2
|-- Community Program (structuring document for individuals and companies in the community)
|-- Team
| |-- Who is who
| `-- Development (development tool, available to the team only)
`-- About
 |-- Get involved
 |-- Etiquette and Usages guidelines
 |-- Get eZ Software
 `-- How to get support for eZ Publish

This is the way content is stored in eZ Publish. This tree can be easily reflected in the menu/submenus through eZ Publish's templating language ( is built with eZ Publish). The hierarchy represented above is the one currently in place (at the exception of the merged Articles & Tutorials section). To better reflect the "What content matters ?" part below, the organisation/hierarchy can (should ?) be reworked. "Team" part should be moved under "About". A new top-level entry is likely to be added: "Events", a central event management system. This latter feature is however not thought through yet.


What Content Matters ?

Core Content

In decreasing order of importance:


(Currently :
The main exchange place, broken down into the following topics :

  • Install & configuration: discussing topics around eZ Publish installation and configuration. Often used by new comers in the ecosystem
  • Setup & design : topics around customization of eZ Publish configuration and all design-related questions
  • General : carry-all forum, for topics not fitting in other forums
  • Developer : tips, tricks and discussions on eZ Publish development (PHP, template, structures, performances, ... )
  • Suggestions : ideas for new features, enhancements
  • Extensions : forum dedicated to discussions around existing eZ Publish extensions. It is further broken down into subforums per important extension
  • Translation : dedicated to members translating eZ Publish. Per language, they can exchange on various translation-related topics.
  • Discussions : every article/tutorial has a dedicated small forum, all placed under 'Discussions'
  • Feedback and ideas for this portal : Dedicated to gathering input on this portal.

This is the central place for exchanging, it needs a strong focus and care. On top of forum threads (like this :, here are the key pages in the forum system :

  • Main landing page: Needs to reflect the overall forums activity (currently does not), give instant pointers to the discussions and let members feel like participating to them. Right and/or left column could be leveraged to better reflect the activity, but this is a suggestion only.
  • Per-forum landing page
    (see listing above, example : Some topics are sticky (meaning they will stay on top of the list whatever their activity is. This is changed regularly). Activity needs to be reflected here, unanswered topics need to be easily noticeable, browsing/searching the topics will probably be one of the main actions here.

Articles & Tutorials

(Currently : and

Articles and tutorials are pieces of knowledge which bring great added-value to the eZ Community. Their typical content range from how-tos for beginners, to expert topics, through experienced-developers classical questions. They can take various forms: plain, multi-page articles, step-by-step tutorials with a concrete result in the end. So far, no multimedia screencast has been submitted, but they are encompassed in this category and much appreciated.

Three elements are important :

  • Ease findability of knowledge content
    From this section's landing page (for example, can be somewhere else too), one must be be able to filter the content against level criteria (beginner / confirmed / advanced), and by broad topic (third-party / hosting / performances / solution building / design /... ). Other filters can be added later.
  • Easy way to submit a new tutorial/article
    Probably from the landing page of this section (for example, can be somewhere else too), establish a clear path to submitting a tutorial/article. This path should present the guidelines regarding article publishing, and, in as few steps as possible, allow to submit the content. Then a direct contact between the author and the edition team is made, and they can start working together on the given piece of content (off the site, through email most likely).
  • Make sure the tutorials wish-list is available, where writers can pick a subject and address it if the feel comfortable with it.

Product & Code

(Currently :

The eZ Community find its roots around eZ Publish, content management system (more on this : Around this strong connection with the product revolve many an activity, key in the community's momentum :

Collaborative development:

A forge is available for any community member to create her own project (eZ Publish extension/solution most of the time), and trigger collaborative development around it. While this forge ( should not be merged with the community portal, a strong link must be established between the two.

  • Member profile: list of projects she is leading, she is member of
  • Community Partner profile : list of projects her member are members or leaders of.
Feedback gathering:

By the open source nature of eZ Publish (public SVN repository:, and the regular pace of stable releases (every 6 months), testing and experimenting with the product can be part of any member's daily activities. This can take the following forms :

  • reporting a bug, request for enhancement or feature request on
  • browsing for already reported bugs, feature and enhancement requests and add a comment under the one matching the problem. On too
  • Expressing one's opinion or ideas about the product, or a specific point of feature : in forums
Product orientation:

While this is not setup yet, a bunch of online polls, surveys and requests for ideas should soon be entering the community's life, on a regular basis. This will be a direct way for members to influence the product's evolution, making sure it better fits expectations.


What Content Matters (continued) ?

Core Content (continued)


(Currently :

White and Yellow pages of the community.

All community members are, as individuals, listed in the white pages (currently : In these pages, the members are ranked by decreasing activity level. It should be possible to have a global view on a member's profile. A dedicated page for this should be created. It could contain:

  • rank
  • forum activity
  • articles & tutorials written by member
  • member blog posts
  • member roles in the community: normal, moderator, team member, …
  • a list of member code-related activities (cf Product & Code > Collaborative development)
  • member contact info : several ways to get in touch with member (authorcontact, twitter and social media tools, personal website, linkedin page, ...)

This page should also serve as a base for the "My Profile". It should only propose edition of settings/password/notifications, on top of displaying the elements described above, when the profile is viewed by its owner.

All companies (community partner and business partners) are listed in the yellow pages (currently: ). The companies are ranked by decreasing activity level, meaning the company having the most active members are listed first. Is is key to be able to find the right partner for a project. Several ways of filtering this list should be made available:

  • Country
  • Vertical (IT/Telecom, Media, NGOs, ... )

Each company has its own profile page (on current example : :

- Currently :

  • Name, website, contact info (address + country, phone and fax)
  • Description
  • References : list of websites the company made, based on eZ Publish
  • Members : community members affiliated to this company

- Should be added :

  • list of projects her member are members or leaders of (cf Product & Code > Collaborative development)
  • list of job offers or availabilities posted under the company's name

Job board

All partners should be able to :

  • post job offers and availabilities in the job board
  • read job offers and availabilities

Posting to this section is reserved to partners (Community & Business). Viewing it is open to the public. This section does not exist yet, hence the total freedom on interpretation.


Blogs + Planets

(Currently :

While currently populated by eZ Systems' and the team's activity, this is meant to be open to the public in a short-term, after having fleshed out the edition guidelines. This place will be an intermediate medium in terms of conciseness of content and overall volume, between the forums and the tutorials section. Many community members already have their own blogs, most of them being aggregated in the so-called "planets" :

  • (international)
  • (french)
  • English-translated, aggregated feed :

These planets must be integrated seamlessly in this section (can be done using RSS feeds for instance).



This entry is not existing yet. The translation activity is however a key activity in the eZ Publish Community. Community members participate to the translation of eZ Publish itself, but also of its extensions. The tools at disposal are a dedicated project ( ) and a forum for translators ( ). The translation process is for now explained on the project's home page ( ) but should be moved to this new top-menu entry. The translation home page should lead anybody willing to participate to quickly and easily put hands on translation.


Community Program

Currently here, this document explains how both individuals (aka 'community members') and companies (aka 'community partners') are integrated. It provides a structural basis for the whole community. This page contains a registration form for companies/freelancers willing to become Community Partners.


Miscellaneous, yet important things

Header/top part of the page

A persistent catchphrase should be added around the logo in the top banner, reading : "The eZ Publish Community Gateway". The top banner probably takes up too much room on the page.

Home page

A welcome panel, in a highly visible place on the homepage, should help anybody to understand, by reading a few sentences, what this portal is about ( does it well).

Also, the home page should really act as a dispatcher and an activity showcase. The drupal community website ( is quite good in this regard. It should implement the content hierarchy presented in section "What content matters ?", and be flexible enough to allow for addition of potential new types of content. It is key that this homepage is exhaustive in surfacing the most relevant of all types of content / sections.

Get and stay in touch ( "About" section )

How to plug-in

It should be easy to understand, at a glance, how to get and stay in touch with the eZ Community. This page currently serves as a How-to : It is broken down into two main sections :

  • "Share" : lists the tools and places used by the community to stay connected
  • "Develop" : lists how one can get involved code-wise or product-wise
Code of conduct

The code of conduct is also present in this section. It currently lies here : It shall be fleshed out with a proper mission statement.

Community Program

Community Program, while being a top-level entry in the menu, is currently mirrored here, under the "About" section. It is a structuring document, as described here.


The "Team" top-level menu entry should be moved under "About". It contains two subentries : "Who is who", presenting the team, public page, and "Development", only available to the team members, as a development tool.

Local communities

Local communities do not always have a dedicated platform, and need the international community portal to exchange in their native language. This is currently the case for the japanese community. A forum is dedicated to hosting localized communication : A clear message should be placed under the "About" section (at least) about localized communities. One could think of other additional places for this.

In addition to hosting a few localized communities, pointers to otherwise existing local communities should be placed here. For example, the Brazilian and French communities have their own platforms :


Currently useless, it should reflect the key elements of content. It could contain, but not be limited to :

  • RSS / Twitter / IRC
  • Sitemap
  • Register link (if user not logged-in)
  • Links to content : Forums, Tutorials and Articles, Product and Code, Directory, Job Board, Blogs, Translation, Community Program
  • Links to connections : Get involved page
  • Credits
  • Contact (webmaster)
  • Copyright notice
  • “Powered by eZ Publish”

Misc suggestions

The remember me" functionality should lower the entry barrier to the portal. A proposal can be made in this direction, design-wise.

Competitor Analysis

What (if anything) do we like, dislike about these sites? This can help drive the mockups in the right direction :

Competitor Likes Dislikes

Robin: continuous updates with good content

Nicolas: impression of liveliness

Robin: homepage a bit crowded

Nicolas: looks like a patchwork

Robin: Did you know and Featured articles

Nicolas: Unified identity throughout all sites

(www., community., forum., ) + clear guidance by menu

Robin: too much space lost in top for navigation

Nicolas: looks a bit too "corporate"

Robin: nice balance in design and content on homepage

Nicolas: very good looking

Robin: nothing specific

Nicolas: unclear link to the product (no first-level entry menu).

Impression of plain business-orientation (where is the community ??)

Robin: consistent use of content and design

Nicolas: design efficiency: great design, simple yet useful homepage

(good pointers to resources)

Robin: limited use of the homepage

Nicolas: Few signs of activity/liveliness

Robin: LOVE there retro design/colors

Nicolas: i love the menu : "Learn | Interact | Read ..." AND the design

Bruce : I quite like this site

Robin: overall navigation

Nicolas: not enough signs of community liveliness :

links to "Bakery", "Planets" and "Contributions" are a bit hidden

Robin: lots of documentation

Nicolas: Pragmatic, exhaustive navigation (left column mainly)

Robin: the use of a wiki for such a site

Nicolas: too "wiki-style"

Robin: consistent content and navigation

Nicolas : clear guidance through left-menu

Robin: bit outdated design

Nicolas: No dedicated landing page + looks dead.


A few guidelines

Focus on content and user experience.

Implement the content hierarchy described earlier ( cf "Core content" ).

Stimulate participation and involvement :

  • Make it easy and intuitive to get involved.
  • Make it easy to stay in touch with the global community's activity.
  • Make it easy to stay in touch with one specific field of activity: articles and tutorials, product and collaborative development, forums, the translation activities, etc (cf "Core content" ).

Establish a clear connection with eZ Publish / eZ Software, primary engine of the community. Everything revolves around it. New comers should easily understand where to find this connection, and existing members should have easy access to it anytime.

Content Taxonomy

Content classes (content types) are the main tool to describe a content taxonomy in eZ Publish. A content class defines a series of fields (a structure), each of which is typed (datatypes). A given piece of content (a content object) necessarily meets a content class' structure (an object is an instance of a class).

Below are described, per functional group, the involved content classes. For every content class a distinction is made between :

  • Content fields, the content of which is displayed
  • Metadata fields, helping to structure, filter, tag, control the layout or help the page's <meta>, but which are not displayed.

Note that some content fields, like titles, can be used to build the page's <title> or <meta>.


Content Type Metadata fields Content fields

1/ Title [text line]

Used to describe the main general topic of the forum

2/ Intro [formatted text]

Used to give a more thorough description of the forum, what topics can be addressed in it.

Forum Topic

1/ Sticky [checkbox]

Whether this forum topic should stay on top of the list

2/ Tags [keywords]

3/ Solved [checkbox]

Whether the author has received a satisfying answer to her initial question.

1/ Topic [text line]

One-liner to know what the forum topic as about

2/ Message [formatted text]

The forum topic's body

Forum Reply  

1/ Message [formatted text]

Body of the reply


Articles & Tutorials

Content Type Metadata fields Content fields

1/ Author [object relations]

Display name of user account who created the article

2/ Tags [keywords]

Used for tagging the article, visible in full view

3/ Enable comments [checkbox]

Back end feature for author to allow/disallow comments on the article

1/ Title [text line]

Title for the article, single line

2/ Image [object relation]

Intro image for the article, also shown in the intro part of the content

3/ Intro [formatted text]

Introduction part of the article, content shown before the read-more link

4/ Body [formatted text]

Remaining part of the article, content shown after the read-more link

Note that the body, although contained in one single field, is often visually broken down into several pages. Every page is given a title, used as label for the "Previous" or "Next" page links, as well as for displaying the outline of the article.



Content Type Metadata fields Content fields

1/ Short title [text line]

Short title of the blog, used for url aliases

1/ Title [text line]

Title for the blog, single line

2/ Body [formatted text]

Description of the blog

Blog Entry

1/ Tags [keywords]

Used for tagging the post, tags are visible in full view

2/ Enable comments

Back end feature for author to allow/disallow comments on the blog post

1/ Title [text line]

Title for the blog post, single line

2/ Intro [formatted text]

Introduction part of the blog post, content shown before the read-more link

3/ Body [formatted text]

Remaining part of the blog post, content shown after the read-more link



Content Type Metadata fields Content fields

1/ User account [useraccount]

Used by the system for login

2/ Master ID [integer]

Used by the Single Sign On system

3/ Points [integer]

Total amount of community-activity points a user gathered when contributing to the community's activity.

1/ First name [text line]

2/ Last name [text line]

3/ Signature [text block]

4/ Image [image]

User's profile picture

5/ Short description (author) [formatted text]

Used as mini-bio when the users writes knowledge for the community (tutorial, article)

6/ URL (author) [url]

As "Short description": for authors to give a link to their blog, corporate site.

7/ Photo (author) [image]

As "Short description": for authors to provide a better quality image, usually different than their profile's. Displayed for instance next to an article, on all pages of it.

8/ Country [text line]


1/ Vertical Selection [Selection]

The business vertical the partner is mainly working in. Can be

Examples :

- Science and Education

- Public Sector

- Non Profit

- IT/Telecom


2/ Business partner [checkbox]

Used to know whether a partner is "Business" or "Community"

3/ Community points [integer]

The total amount of community-participation points for a partner. Used to rank the partner in the Yellow pages. Sum of every partner member's points total.

4/ Business partner page link [url]

If the partner is "Business", the link to her profile page on eZ's corporate website :

1/ Company name [text line]

2/ Company description [text block]

3/ Contact person (name) [text line]

4/ Contact person (email) [email]

5/ Company Address [text block]

6/ Main Country [text line]

7/ Website [URL]

8/ Phone number [text line]

9/ Fax [text line]

10/ Company logo [image]


1/ Name [text line]

The label of this eZ Publish reference

2/ URL [URL]

Address of this eZ Publish reference

3/ Description [formatted text]

Few lines of description of the eZ Publish reference: what were the ins and outs of the project, the functional and technical challenges, the website's activity...