Wargames Illustrated Issue 364 Now Available

Tabletop Gaming News - 22 January 2018 - 3:00pm
It’s still not quite February, but that’s not stopping the folks over at Wargames Illustrated from taking orders for the February issue of their magazine. If you’d like to get your copy of issue 364, you can head over to their shop and do so now. In this issue: OBSERVATION POST Our latest look at […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Palantir: What “Content” Means to Different Teams

Planet Drupal - 22 January 2018 - 2:21pm
What “Content” Means to Different Teams brandt Mon, 01/22/2018 - 16:21 Ken Rickard Jan 23, 2018

The importance of aligning editorial, marketing, design, and development.

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As we’ve discussed before, understanding the content on your website is a critical element in the project plan. Today, we’d like to step back a bit and talk about how different teams in an organization might think about content.

First, let’s define our common teams by function:

  • The Editorial team produces and maintains content for the site.
  • The Marketing team sets strategy and metrics around successful audience engagement and interactions.
  • The UX Design team creates the strategy, visual and interactive components that comprise the site’s features.
  • The Development team builds and supports the site so that it fulfills the needs defined by the other three teams.

Note that these teams may all be organized within a single department (commonly marketing) or spread across the organization. Our concern here is not with organizational structure but rather with the perspective and concerns that are inherent in each team.

When teams start work on a new site or a site redesign, the most common mistake is for these four teams to work in silos, as if their individual tasks are unrelated to each other. In this case, a number of issues may arise:

  • A design may include elements that place extra burden on the editorial team.
  • An editorial workflow may require the development of custom code.
  • A marketing plan may ignore the limited editorial and design resources available to achieve its goals.
  • Organizations that have a history of heavily relying on non-digital media for marketing and promotions may have to figure out how to incorporate and plan for the digital work into the existing workflow.
  • A CMS implementation may not be able to produce certain essential design features, or budget and timeline prevents features from being designed a certain way.

Working together, teams can work through these types of issues before they become problems. To do so, it’s vital to get everyone speaking the same language around your content. We like to look at five specific factors when helping teams define their content strategy:

  • Audience defines the users and their needs and answers “who is this for?”
  • Purpose asks the question “what end result are we hoping to achieve?”
  • Workflow deals with the mechanics of content production, approval, publication, and presentation.
  • Transformation explores issues of translation and personalization, so that we define how the content might be modified in distinct contexts.
  • Structure defines the input and storage of the content and how it will be delivered to various publication media. The structure is directly affected by the needs outlined by the three previous items.

Each of these elements has a direct effect on each of our project teams. To understand how, Let’s take a look at Dr. Gillinov’s bio page at Cleveland Clinic to see how these questions bring focus to our project goals.


There are many elements that make up this comprehensive profile page and they all require each team member mentioned above to consider the following:

  1. Where does the data/content come from?
  2. What pieces of data/content is the editor responsible for?
  3. What does this page look like if it has all of the possible content types vs. physicians who have very little information?

For the purposes of this discussion, however, let’s focus on the top portion of the page addressing the data/content that makes up Dr. Gillinov’s basic information as it will help us illustrate our points.The first thing we look for here is the number of elements within the design pattern and how they might be produced. At first count, there are 11:

Let’s see how those elements break down.

  1. Picture – an uploaded image of the person.
  2. Video Link – a link to an external video service
  3. Rating – 1-5 stars based on patient feedback
  4. Rating Count – the number of patient ratings
  5. Comment Count – the number of patient comments
  6. Name – the name and honorifics for this person
  7. Department – the assigned internal department
  8. Primary Location – the main office location for this person
  9. Type of Doctor – indicates pediatrician, adult physician, or both
  10. Languages – a list of languages spoken
  11. Surgeon – indicates that this person is a licensed surgeon

There are multiple types of users that would view this page: potential patients, existing patients, families of patients, and medical professionals. Their needs are different based on who they are and where they are in their care journey.


The primary purpose of this specific component is to provide basic information to the audience. The information presented helps them understand the services and availability of this doctor. The use of a picture and a video are designed to build trust by establishing a human connection in addition to the facts presented.

The inclusion of patient ratings serves as an impartial arbiter of the quality of services provided, while the department and location information helps people understand where they can go to receive treatment.


For this example, the important question is “Which part of this page is editorial and which part is automated?” Here, the ratings pull in from a secondary system, which the editors do not control. The video is merely a link reference, but is editorial data. And while some of the doctor information might be pulled from an external system, here we assume that it can be edited for display on the web.

There is also an unlisted assumption here – call it feature #12 – about whether or not this doctor has active privileges at the hospital. Our editorial workflow needs to account for when an individual physician changes jobs, retires, or moves away.


We use the term “transformations” here as a bit of a catch-all to describe how the data might need to change in different contexts. A common context shift is language.

When considering a multilingual website, we need to evaluate each element of the page for the desirability and feasibility of its translation.

Take the Video field for instance: Translating the link text for a video is trivial, but does the video itself need to be recorded in multiple languages (or at least subtitled)? Does it make sense to show a Spanish translation of the video link if the video is only in English?

The other most common transformation is personalization, wherein content elements are transformed based on our understanding of who the reader is and what they care about.

The key factor to consider about personalization is that it can create exponentially more work for the editorial team. Consider that for each element that desires personalization, we must create one new version for each variation. Let’s say that we want to segment our audience experience by three data points:

  • Returning patient (yes / no)
  • Local resident (yes / no)
  • Age cohort (child / adult / senior)

Now our one piece of content needs 2 x 2 x 3 = 12 variants, plus the original. For clarity, here’s how that looks mapped out: 

If we add in cases where one of the answers is not known, then the math becomes 3 x 3 x 4 = 36 plus the original variant.

As you can imagine, keeping track of those options can become a heavy editorial burden quite quickly if we were to personalize multiple elements on a page.


The above questions help inform how this page is structured on the back end. Additionally, we have to consider:

  • What fields do we need to capture and report this data?
  • What format should the data be displayed in?
  • What services (other than the website) might consume this data?
  • In what other contexts might this data be shown?

This last question gives an easy example of the type of decision that your programmers may need to make. To fully understand, let’s look for a minute at the contexts of a search result.

Here, the results are alphabetized by the physician’s last name. If we were to enter the physician’s name as it appears in English, “A. Mark Gillinov, MD”, a computer cannot natively sort by last name. We should also consider whether the honorific “MD” should influence sort order, and whether to sort by first and last name in the case of multiple matches to a common surname.

That generally leads to a separation of the sort field into a 14th field concept: Sort name. In our example the sort name is likely to be “Gillinov Mark A.” The remaining question is whether editors should provide that detail or if it should be automatically inferred by a custom element in the CMS.

Additionally, look at the elements that contain links:

  • Video
  • Ratings
  • Department
  • Primary Location

The target of these links needs to be captured, and the logic for that link generation accounted for in the CMS architecture. Further, can these elements be automatically derived from existing data (like the doctor’s name) or are they “hidden” metadata points that need to be added?

In most cases, the mapping for these elements is based on metadata:

  • Video – requires a unique URL for a YouTube video.
  • Ratings – requires a physician ID number provided by the ratings service.
  • Department –  selected from a list of Department pages controlled by the CMS.
  • Primary Location – selected from a list of Location pages controlled by the CMS and containing mapping metadata.

And to add one more element to the structure question: Which of these page elements allow for multiple selection? Can a doctor be part of two departments? Have three primary locations?

Making the Complex Simple

These kinds of workflow complexities in your data are absolutely essential to capture as early in the design process as possible. What if we find that “Languages spoken” is very important to patients, but not currently available in our information set? That requires additional editorial work – and likely a staff-wide survey – that could take weeks to complete simply due to the coordination involved. It is also worth mentioning the impact on initial design choices as well. For example, do we need to consider fonts that have text alternates for language glyphs? Does the design still hold up (spacing, line length, relationship to imagery etc) when there is twice as much French text as English?

Since we’re working directly with Marketing to define our audience and purpose of each page, we should understand how each element of the design improves the overall user experience. That knowledge allows the entire team to make informed decisions about the level of effort to produce and maintain each content element.

All members of the team should have a familiarity and respect for the concerns of other members of the team. When developing and planning content, it is imperative to involve all four teams as early in the process as possible. To bring your content into focus, always ask the following questions about any design or content element shown in a wireframe or mockup:

  • What content or data will be needed to produce this element?
  • Does this content or data already exist in a usable format?
  • What format will this data be entered and stored in?
  • Will this element be editorially curated or automatically produced?
    • If automated, do we have business logic to support that automation?
    • If curated, do we have the staff time to support that creation and maintenance?

Building a robust content model and workflow is a team effort. The functionality of the CMS and the designs they are capable of producing is what brings the Editorial, Marketing, Digital and IT teams together. Giving them the visibility into each other's work streams allows them to collaborate. This collaboration also gives the various team members collective ownership over the content experiences within their organizations.

We want to make your project a success.

Let's Chat.
Categories: Drupal

Trollish Delver Games Releases Quill: White Box

Tabletop Gaming News - 22 January 2018 - 2:00pm
As you all know, I’m a fan of games that have a unique concept. So when you see things like, “solo letter-writing RPG”, it stands out from the crowd of games whose premise has been done before. Well, for those of you that’ve played Quill from Trollish Delver Games, you’ll be happy to know that […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

New Boromite heavy support team with Mag Mortar Available For Beyond the Gates of Antares

Tabletop Gaming News - 22 January 2018 - 1:00pm
Sometimes, you just need a bigger gun. The enemy’s advancing with columns of troops or heavy armor. Or you’re laying siege to an enemy city and need to break through their reinforced walls. Whatever the case, anything hand-held just won’t do it. So you bring out something like the Boromite heavy support team with Mag […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

PreviousNext: Ok Drupal - talking to Drupal

Planet Drupal - 22 January 2018 - 12:57pm

In November 2017 I presented at Drupal South on using Dialogflow to power conversational interfaces with Drupal.

The video and slides are below, the demo in which I talk to Drupal starts in the first minute.

by Lee Rowlands / 23 January 2018 Tagged Conversational UI, Drupal 8, Chatbots, DrupalSouth
Categories: Drupal

Nemesis Sci-Fi Board Game Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 22 January 2018 - 12:00pm
Do you know what nemesis means? A righteous infliction of retribution manifested by an appropriate agent, personified in this case by a ‘orrible bear, me. Or, in this particular instance, Nemesis means a new semi-cooperative sci-fi board game that’s tearing up the funding over on Kickstarter. Take on the role of a crew member looking […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

EVE Online community raises $119k in memory of departed dev

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 22 January 2018 - 11:20am

A one week fundraiser within EVE Online raised over $119k for the developer's fiancée and daughter after his sudden passing late last year. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

WeKnow: Survival guide to Backup & Restore MongoDB

Planet Drupal - 22 January 2018 - 11:06am
Survival guide to Backup & Restore MongoDB

Despite being on the market for over a decade, to many, MongoDB still carries a mythical tone with a hint of ‘wizardry’.

The popular misconception is that MongoDB is only suitable for hip startups and former startups that are still considered ‘hip’ and out of the box, such as AirBnB.

Even with all the buzz and talk around MongoDB, the adoption rate remains relatively low in comparison with other ‘standard’ relational database technologies. Not many seem to understand that to be successful in the world of code you must approach everything new with an open mind.

Besides bearing an open mind, you need to incorporate an avenue to test and learn new technologies and tools. Personally, I choose to learn how to use new tools by trying to accomplish routine tasks.

enzo Mon, 01/22/2018 - 19:06
Categories: Drupal

Monday Terrain Corner

Tabletop Gaming News - 22 January 2018 - 11:00am
Well, it’s back to the old grindstone. But we’ll always have the memories of the weekend that just went by. I hope you got some gaming in. I did. I tried out Photosynthesis, as well as taught Guild Ball to a friend. It was a good time had by all. But now the focus is […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Social Post Steem

New Drupal Modules - 22 January 2018 - 10:28am

This project is part of the Drupal Social Initiative.

Social Post Steem allows you to configure your site to automatically post to a users Steem accounts without human intervention. No tricky configuration needed. It is based on Social Post and Social API projects

Categories: Drupal

Silent Contribute

New Drupal Modules - 22 January 2018 - 10:00am

The Silent Contribute module is a drop-in replacement for the Contribute module.

It's purpose is to serve as a stub to be used by people who do not want to install the Contribute module by themselves but are forced to do so due to module dependencies.

This module was created as an answer to the Webform module adding Contribute module dependency.

Categories: Drupal

New US Airborne and Panzer Kits Available From Warlord Games

Tabletop Gaming News - 22 January 2018 - 10:00am
The Allies are taking the fight right to the Axis lines. Not content to just go overland to get there, they’re dropping troops right into the thick of things. On the other side of the battle line, German tanks are taking up their positions. That’s the sort of thing you can recreate on your tabletops […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Steem Comments

New Drupal Modules - 22 January 2018 - 9:22am

Add SteemComments to any Drupal website.

Categories: Drupal

Corvus Belli Previews February Infinity Releases

Tabletop Gaming News - 22 January 2018 - 9:00am
Hard to think that we’re just 9 days from finishing out January and moving on to the 2nd month of the year. But here we are. So, as you get things ready, Corvus Belli is helping out by letting you know what you can expect from them in the next several weeks. They’ve posted up […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Wyrd Previews Waldgeist Rider For Bayou Bash

Tabletop Gaming News - 22 January 2018 - 8:46am
Born on the bayou! Born on the baaaaaaaaaaaayouuuuuuuuu! Born on the bayou! Yeah, I’m going to be thinking of CCR whenever Wyrd brings out another preview for Bayou Bash, their upcoming racing board game. I’m 100% ok with this, mind you. This week’s preview is a look at the Waldgeist Rider. From the post: In […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Latest Releases Available From Privateer Press

Tabletop Gaming News - 22 January 2018 - 8:00am
Privateer Press has a whole mess of releases available for you. The Trolls are continuing their releases, with some more frigid northern trolls. But Privateer’s also trying to heat things up some with heading down to the bayou, as there’s several Blindwater releases, including a new Blindwater starter army box. From the announcement: The gatormen […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

New Adeptus Custodes Available To Order from Games Workshop

Tabletop Gaming News - 22 January 2018 - 7:00am
I swear, space janitors have the coolest gear. I wish that I could’ve had stuff like this. The best we got were the portable power washer stations with all the different soaps right on them. But I guess if you’re going in to clean up after xenos and heretics and whatnot, some soap and hot […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Style Node Title

New Drupal Modules - 22 January 2018 - 6:26am

This module adds a class to the title field for content types. This module will be very usefull when you want design different style for specific nodes of single content type.

Instructions for use:

Pre-requisite, if using nested fieldsets group using htmlelement

1) Add the field "field_style_title" as a checkbox to your content type and place with the title for easy editor use.
2) On the content check the field_style_title to add class to the title

Categories: Drupal

Could an Association be Just What Game Developers Need? A Lesson from PEI - by Dylan Moran Blogs - 22 January 2018 - 6:22am
Developers have always had problems when it came to marketing their products, and some even through the development phase of their projects.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

In Defense of Life-like Games - by Nikhil Murthy Blogs - 22 January 2018 - 6:21am
I define life-like games as those games that are about life and defend the idea of them.
Categories: Game Theory & Design


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