[geeklog-devel] A few observations and ideas from our local Webmontag

Dirk Haun dirk at haun-online.de
Tue May 14 13:59:38 EDT 2013

A few things I picked up at a local event yesterday that may be worth considering:

1) Inline editing

One presenter claimed that pretty much all of the CMS are going to move to inline editing in the near future, i.e. the ability to edit content right where it is on the page. The main reasons he mentioned are having a "real" preview of what you're typing (complete with a nice demo of editing a tilted text, right there on the page). Plus it's supposed to be easier for non-technical users.

Of course, when you start thinking about this, it's not as easy as it may sound at first. You could integrate, say, Aloha Editor into Geeklog in a few hours, but proper inline editing requires a whole new approach in a few places. Most notably: How do you add new content, e.g. an article, in the first place?

2) The big F (no, not that one ;-)

A little theory/research, that I wasn't aware of: Apparently, most people scan a website in the shape of an uppercase F: They scan the top from left to right, then go down on the left side with occasional scanning into the middle of the page - but not as far as at the top. So this pattern vaguely looks like an F.

The point is: If you have important stuff on the right, like a menu, people may not notice it. Something to consider, especially when going for a two-column layout with the navigation on the right side.

3) The role of usernames in website security

One presenter suggested that people hide their username on their website, since it's part of the login. I.e. to log in, you need both the username and the password - but we usually give the username away. Now if you had a non-obvious, non-visible login name, that would increase security somewhat.

Related: In the recent attacks againstWordPress blogs, it was pointed out that the attacks were targeting a default admin username (simply "admin", I think), but that WordPress has long had an option to choose a different username at install time. This obviously goes in the same direction.

I see some potential here to improve our security. What do you think?

bye, Dirk


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