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How Brightspot’s built-in help tool allows developers and editors to work smarter

Once she puts her mind to it, she achieves it

When it comes to content production, the team you have today is not necessarily the same team you’ll have tomorrow or in the future. That presents a challenge for ongoing training and communication. Not only that, the business rules of how you create content may change over time—and communicating those changes is critical.

Training, debugging, and communication were some of the major inspirations behind Brightspot’s built-in help tool, which we call Production Guides.

Production Guides help teams communicate tips, tricks, and requirements to their teams—down to a specific field level. Not only that, Production Guides support two layers, one set for editors and one set for developers.

To illustrate the benefits of Production Guides and how they can benefit your team, let’s look at them through the lens of two users:

  • Zak, an engineer who is tasked with configuring the Production Guides for his newsroom
  • Anne, a writer who has joined a news publisher, and is working on her first story

Before that, though, let’s cover the different cases and uses of Production Guides.

Production guides: An overview

As mentioned above, there are two lenses for Production Guides—an editorial helper view, and a developer helper view. To access Production Guides, a user just needs to locate the [?] next to any field within Brightspot. Here’s a quick example:

Once clicking the [?] icon, a user will see the Production Guide for that field. Note that there is a tab specifically For Editors and one designed For Developers.

Production guides and how developers can benefit

Let’s start with the value Brightspot’s Production Guides offer to engineers. To begin, it is helpful to understand that classes in Brightspot can be designated either abstract or concrete; abstract classes are designed to be reusable while concrete classes are more unique.

This allows Production Guides to be leveraged across all abstract classes, which lessens the burden of maintenance: create once, and then that Guide is used across all content types that leverage that field. In order to do this, Brightspot declares these Guide Fields in abstract classes.

One such class is called CreativeWork. Because fields, like Headline and Subheadline, are declared from CreativeWork, an abstract class, then regardless of where they are used in a concrete case (whether it’s an Article, Blog Post, Gallery, or Press Release content type), Brightspot considers it the same field.

This means that the note Zak sets for the Headline field for CreativeWork, for example, applies to wherever it is used in a concrete case, whether that’s an, Article, Blog Post, or other content type.

Some fields are declared in a concrete case, however. Body fields, for example, since their rich text editors may have nuances between Article and Gallery, should not have notes that carry from one content type to another since they may not apply. This means that Zak can set a unique Production Guide helper for each content type’s Body field.

Zak is able to add a lengthier description in the Body field, including a bulleted list and an image that lists the available keyboard shortcuts for his editorial team. Production Guides support a rich text editor that includes text formatting; bulleted lists, numbered lists, and indent / outdent; HTML snippets; hyperlinks; images; upload; alt text; alignment; and a custom keyboard.

Additionally, if your editorial teams ever need fields to behave a certain way (like making them required, or displaying a note above the field with more information), there are a number of field annotations in this tab that developers can then implement.

Production guides and how editors can benefit

Now that we have a basic grasp of how Production Guides work for engineers, let’s talk about the benefit to the end user, focusing specifically on Anne, who just started working for a news publisher. She’s publishing her first ever Article in Brightspot, and she’s not sure how long her Headline should be.

She’s able to click on the [?] field next to that field, and quickly read the For Editors instructions regarding that field.

She has a few additional questions as she goes, including whether she can use keyboard shortcuts on the Body field, and how many Tags she should add to her story.

As Anne works, she sees the For Editors area a bit differently—it’s missing the pencil icon that Zak had seen because Anne’s Brightspot role does not give her the UI permission needed to edit Production Guides. This keeps Anne focused on her task at hand, and also allows the Brightspot administrators to fully control the Production Guide text.

So if you’re looking for a way to help your teams improve communication while maintaining consistency and quality across your content and operations, Production Guides are just one way that Brightspot can provide that value to you and your organization.


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