Inside Brightspot: Get a jump-start on content creation with the quick start widget

Each week, our Vice President of Product shares an email with the company that’s filled with the background story on why Brightspot’s features are the way they are. It’s not just how Brightspot works but why its features were engineered the way they were. Not one to keep secrets, we’re sharing her insights with you here, in a weekly column called “The Whys.” From creating vanity URLs to knowing the difference between a document and an attachment, these posts answer the questions anyone who publishes digital content has likely pondered.

The Quick Start dashboard widget is a new addition to Brightspot, introduced as part of the v4 UI. It was designed to replace the v3 Common Content widget, which you can see here:

Quick Start dashboard widget

In v3, the Common Content widget was separated into two columns: Create New (which featured a list of content types that you created regularly); and Edit Existing (where you could "bookmark" assets that you needed to edit frequently—your Homepage, for example).

For v4, we decided to combine Common Content and Edit Existing into a single, full-width dashboard widget, with large iconography for easy identification and, well, quicker starts:

Single full-width widget

With this latest widget, you can pin the content types and assets you use most often to the front and center of your dashboard. Whether it’s articles, sections or a link to the homepage, you have editorial control over what shows up in the widget. And if there are content types you rarely use, you have the option to hide them from your dashboard.

Let's next explore how something is designated as "worthy" for placement in Quick Start.

Quick Start: Global
As is often the case in Brightspot, a set of Quick Start options can be set in Admin > Global, under the Dashboard cluster. You can set an array of content types (including Article, Author, Video, etc.), as well as content templates, plus a list of existing assets (such as your Homepage). On the CMS UI, a user would then see a single, scrollable list in Quick Start of content types, content templates and existing assets.

Setting an array of Quick Start options in Global
Setting an array of Quick Start options in Global

Quick Start: Site-Specific
You can do the same things on a specific site. Any Quick Start selections that you set on a specific site will appear only on that specific site’s Quick Start. (These will also replace the globally-set Quick Start options, so if you want your global options plus a site-specific option, you'll need to add both in the site.)

Quick Start: Role-Specific
You can also configure what’s displayed in the Quick Start widget for a given role under Users & Roles > Roles > Any Role > Dashboard > Quick Start Settings. It's important to note here that this setting will overrule any Quick Start selections you've made at the Global or Site levels.

Quick Start settings at a Role level
Quick Start settings at a Role level

Quick Start: User-Specific
Finally, a user can control which options appear in the Quick Start widget specific just to that user. There are two ways that a user can affect changes to this widget. First, by clicking the Gear icon in the widget itself, a user can check or uncheck the pre-selected options and also add her own Edit Existing choices. Second, she can select additional Edit Existing options from Profile > Dashboard > Edit Existing.

In conclusion, by combining v3’s Common Content and Edit Existing features into a single, full-width dashboard widget, we’ve empowered content creators to accelerate their workflows. The customizable Quick Start widget has become a favorite among busy editors, who use it as a shortcut to quickly and easily pin their most-used content types to their dashboards.


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