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ZOO 2.0 Usability


In our last two posts we presented a brief overview about what’s coming with the new ZOO 2.0 and gave a quick peek inside the new app concept. In this post we're going to take a closer look at the new user interface of the ZOO administration area and all the usability features we included. Here we go...

Global Parameters

ZOO 2.0 Usability Improvements - Global Parameters

We like the global parameters concept in Joomla but it lacks on usability when you don’t use select boxes. So we improved it by using a checkbox to set whether you are using the global parameter or a specific parameter. If "global" is checked the parameter is hidden. If you uncheck it the parameter form will slide in with a nice Javascript effect. This gives you a much cleaner user interface for the global parameters.

Item Priority

ZOO 2.0 Usability Improvements - Item Priority

Manual item ordering was a common feature request for ZOO 1.0. In Joomla everything can be order manually but you have only one order rule. It's either ordered alphabetically or manually or by hits and so on. We rethought the item ordering and came up with the idea of an item priority. In ZOO 2.0 items are ordered by priority and not by an unique order. Items can have the same priority which is great because this allows a second order rule for items with the same priority. For example you can order items alphabetically but also put some items first by setting a higher priority. The priority can easily be edited in the item overview and is saved automatically using Ajax.


ZOO 2.0 Usability Improvements - Slug Autocompleter ZOO 2.0 Usability Improvements - Slug Quick Edit

In ZOO 2.0 we renamed the well-known Joomla "Alias" to "Slug". A slug is a unique name which only consists of web-safe characters and it is commonly used in search-friendly URLs. We like how unobtrusive the permalink functionality of Wordpress is and thought about making the slug creation for ZOO 2.0 just as smooth. The slug is automatically created based on the item name. Invalid characters are stripped and if the slug already exists a number is added to guarantee the uniqueness. There is also no input field during this process because in most cases there is no need to change the slug. But if you want to edit it an input field is injected right there. We really enjoy these small things to improve the overall user experience.

Drag 'n Drop Categories Sorting

ZOO 2.0 Usability Improvements - Drag 'n Drop  Categories Sorting

Sorting a large tree of categories can become really annoying if there is no easy way to do so. In ZOO 2.0 you can sort categories by drag 'n drop! Isn't this awesome? You can drag any categories and their whole child categories and drop them into the root or any other category. The new hierarchy is saved automatically using Ajax. Which makes resorting your categories a breeze!

Drag 'n Drop Element Positions

ZOO 2.0 Usability Improvements - Drag 'n Drop  Element Positions

The first feature we implemented after the ZOO 1.0 release were template positions. For us this was the most missing feature in ZOO 1.0. Now it is no longer necessary to hard-code the elements rendering for your custom types in the template. You can arrange your content via drag 'n drop from the administration backend. This is really one of the greatest features about ZOO 2.0 and improves template development and the overall usability so much. Awesome!

Tag Autocompleter

ZOO 2.0 Usability Improvements - Tag Autocompleter

While the development of our tag system we needed an easy way to add and remove tags from items. We used and customized the great AutoCompleter script for MooTools from digitarald. It provides text suggestion and completion as well as multiple selections. Really a nice one to have! For example it is possible to enter comma separated words and all are added as tags in one step.

Tag Quick Edit

ZOO 2.0 Usability Improvements - Tag Quick Edit

Tags are a really simple thing. The only attribute of a tag is its name. So it doesn't make sense for us that tags have their own edit view. So we also implemented a quick edit in the tags overview. Actually we really like the quick edit functionality and we tried to use it as much as possible.

Action Links

ZOO 2.0 Usability Improvements - Action Links

One thing we like in Wordpress is that users are not distracted by too much information. For example additional links to manage an item only appear when you hover with the mouse over it. In ZOO 2.0 we also used this concept as often as possible. It gives you a much cleaner user interface. Especially the comments manager benefits from this.

Comments Quick Edit

ZOO 2.0 Usability Improvements - Comments Quick Edit

Last but not least we like to point out that it is also possible to quick edit a comment from the comments overview. This works so great that we don't even need no extra view to edit a single comment.

All these little things make content management so much more convenient! Next post will be a sneak peek of all the new elements...

By Sascha | | Posted in ZOO

Comments (30)

  • Rune


    This looks much easyer to use instead of version 1.0
  • ruigato


    Great! Looks like it will be a great component. what about joomfish support? Multi language support its a must have for top corporate sites.

    Keep up the good work
  • jordan.weinstein


    | Profile |
    Will there be an import function from com_content?
  • Brian


    I was inches from going back to WordPress because of some new features developed by WooThemes...this will definitley keep me around until Zoo 2.0 comes out.
  • FeSys


    WOW, Now Zoo stand away from Other Applications and other CCK.. I just hope the front-editing is there.
    Many Thanks YOO Team.
  • punchdrunklove


    Yes i think frontend editing would make zoo perfect from now on =)
  • Heinski


    Congratulations! ZOO is getting very good. Each new post the window is opened slowly. Day 23 will be a great day of expectation for us all. But it is a question: Add, edit and delete items from the front end is key. Do not forget that.
  • soesoe


    | Profile |
    waiting for it!!! go go zoo!!!
  • mihha


    I hope that you will initially provide some cool modules to show content from Zoo articles. I really like K2 for example but the lack of some good article scrollers or similar modules really bothers me. Also, it bothers me lack of any kind of support (except community support which is ok but sometimes just not enough)
    • sascha


      | Profile |
      Our upcoming YOOtools will support ZOO 2.0 :-)
  • Scott


    Give me Zoo 2.0, or give me death.
  • phoenixgb


    | Profile |
    Image uploading (instead of having to upload first) would make this a killer!!
    • sascha


      | Profile |
      Image upload will be integrated through the Joomla media manager...
  • Pocahontas


    Aaaah, awesome! How about different language support? Like in czech there are words likde "Černý", "Šedý" - and zoo alphabet move them into "#" category, instead of C for Černý, S for Šedý...
    • sascha


      | Profile |
      Yes, the new alpha index supports now most UTF-8 characters :-)
  • zrocweb


    | Profile |
    The ability to enable/disable author, updated on... and so for on the all the catalog items (article, blogs, product and download). There needs to be parameters for at the item level.

    Also the ability to change the type an item is after it's created. For instance, lets say you created an item as an article but would like to convert it to a product or download. Sure the items text / content would need to be sized down more, but everything with that item depending on what elements are configured for an article, would get carried over into the new type. Currently you have to create a new items and basically start over, for the same item, instead of just having the ability to change it's type from article to blog or whatever..

    Also more module compatibility for zoo items into joomla articles and modules, etc...
    • sascha


      | Profile |
      You will have the option to export content of item types and import it into a new item type... This will solve your issue...
  • joseph assem

    joseph assem

    awesome! does the new version contains permission section for the download element {like that in the rating which allows public or registered user only to vote} it would be nice if the same feature is in the download element {meaning if u can make only registered users download files}
  • The most important for me: Will it have advanced search functionality? For example will we be able to search by extra-fields?
  • waw.......powerfull
  • mimimommi


    This maybe a common question but How do u upgrade to 2.0 from the 1.0 or earlier?
  • Chris


    I am really hoping that this will improve the usability for my clients that use joomla. The articles having to be referenced is a hard thing for some to grasp and i hope that is addressed here somehow. I guess I'll have to download it and give it a try.
  • cristian.herrera


    | Profile |
    I find it quiet annoying that the slug creation system overridesrides Aumlats like å,ä and ö.
    Wordpress does the same.
    can i change this behaviour someway?

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