The Happy Valley release introduces two major improvements to the Frosmo Control Panel: a completely redesigned modification UI and an improved content template workflow.
For the Frosmo Platform component versions in this release, see the changelog.
The modification UI, which you use to create and edit modifications in the Control Panel, has been completely redesigned for improved usability and a smoother workflow. The redesign also introduces a more powerful integration with templates and comes with a few conceptual changes.
Here are the highlights:
For more information about modifications, see Feature: Modification.
The new modification UI will not be available to all customers on Happy Valley release. For more information, see Availability on release.
Modifications are now categorized by use case, or simply "case", rather than by type. Types, namely basic and cached, no longer exist as such. When you create a modification in the new UI, you start by selecting the case for the modification. The Frosmo Platform currently supports the following cases:
Figure: Creating a modification in the new UI (left) and in the old UI (right) (click to enlarge)
Existing type-based modifications created in the old modification UI are converted to conform with the new UI as follows:
Frosmo handles the conversions on Happy Valley release, when we enable the new UI for sites.
In the new UI, configuring a modification is built around the following workflow:
You perform each step from a single, shared settings view. Moreover, in defining the segments and the placement, you can either select existing resources, or create and select new ones, without ever leaving the workflow and the modification UI.
Figure: Easy access to all resources related to building a modification (click to enlarge)
In the new UI, the cached modification type is replaced by the content preloading advanced setting.
When you enable content preloading for a modification, the modification content gets loaded in the browser as a part of the custom script, decreasing the delay in rendering the modification. In short, the modification now functions like the cached modifications of old. Unlike with cached modifications, though, you can always disable content preloading for the modification, after which the modification content is again retrieved from the Frosmo back end.
Figure: Enabling content preloading in the advanced modification settings
Modification variation content involves the following new key concepts and settings:
Figure: Variation content settings for each content type: custom, template, original (click to enlarge)
You can now easily preview variations directly from the Control Panel. To preview a variation, all you need to do is define a preview URL for the associated placement, and then select Preview from the variation quick menu in the modification settings. The preview opens the specified preview URL and displays the variation on that page.
The preview uses Frosmo Preview to display the variation, so you can preview both active and inactive variations, and the modification itself can be either active or inactive. The preview always retrieves the modification content from the Frosmo back end, so the content preloading advanced setting has no effect, if enabled. In addition, you don't have to be in the target audience defined for the modification to see the variation.
Figure: Previewing a variation from the Control Panel (click to enlarge)
The layout and organization of the modification UI has been overhauled to better serve the workflow, and the visual style has been updated to match the rest of the Control Panel. The UI also now uses the sliding modal windows introduced for other key features in the Goodnews Bay release.
Figure: Modal windows in action (click to enlarge)
Accompanying the new modification UI, creating and using templates in the Control Panel now follows a workflow that more clearly separates the template work from the modification work. In this new workflow, the coding happens when creating and editing a template, while using the template in a modification mostly involves filling out predefined fields in a graphical user interface.
In other words, as a rule, you no longer need to write JSON code for a variation that uses a template. This makes it easier to have developers focus on templates and non-developers on modifications. The only exception to this are templates that do not define a content options schema but that nonetheless require content options to be set. For these templates, you still need to define a JSON object in the variation.
Learn more about how the separation works in the Control Panel:
For more information about templates, see Feature: Template.
The improved template workflow will not be available to all customers on Happy Valley release. For more information, see Availability on release.
To support the new workflow, templates now include two new settings:
Content options schema describes any content options that must be set for template content before the content can be rendered on a page.
If the template content includes Mustache tags as placeholder elements, those tags must be replaced with specific values in every variation that uses the template. Content options are the mechanism for defining the specific values. The Control Panel uses the content options schema to generate the content options UI of a variation, where the user can then provide the specific values for that variation.
Content options UI schema allows you to further customize the content options UI generated from the content options schema.
For example, if one of your content options is a hexadecimal color code, the content options schema only allows you to provide a simple text field for the user to enter the color code. With the UI schema, however, you can turn that text field into a color picker widget, allowing the user to easily select the color they want without any need for hexadecimal codes.
Both schemas use JSON Schema.
The template editor also provides a live, interactive preview of the content options UI as rendered based on the content options schema and content options UI schema.
Figure: Content options schema and content options UI schema, and content options UI preview (click to enlarge)
In the old modification UI, if a template used Mustache tags, not only did you have to provide the replacement values ("template defaults") in a JSON object in the variation, but you also had to know what the correct JSON properties were. The UI provided no information about the expected values.
In the new modification UI, the variation settings include a graphical content options UI, which allows you to easily define whatever values the template content requires to be defined. Under the hood, the template still uses a JSON object, which the content options UI generates, but the code is completely hidden in the modification UI.
Figure: Content options UI for a variation (click to enlarge)
The new modification UI and, by extension, the improved template workflow will not be available to all customers on Happy Valley release. The new UI is incompatible with a custom template solution used in some modifications on certain sites, which means that the new UI cannot yet be enabled for companies to which those sites belong.
We're working to convert the affected modifications to use the standard template solution. Once we've converted all modifications for a company, we'll enable the new UI for that company. In the meanwhile, the company users have access to the old modification UI.
If you do not see the new UI in the Control Panel on release day, this issue affects your company. If you have any questions, contact your Frosmo representative.