This Sitecore tip is about the importance of bringing the content author into your multidisciplinary website team in order to produce best results.

As a Sitecore content author you are often part of a finite few, isolated in a silo structure, hidden in marketing, IT, or even finance teams. This limits your exposure to the business and its practices, but equally limits the business and your colleagues from using your knowledge. 

Digital transformation and even innovation is only possible through collaboration. The best organizations always leverage a multidisciplinary team to succeed. 

As the saying goes, design is more than how it looks/feels. It’s about how it works (Steve Jobs). Whilst developers know how to build a component, they don’t actually use the component to build pages. Whilst designers know how a component is styled, they don't actually use the component with real content. 

Content authors bring a real perspective to the design process, highlighting what works and why. Their engagement with the process and colleagues will bring new light and creativity to what components are generated, they will also gain first-hand perspective about the website user and their needs. This insures both an engaged content author, and a set of components that are built for the content author that directly adds value for the end user. 

Furthermore, it is often the case that the design process will require stakeholder sign-off. A supplementary benefit to this multidisciplinary approach is that a content author can quickly and easily spin up a page in Sitecore in parallel to a designer working on a visual in Sketch or InVision. More often than not, the stakeholder needs to see a prototype that represents the real finished product in html. This is where a content author can help. Their page is as real as it gets and often outweighs wireframes or hi-fi visuals tainted with Lorem Ipsum.

So, get content authors collaborating early on during wireframing and sketching sessions! Get them engaged, get them involved. 

If you upgrade and utilise SXA (Sitecore Experience Accelerator) you will also inherit a natural lead in content creation. 

This blog post is part of a collection of posts by Dominic Hurst and Dan Murphy; Sitecore Strategists who presented a collection of these tips to the Sitecore Universe at the 2017 Symposium. 

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