Clarity about user base expansion

I read in the forum and have heard throughout the 2019 Neos Con about the topic of growing the “user base”.

What doesn’t seem clear to me is: who (what types of user) is part of the user base now and who would we like to invite to using Neos, specifically?

A subsequent question then is: Once we know, who we want to reach is in particular — what about Neos or the community etc. makes it difficult or attractive for the target new user to join and start using Neos?

Putting a face to the target user and their expectations will help us determine how to reach them, how to further develop or present Neos and whether they are the right type of new user at all / if Neos can afford to provide what the user type needs without sacrificing its core values.

Describe the persona of a possible new user and their expectations.

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Here is one user category I am aware of: Web / Graphic Designers

  • have some CSS, maybe little JS skill but rely for development on web developers, whom they collaborate with only when necessary.
  • are often freelancers or set up as a small business
  • are highly creative, highly visual and rely for implementation on powerful, creativity enabling design tools, that spare them the technical overwhelm
  • have access to many clients / end users, who hire them for their aesthetic style and ability to deliver a visual brand.
  • hate technical stumbling blocks, that kill their creativity
  • want to impress their customers with their visual and marketing affective creations


  • Available variety of site skeletons / purpose bound templates with an amount of flexibility built in, that makes sense for the purpose of the template, so they are able to customize it for their clients.
  • Layouting and Typographic capabilities, that rise to the level of quality they are used to for example from InDesign
  • The ability to work on their core business (design, layout, typography) without a developer for probably 80% of their usual design related needs. They need to be able to do their creative work with already available building blocks and design capabilities in Neos without having to request custom solutions for most of the way.

Web Designers are a portal to a larger user base, whom they already cater to.

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In your opinion, why would such people use Neos, and not, readymag, & co?
Why wouldn’t they hand out their work as HTML/CSS templates and let Neos integrators implement it?

I’m on your side in this discussion, just curious how you’d answer such questions for yourself.

This is an awesome question!

Imagine you’d need to first sketch a magazine on paper or as photoshop files as a designer, in order to have someone code a Postscript file, that can be distilled to a printable PDF - if there was no DTP application like InDesign, that allows a designer to take charge of the implementation just as the conception.

Let me share some of my insight into the industry from my perspective:
We’re experiencing a HUGE shift from corporate work to freelancer, small business and home-based business at the moment and have been for the last couple of years. Not only, but women in particular are leaving the compliance and constraint stricken 9-5 job to the advantage of a life closer to their family, of independence and creative freedom.

The client relationships of such a solo-preneur are distinguished by a very close one-on-one collaboration with customers who again are mostly small business owners and not large firms. This not only limits their budget but – what is MOST important: also requires immediate communication, quick response (within a day at most, and within one to two hours during active collaboration).

Over time, these designers have collectively accumulated a HUGE customer base by working efficiently and personably.

In short: Especially during reviews of the implemented design on the actual website, a designer needs to be able to respond quickly to customer feedback and amend layout, design and content while they have the customer on the line and providing instant feedback.
Constantly having a developer in the loop for every bit of adjustment not only adds to the bottom line money wise but also time wise – leading to a decreased customer satisfaction, which has a direct impact on the customer’s readiness for a referral and thus on further business opportunity.

Every now and then, solo-preneur web designers need the help of a developer, even on a platform like Squarespace, and they are glad to have a good work relationship with a developer they can trust and rely on.

While the workflow of first designing a visual and having it implemented by a developer then, is applicable in rigid design processes, – it is very inefficient in the context of increasingly growing numbers of profitable small businesses.


Wow wow wow, this post has the biggest amount of wisdom I’ve seen on this forum to date, amen to every word you’ve said!
I feel exactly the same, even though I could never put it into words so well.

To answer why they WOULD use Neos (but do not quite yet):

  1. Neos’ structured approach to content (leaves other CMS behind by miles)
  2. and live in-place editing

— if they had a way to edit the layout, style and non-textual content graphic interactively, in-place as well and were provided a set of common widgets (components), that make use of the structured content aspect of Neos.

There would need to happen a wedding first :slight_smile:
A marriage of points 1. and 2. on a layout level, that as a byproduct also results in Structured Editing.


by the way, I don’t think there is sides to take, here - just a variety of user types, all with different requirements and unique virtues :slight_smile:

Let’s continue to explore the current and possible future user base together.

Name and describe who you have in mind when you think of Neos users.