Eden CMS

After redesigning Axios.com for search engine optimization, we improved our content management system to support the new site.

YEAR: 2020-2021
MY ROLE: Product designer
CREDITS: Al Lucca (VP of design), Kasiana McLenaghan (senior product manager)
LIVE: axios.com
Eden Dashboard
The updated Eden CMS.

The Problem

Editors and writers at Axios actually enjoy using our content management system (Eden) – a rarity in media organizations. I led a redesign of Axios.com (launched in January 2020), and so we needed to update Eden to support the new site. We took this opportunity to also reflect our new brand guidelines and address users’ pain points, without compromising what already makes Eden delightful to use: its simplicity and elegance.

Writing & Editing

After interviewing writers and editors, I restructured Eden’s story editor. Improvements included: 1) reorganizing all metadata settings into distinct groupings in a side navigation (in order to create hierarchy so that users, who enter the story editor for different tasks, can find what they’re looking for more quickly); 2) adding a visual indicator to required fields (in order to clarify requirements for publishing); and 3) persisting the primary publishing actions in the upper right of the editor (in order to allow users to save or publish at any point in the process). Within this new structure, I then added new functionality and removed unnecessary functionality for the redesigned Axios.com.

Go deeper: View my guide to these changes for the Axios newsroom.

Eden Current Workflow and User Flow
I interviewed a reporter, a newsdesk editor, a newsletter editor, and a social manager in order to understand current workflows and pain points in Eden.
Eden Desired Workflow and User Flow
Then I mapped out the improved workflows to achieve in this update.
Eden Story Editor Flow
The new story editor flow (looping GIF).
Eden Story Editor Mobile
After learning that some writers use Eden on their phone, I made sure that the updated Writing & Editing flow continues to work on mobile.
Eden Story States Diagram
I mapped out all possible story states in Eden to ensure that the updated design accounts for all edge cases.


Previously, Eden functioned as a writing and editing tool only. I created a new pattern for curation (a focus of the Axios.com redesign) in Eden. Although I started by designing curatorial tools for the Axios.com homepage, we ended up first launching curatorial tools for Deep Dives (a collection of stories). This speaks to the flexibility of the system: the components I created can facilitate any type of curation needed in Eden. Moving editorial curation into our CMS has saved engineering time spent on doing this work manually.

Go deeper: View my user testing script for homepage curation.

Eden Curation Flow
The new Deep Dive curation flow (looping GIF).
Eden Design System
Eden’s new design system.
Designed and developed by Victoria Sgarro, 2022.