I Need Your Help!!! (an exciting announcement)

I have accepted an offer to come back to ServiceNow and join the UI team, focusing specifically on CMS. I’m very excited and humbled by this incredible opportunity.

Now this is where I could really use your help. Below are 3 questions regarding your experience with CMS, if you could take a moment to provide some feedback I would really appreciate it. You will help in shaping the future of the ServiceNow content management system.

  1. With the existing CMS, what are some of the biggest pain points and frustrations?
  2. If ServiceNow were to build a new CMS, what would that look like and what features would you like to see?
  3. How important would a mobile portal be for your organization and users?


  1. Hi Nathan,


    In response to your questions:

    1. iframes! working with iframes is incredibly frustrating. So an OOTB way to build/display forms without iframes would be fantastic.

    2. I personally don’t mind the way the CMS application in ServiceNow at the moment (maybe because I have worked with it for a long time now im used to it).
    Adding a folder like structure to store all my UI scripts. For example using angularJS you are encouraged to separate out all your scripts (controllers, services, directives, js frameworks). Right now that’s difficult to manage in CMS.

    3. Mobile is now becoming a standard requirement for end user portals. So anything that can be done to help improve implementing mobile cms sites would be useful (e.g OOTB menu bars that collapse down to mobile views, ability to hide certain blocks when mobile screens sizes detected)

    Again congratulations Nathan.

  2. Congratulations on your new job!

    1. I concur with Warren, although new to CMS, I have already found iFrames to be frustrating to work with.

    2. Easier editing and management of content. Again, a newbie here but I found all of the “nesting” cumbersome.

    3. Again, agreeing with Warren on Mobile. Responsive design is hugely in demand and would be nice to have OOTB.

    Thank you for creating this site and congrats again!


  3. It would be amazing if the BSM Map could be adapted for CMS. If you could run some kind of ‘discovery’ on your site so that all references to frames, menus, sections, blocks, etc. are indexed and presented as a relationship map.

    I’d use something like this over the Navigation Menu every time, probably!

  4. Awesome man, thanks for your posts, they are for sure helpful!

    1. I also concur with the first two. iFrames are easy to implement stuff, but not particularly fun to work in, and I have found them to be quite a limitation with certain functionality.
    2. I’d like to see more consistency in the design method. When searching through some of the macros and UI design, there’s a mixture of tables and div tags, and elements which have no ID assigned to them, which make it more difficult to modify very specific things in the CMS. It would be better if one standard was used (say, HTML5) so it’s much clearer and easier to work in the environment.
    3. Mobile is the way of the future, definitely need to have this.

    Congrats, man!


  5. Congratulations on the new job! I’d be very keen to know what things are like on the other side of the fence once you’ve settled in.

    In response to you questions:

    1. iFrames, not being able to access code in , extra code being loaded into the site (JS libs like chat that aren’t always required), accessibility requirements failing (alt atributes get stripped out from ), conflicts with prototype, lack of complete API of client side functions.

    2. What I would like is more control over the entire CMS page so I can choose exactly what ends up in the client browser. Also, it would be nice to have a simple way to force users to only access CMS site and not the backend instance.

    3. In the CMS projects that I work on this is taken care of inherently with Bootstrap. It would be great to have the above pain points resolved so that mobile functionality will be even better.

  6. Hi Nathan,

    Currently i’m working on SrviceNow CMS. Here i’m using Bootstrap + AngularJS. Now the problem with iFrames when it comes to Service Request(Order a iPhone, Request for a Laptop). These iFrames are not responsive. How can i get rid of this issue. Through me some light.

    Hima Pallela

      1. Hi Nathan,

        Thanks for your reply. i already read this post. let me do some R&D on this. I will post the update.

        Hima Pallela.

      2. Hi Nathan,

        I’ve seen that post earlier( http://servicenowcms.com/cms-ui-pages-without-iframes/), but did n’t understand how can i bring the Service Catalog into CMS without using iFrames. I have seen one of your video where you implemented a CMS portal with completely responsive. In that video you demonstrated requesting an iPhone, which is completely responsive. would like to know how can you able to achieve.

        any help will be appreciated.

        Hima Pallela.

  7. Nathan,
    Firstly, thank you for spending time to share these amazing solutions and ideas. Its great to see what others have achieved and now that you are part of SN UI team, hopefully we will see significant changes. Here are my answers to your questions:

    1. Where to begin! I guess the biggest pain points are the lack of flexibilities. There are areas within the CMS that you can’t do much without doing a full customization. Let me explain:
    iFrames: I simply hate them, but without it, you have to take a very custom route to view/display SN content such as incidents, knowledge articles, record producer and so on.
    Responsiveness: Lack of responsive layout and content. None of the existing layout, and content (menu blocks, list, form, and so on) are responsive at the moment. To build a responsive layout and content, you have no choice but going the route of full customization. Something that I rather not do to my poor clients.
    Service catalog: displaying SC items within CMS comes down to functionality vs lack of beauty and design. To avoid SC list view, you have no choice but building custom list definition. There are very little options as what can be done here.

    2. Rather rebuilding the current CMS from scratch, I would like to see improvements and new functionalities, some are:
    a. ability to incorporate custom theme to the SN CMS, like those theme/layout available out there in other market for other CMS tool.
    b. Responsive layouts through out the entire site; menus, forms, lists, and so on
    c. Ability to customize SN content for your site. For example: full control over catalog order summary page, search result, forms layouts, knowledge articles detail and so on.
    d. Ability to simply create and incorporate new content type, such as menus, headers, footers, gauges, and animations,
    e. Ability to incorporate search and chat functionality without using the OOB layouts. More of a publish API that can benefit from the functionality and leave the layout and design to the CMS designer.

    3. Mobile layout is now a core requirement rather than a nice to have option. quick frankly, none of the SN effort is this area has been impressive enough.

    I can write pages about CMS as I have spent countless hours to overcome many of the limitations and challenges, but I leave that for another time.

    Thanks again for what you have done and are doing.

  8. Nathan,

    I just stumbled onto your blog and everything you are doing is exactly what I’ll be implementing for our instance. Design is a huge part in customer/user adoption. If it looks complicated, more than likely no one will use your site.

    1. With the existing CMS, what are some of the biggest pain points and frustrations?
    a. To create one thing you have to touch 3-6 different pages/UIs/styles/ etc. It would be great for creating an application / module / page, etc. to have all aspects at your fingertips such as a “toolbox” with all the tools (styles/UIs/Pages/Macros) in one space to choose from to build out whatever you need.
    b. I hate the way the backend looks. I used to code specifically in WordPress and love “backend” tools and menus. Simple and Modern.

    2. If ServiceNow were to build a new CMS, what would that look like and what features would you like to see?
    a. It would be great for more drag and drop functionality without having to create so much code or touch multiple files.
    b. Templates : Not just to change color scheme but move things around without coding.

    3. How important would a mobile portal be for your organization and users?
    a. This would make great sense for working “in the field”. I would love this feature as an admin and user.

    I love what you are doing. Keep up the great work!

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