McKinley Design Site

Go beyond simply how-to build — learn and apply what makes good sites 'work' for users

Sample Layout Designs

Incorportate your content into a scheme

Panel Builder

Start here. The Panel Builder is the foundation of good page design around which all layouts are built. Configured in many ways, this component segments and highlights content, subdividing pages into distinct areas of interest. 

Theme Variants

General Pages

The majority of your pages will be of this type; encompassing every content category save for the proceeding two: home and people pages. The specific layout you choose should be tied directly to the amount of content you have.


The most challenging design in many ways - impact, purpose, updates - all competing for prized real estate. The key to distilling content is to simply ask, "Who's my audience and what's most important for them to do here?"

People Pages

There are many effective designs for Staff pages, but don't go far until you've considered what information to show and how you plan to keep it updated. Use the Profile Component to sync with CAP data.

Supplemental Know-How

Web & AEM knowledge to brush up on

Design Terminology

Important elements to remember when building

Clutter Management

Tips to tame TMI

  • Spread content accross multiple pages, grouping like-pages together under a common parent page
  • Use components such as accordions and tabs to consolidate information on a single page
  • Link to PDFs or other documents in lieu of typing it all out or including screenshots
  • Envision making a PowerPoint presentation: only include pertinent information
  • Create white space by adding natural seperators including headings, panel breaks and buttons.
  • Have a fresh set of eyes look at it, typically someone who's not in your department

Practical Build Tips

Form is certainly important, but function should not be overlooked. This assembly of commonly asked tasks and best practices will help you get the most out of AEM and your time.

In Depth AEM Training

Return to the nuts and bolts of how to operate AEM. Rich with functional details including videos and manuals, these resources give step-by-step instructions on parts you didn't even think you'd need to know.