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Making Drupal 7 Simple to Use for Everyone


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Over the past year, the Drupal community has focused on improving the Drupal user experience, making Drupal more friendly to a less technical user-base and rolling those improvements into Drupal 7. Join Dries Buytaert, the original creator and project lead for the Drupal open source web publishing and collaboration platform and Jeff Noyes, Acquia's director of user experience and contributor to the D7UX team contributor, for a one-hour tour of the new Drupal 7 usability features and the driving forces behind them. This will be the first in a series of Drupal 7 Webinars hosted by Dries this year.

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Making Drupal 7 Simple to Use for Everyone

  1. 1. Making Drupal 7 Simple to Use for Everyone Dries Buytaert Jeff Noyes Lynne Capozzi Drupal founder, Acquia CTO Director of User Experience Vice President Marketing Acquia Acquia Acquia @dries @jeffnoyes @bryanhouse
  2. 2. Housekeeping Can you hear us? Raise your hand in WebEx Unable to listen via your computer’s audio – Request phone access
  3. 3. Housekeeping Today’s webinar is being recorded. Slides and recording will be posted in next 24 hours at: – Submit questions via WebEx, we’ll answer as many as we can at end –Give it a try & tell us where you joining from today
  4. 4. Upcoming Webinars Thursday February 18th –How Open Source Frameworks for Social Publishing Eliminate WCM Shortfalls Thursday February 25th - Preview of Drupal Gardens - 15 Minutes from Design to Online Register Today -
  5. 5. Introduction Dries Buytaert –Founder and Project Lead, Drupal –President, Drupal Association –Co-founder & CTO, Acquia Jeff Noyes –Director of User Experience, Acquia
  6. 6. 6 How did we get here?
  7. 7. Choosing the Right Technology A Social Publishing Platform Drupal “… is as much a Social Software platform as it is a web content management system.” content users CMS Watch, The Web CMS Report 2009 blogs / workflow wikis forums / taxonomy comments Content Social Mgmt Software semantic Systems Tools social ranking web social RSS tagging social analytics networks
  8. 8. Overview Drupal’s perceived as being hard to use.
  9. 9. Usability lab testing Several formal lab tests between March 2008/2009 conducted to answer these questions... – What are the main challenges to new Drupal users? – Is the language and terminology intuitive to users? – How long does it take users to perform basic web development tasks with no formal Drupal training – Do recent design changes work (password checker, vertical tabs, etc
  10. 10. Lab test results can’t be ignored Lots of vernacular confusion Page vs Story, Content vs Content type, Primary Links, etc. Inability to find content after creating it Mental model of creating pages not expected Users expected WYSIWYG vs. “input format” Unable to distinguish administrative layer Overwhelming administrative page Menu confusion with parent item
  11. 11. A usability team is born Evolving team of 8-16 people join forces to help make Drupal easier. Two people stand out. Roy Scholten (A.K.A Yoroy) for sound design insights. Bojhan Summers for staying on top of the issues, rounding up the troops & beating the UX drum.
  12. 12. Acquia hires Mark Boulton
  13. 13.
  14. 14. Microprojects Overall information architecture Shortcuts Media manager Appearance Dashboard Profile Forums Watchdog Triggers Pathauto and more...
  15. 15. 15 Drupal 7’s user experience goal
  16. 16. Drupal 7’s user experience goals Make the most frequent tasks easy and less frequent tasks achievable. Design for the 80% Privilege the Content Creator Make the default settings smart
  17. 17. 17 Drupal 7’s usability highlights
  18. 18. Who benefits? Content Managers –People that spend most of their time managing content, e.g. writers, editors etc. Designers & Developers –People that spend most of their time building & theming sites.
  19. 19. Usability highlights Simplifying the content managers role.
  20. 20. Simplified startup options Users can now start with a common set of pre-configured features, or take the advanced route and start from scratch.
  21. 21. Password verify made more clear Users now have a better experience setting site credentials.
  22. 22. Appearance Information architecture Improvements More concrete categories for a clearer map of the Drupal system. - Emphasis on basic CMS tasks (content, structure, people etc) and pushed advance config a layer deeper (80/20)
  23. 23. Appearance Recently added content made easier to find. Users can now find recently added content by clicking “content”
  24. 24. Point-and-click edit. Users can now edit content more quickly and configure blocks more quickly.
  25. 25. Add shortcuts Quickly add shortcuts to your most used locations. Shortcuts Accelerate by creating shortcuts to most used destinations - by role
  26. 26. Admin layer Site layer Overlay... Clear separation of front—and back—end tasks..
  27. 27. Sitewide dashboard Users now have a customizable dashboard.
  28. 28. D7 Clearer content/help text Rewrote/removed copy – making Drupal more friendly and concise. Focused on making help more helpful. D6
  29. 29. Reorganized Forms Redesigned fieldsets and compressed forms by using vertical tabs.
  30. 30. Primary actions separated from tabs Adding content used be in the same location as browsing lists of existing content.
  31. 31. Usability highlights Designer & developer simplifications.
  32. 32. Redesigned appearance Applying a theme is now modernized and easier to understand which theme is active
  33. 33. Adding features (modules) workflow improved Modules now have direct links to permissions and configuration settings. Outdated modules can be updated within Drupal.
  34. 34. Clearing cache more accessible. Developers and themers can now clear cache without having to scroll.
  35. 35. Upgrade manager Modules with newly released revisions can now be updated without leaving Drupal.
  36. 36. 36 Drupal Gardens
  37. 37. Built on Drupal 7 Built to help people get over the hurdle of installing Drupal and figuring out which modules to use.
  38. 38. WYSIWYG Content can now be formatted
  39. 39. Media support Media can be uploaded, reused, or added from third party vendors like Flickr
  40. 40. 40 Drupal 8 wish list...
  41. 41. More testing & solid metrics Drupal Gardens will become a platform for user testing and getting access to usage data.
  42. 42. Page improvements Improve Drupal’s page model User think about pages top down - add a page, give it a layout, add widgets, add content.
  43. 43. Block improvements Drag and drop features Eliminate need to duplicate blocks to place in different regions Drop here
  44. 44. Module administration improvements Too much scrolling. Too often you have to click to enable/disable, scroll way down, submit. Repeat.
  45. 45. Easier form creation Building & styling forms should be easier. Form Builder should be advanced
  46. 46. Content types Creating content types and managing fields could be improved Drop here
  47. 47. Interaction Guidelines Interaction standards should emerge to answer questions like: – Best practice use of: tabs wizards buttons drag & drop forms & form elements etc. – Accessibility standards – Help standards
  48. 48. 48 Summary
  49. 49. Thanks! D7 will be a huge step forward! The Drupal community should be proud of its accomplishments. We’re proud!
  50. 50. If you want to help Drupal get better... To help To help Drupal...
  51. 51. We’re Hiring! Do you love working with Drupal? If so, Acquia is hiring: –Engineering & design –Client advisors and consulting –Inside sales Check out openings at
  52. 52. Questions For more information: – Recording of today’s event and slides – will be posted at: – recorded_webinars Contact Acquia: – 888.9.ACQUIA – Try Drupal 7 – Sign up for beta code at – Download at Download Acquia’s Drupal Stack Installers – – Available for Debian, Ubuntu, Windows & Mac