we haven’t had a chance to write an ‘about’ page yet but Dries wrote a good overview of how and why this project has come into being and what our challenges are. You can read it here.
Some key quotes:
Drupal’s steep learning curve filters out far too many smart, motivated people who could benefit from Drupal. We see it all the time in the Drupal.org forums, in my “State of Drupal” surveys, on Twitter, when talking to customers, and on the web. Even though we’ve made significant progress with making Drupal easier to use, a lot of work is left to be done. With other content management systems such as Joomla! and WordPress making strides to catch up to Drupal in terms of development flexibility, if we want Drupal to remain competitive, we have a challenge we have to face: we need to create a user experience that makes it easier for people new to Drupal to discover all of its richness and power.
Starting in March, they will spend time working on making Drupal 7 easier to use. We’ve asked them to do all their work out in the open, in the Drupal community, just like they did with the Drupal.org redesign, so that the community can be involved and give input every step of the way. We have also encouraged Mark to dare to envision wide-ranging, far-reaching usability improvements, rather than incremental usability changes on the status quo. This is a great chance for us to all collectively think “outside the box” about how great Drupal’s user experience could be.
However, beautiful usability improvements are no good to anyone unless they have code behind them. Therefore, in addition to paying MBD, Acquia will also contribute a signficant amount of our own internal engineering time to the implementation of the mockups and ideas produced by Mark and Leisa. Their suggestions will be posted as patches to the drupal.org issue queue for community review, input, and refinement and Acquia will dedicate two or three full-time engineers to help implement suggestions from MDB and the usability team.
This is an opportunity to get the community fired up about usability, and to bring more outside design and usability expertise into the project. And with your help, this should be a pretty awesome move for Drupal 7! 🙂
thanks to our friends at Acquia for sponsoring the project.
Want to get more involved in the Drupal Usability Community?
Come say hello here and see what we’re up to!