Thank you to everyone who participated in the Summit on Sunday – there were several dozen people in attendance and it was a very productive session.
A transcript of proceedings can be downloaded here PDF (note: it’s about 150 pages of Skype chat, so only do this if you’re feeling brave/bored/exceptionally curious). We also tried to keep a document of record showing our agenda, some outputs and an incomplete list of participants, which you can see here. It is not entirely comprehensive and should be considered a working document only.
The discussion around the overall outcome for Structure continues and we will post an update soon.
The essential informationOur mission: to come to an agreement on whether the Site Building Tool should be included in D7 and if so, how we can best make it work for both the Drupal technical architecture and existing Drupal users AND for it’s primary target audience.
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Be online at 16:00 GMT on Sunday 7 June (what time is this where you are? and with profound apologies to our Australian and NZ friends for such an unsociable time)
Spread the word! We want all kinds of people involved from Drupaller to People Who Should Use Drupal But Can’t, from developers to designers to shop owners and site administrators.
I’m really excited to report that Ivanka Majic, Head of Design at Canonical, will be moderating our Summit on Sunday. Ivanka has a great appreciation for the challenges of designing for open source projects and a vested interested in D7UX being a good user experience, because the Canonical site is running on Drupal! She’s also a great moderator and I’m confident she’ll help us to ensure that we get to some firm and actionable outcomes on Sunday. Thanks Ivanka!
If you have the chance beforehand it would be great if you can check out the two most recent ‘prototype’ walkthroughs that we’ve posted (video see below), as well as the Project Framework Page for Structure.
A little background. If you’ve been playing along at home you have no doubt come across the Site Building Tool that we have proposed to live in the Structure section of the D7UX interface. We believe that the design and implementation of this tool can make the most significant difference in making it possible for non-technical users to make a reasonably sophisticated site using Drupal within a matter of hours, not the weeks or months that it often requires of new players at the moment.
The more time I spend talking to people who *should* be able to use Drupal but who can’t, and people who have had brief experiences with Drupal then ran away screaming in either frustration of fear, the more convinced I am of this. As recently as yesterday I took our latest prototype out to show some people, and despite the fact that it is still very rough and confusing, it’s potential was obvious.
We’ve been talking about this tool since early April – time is passing rapidly and if we want to make this happen we need to get on board with the concept and start working out how we can make it work. We need to do this as a matter of urgency. Our current channels are not moving us forward quickly enough, so I’m going to propose that we try something a little different.
Structure Summit Sunday
The absolute best way to get to the bottom of these complex issues is to get everyone in a room to thrash it out. Of course, we can’t all get in the same physical space together, so let’s try the next best thing and all meet this Sunday with the express purpose of coming to an agreement on what this tool can be and how we can make it happen.
I want to walk away from this session on Sunday with a clear vision for the tool and a feeling that the people who participated share this vision and our enthusiasm for the challenge ahead. (Of course, the flip side is that we decide that we can’t do it… which would be unfortunate, but I guess we have to consider it as an outcome).
I considered a bunch of ways to approach this, originally thinking that we’d do it in IRC, but with some more thought I’ve decided to create a public Skype chat that we can all join. This is a less intimidating environment for non-techy, non-Drupally people (and I’d really like to have a good mix of all of us in the discussion).
Why should I get involved if I’m not a Drupal developer?
chances are you’re more likely to be in the target audience for this tool – your insight will be incredibly helpful in helping us get this right. (Especially if you can identify with the Jeremy character sketched out here)
you will be the people who will be able to keep us focused on the right user experience, so that we don’t get caught up in How Drupal Works and What Can Be Done
you can be instrumental in making Drupal an Awesome User Experience – this means putting some pretty powerful tools in the hands of people who can do amazing things with them.
you will win mine and Mark’s undying gratitude by helping us solve a really tricky design problem that will make a big difference.
Designing a big system like Drupal is no easy task, we all know that. Part of what is not easy about it is that you have to design both little chunks and also big stories. Getting these to come together in a coherent way is not easy to design but even more difficult to communicate.
We know that there are people out there who are worried about how the D7UX design will work. We’d also really appreciate it being put to the test. So, here’s a forum where we can do that.
If you have a concern about how D7UX will work, post it here. In order for us to be able to respond to it, you need to make it as specific as possible. The best way to do this is to tell it as a bit of a user story (and try to use as little Drupal speak as possible so we can all play along).
For example, your concern may be that there is no place in the Information Architecture for the people who have signed up to an event to be managed. Your user story would be something like: If I create an event and then I want to see the list of all the people who have registered, how would I do that?
Please feel free to post ANY concern you have here. We will endeavour to answer every single one of your concerns as best we can and as quickly as we can. That way we can *all* start feeling as though the design is robust, get a sense of how it will play out in a range of user scenarios, and we can identify and correct any weaknesses as required.