Current Activities – What you can do NOW!

Drupal 7 has now passed code freeze but work continues on Drupal 7 usability.

What you can do:

  • our most urgent need is for developers who have some PHP + jQuery chops to help implement some of the UI that has been designed as a part of this project. In particular the dashboard is in desperate need of attention. If you’ve got those skills and a little time and would love to become a god(dess) amongst the Drupal UX Community, please let us know (in comments below or log onto #drupal-usability IRC channel)
  • we’re also looking for people to do usability testing on Drupal 7, we have a test environment, a discussion guide and all the support you could hope for – if you’re interested in helping out with some usability testing, please let us know!

Make sure you’re following us on Twitter (@drupalredesign and #D7UX), and join our Flickr and YouTube groups!

Comments have now been closed for posts on this site and this site is no longer being maintained – pls contact Mark or Leisa directly if you have questions (a quick google search should sort you out with contact details) or go to for more information.

Key Documents:
Who is D7UX for?
Audience Matrix
Experience Strategy
Design Principles

25 thoughts on “Current Activities – What you can do NOW!”

  1. Congratulations on the great (and highly visible) work that’s going on. After a lot of thought, though, I’m concerned about one of the fundamental goals of the experience strategy.

    If the goal of this UX work is to convince a WordPress user to convert, I fear that we’re working on the wrong task and risk sinking time, energy, and money into something that won’t help Drupal or its users in the long term. Why not aim for Moodle or Bricolage users? Education and publishing are both very active sectors for Drupal site building, and the complexity of the sites in those areas is almost always greater than simple blogging applications.

    Drupal’s UX has suffered for years because it hasn’t been optimized for specific tasks or use cases; site builders had to do the work of building those tailored tools as part of the site creation process. (Or, more frequently, they ignored that aspect and pointed the site management team at’s general documentation.) The recent SXSW showdown, however, demonstrated that even WordPress’ polished blogging UX is an uncomfortable match for more complex web applications.

    Blogging sites can be built with Drupal, as can social networking sites, magazines, and so on. Drupal is not optimized for any of those tasks out of the box, though. If we’re looking to change that, we need to be sure that we’ve selected the right use case to focus on. In addition, we need to work hard to ensure that we’re not painting those with more complex needs into a corner…

  2. …And after carefully reading both links, I see that the “stated goals” have actually changed in the second draft, addressing the specific concerns that I had.

    That’ll teach me: crowdsourcing project goals does work! 😉

  3. Dear Leisa, Mark,
    I follow Drupal about some year now, but I’m still in my learning cirve at Drupal 5. One of my really personally wish for a future Drupal 7? 8? is that it can be a features that really makes easy to change the default text (t) that arise in the different nodes, forms and help. Sometimes it’s very very hard to change them and mostly you have to disrupt the core module code or the contrib modules. Maybe there is a solution already (stringoverrides.module) but you never get a clear aknowledgement if the chage toke place and where. Sorry if this modest feedback maybe off topic if there is already a simple solution and I did not yet find it. Regards

  4. what was clear through the two excellent install videos, from a usability standpoint, is that the Drupal install texts was trying to give all users all the information one would need. It was very comprehensive, which would confuse a non-techie.

    I suggest right at the start an option is given to the person installing drupal:

    Please select
    1. easy install mode: if you are an end user/blogger etc
    2. expert install mode: if are you an administrator/developer

    Then successive processes of text and install procedure can be applied as appropriate.


  5. @md – if we had the whole discussion over on then we’d only get input from a very small part of the target audience for the interface of D7, the reason we’re talking out here and in different places like YouTube, FLickr, on Mark’s blog and my blog is to try to get access not only to the Drupal community, but also those people who use Drupal who don’t identify as part of the community, or who tried Drupal and left it (for whatever reason) or who use other content management tools and not Drupal (for whatever reason) – as well as people from the design and usability/user experience communities.

    in order to do a really good job of this project we really need input from all of those sources (including, of course the Drupal community!)

    make sense?

  6. @Leisa I’m not sure if your strategy is effectively, because I think it’s a little bit cluttered and something like duplicated content. Maybe people don’t really know where to discuss an important think like the new Drupal user experience. Here, at or at

    Another point. You say: “… but also those people who use Drupal who don’t identify as part of the community, or who tried Drupal and left it (for whatever reason) or who use other content management tools and not Drupal (for whatever reason) – as well as people from the design and usability/user experience communities.”

    Please, don’t get me wrong, but do you think all the people you mention, find this discussion if it’s not on a central place and know what we’re talking about? And another question: do you think these people should be responsible for the new Drupal user experience, if they´re not part of the Drupal community or left for whatever reason? Maybe they had a good reason. Maybe they don’t like Drupal. I don’t know.

    What I know is: a main part of the discussion here and at is about things like this and the ‘why it is on WP’. That’s a lot of useless energy.

    But after all, you’ve made your decision. So let’s talk about the new Drupal user experience.

    Btw. I choose Drupal about 5 years ago, because of it’s ease to use and that was Drupal 4.5

  7. It would be really helpful if we could restrict comment and such to helping the d7ux project only. Criticism aimed at d7ux, Mark or Leisa is neither helpful nor I’m sure, welcome.

  8. Looking forward to seeing what you guys come up with. I’ve chosen Drupal myself because of the elegance of the code and structure (I’m a programmer). Not because it’s ease of use for the end user. Because of this choice, I usually spend at least a week or so, explaining and elaborating on all the where and how of all the delivered features.

    Any usability improvements should help me reduce this time and I’ll be forever grateful for that. Drupal can learn a lot about end user usability from WordPress and putting this site on wordpress was a great idea to start that discussion.

  9. Just a quick question, what happen to the user developed modules based drupal 6 after the release of drupal 7. will that be usable? or we have to develope again for drupal 7?


  10. @md

    I looked at Drupal when it was in the 5.x stage, implemented one site using it and then promptly gave up on it because it is just too damn hard to use. Not for myself as a developer and designer, but for end users – non-technical people that are actually responsible for writing and publishing content – in my experience, for them frankly it’s unusable.

    I haven’t seen anything in 6.x that would make me change my mind.

    I’ve been using WordPress for quite a while now, and despite its limitations and pitfalls, it continues to deliver particularly in the area of usability. It’s not perfect, but I can work with it. And more importantly my users can too. I believe that Drupal could learn a lot from what the developers of WP have done. (I don’t care that this site is WordPress, I think it’s irrelevant).

    Here’s the thing with Drupal. In my short time playing with Drupal I found I could understand the code, I wrote a module or two and created a custom theme. It wasn’t the only CMS I tried out, but in a technical sense it was definitely one of the best. Like @jord, I’m a programmer and the elegance and readibility of the code was a real selling point. In fact I really wanted to like Drupal, but for various reasons I just couldn’t bring myself to like it. And I still can’t.

    When I’m in the WordPress admin I feel as if I’m managing my content. With Drupal I feel more like Drupal has my content and if I could only find some way to trick it in to doing what I want to do with it then I’d be fine.

    I’m desperate for D7UX to ring the changes and turn a potentially great but flawed piece of software into the incredible product that it deserves to be. I really hope it can, and if I can help in some small way I will do. And I think they have the right approach. This is not a matter of “prettying up” the admin interface – it’s about looking at the nuts and bolts of the system and making a coherent whole.

    Yes, we can find the discussion through other places than drupal org (I did). Yes, Drupal developers and existing members of the comunity are important and should be involved in the process. But IMO it is just as if not more important to get the views of non-Drupal people. No, that doesn’t mean they are “responsible for the new Drupal user experience” but it does mean that their input is a valuable part of the process.

  11. I like the idea of how concrete works, perhaps if the direct edit header, blocks, etc, be added to drupal it would be nice.

    Also, aside from direct editing, direct image uploading would be cool too.

    The only problem is how to make it retain its old features without making it too redundant or removing it without destroying the old things drupal excels at.

  12. Also, an additional feature of adding toolbars for text editing would be nice.

    Something like an ms word, excel functionality will certainly give drupal an up

  13. Does this usability project cover admin functionality too?

    I just had to upgrade drupal 3 times within 2 weeks(ish)? and it’s a real pain to turn on/off all contrib modules all the time as I have quite a lot of them.

  14. A faster performance like than of drupal 5 would be nice, but also it would be nice to make the administer page dynamic, a sort of control panel so that you don’t need to keep loading to different pages.

  15. I tried to use drupal first to make my actual site but i’ve abandoned caused impossibility to make a “real” download area (none module to make a download area with comment; download count; category; rating) eg: like my actual site: and a good forum (like SMF for example).
    With many others script/cms is very simple, with drupal (CMF) isn’t 🙁

    PS: sorry for my poor English 🙂

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