As we move through the design process for D7UX, every now and then something pops out that makes us think – ooh, that’s important. We should remember that. We’ve started collecting these things and calling them our Design Principles and we’re going to be using these to guide our decision making as we go.
Here’s what we have so far:
- Map Drupal to the User not the User to Drupal – Drupal needs to learn how users work and shape it’s interface (although not it’s architecture!) to match user tasks not the other way around
- If I need to do something to progress to the next step in my task, I should *never* have to go to a completely different place to do it. The experience should flow – this pretty much follows on from the first principle.
- An admin should look like an admin and a website should look like a website. I should always know where I am and what I’m working with. I should be able to switch between the two clearly/cleanly and easily. (We know from user testing done by the Drupal Usability Group that for people newly encountering Drupal this can cause quite some confusion)
- allow customisation but give smart defaults – we’ll allow customisation (of course!) but don’t push all the work to the end user. It’s our job, as designers, to take a stab at the best default settings.
- wherever possible, help people make good design/UX decisions as they build their site using Drupal – for example, maybe ask them as they reach for their 6th font if they *really* want to do it and explain the implications, similarly as they create their 16th level of navigation…
- you should be abe to get Drupal ‘out of the box’, go through the install process and immediately be able to do all the ‘content creator’ tasks without having to go into a section with a name like config/settings/tools
There may be more as we go along. I’d be interested to hear how you like what we’ve got so far and what others you might suggest.