We Need YOU! (how to get involved)

This project will live or die depending on your involvement. And we need your involvement NOW.


What you need to do NOW:


  • we’re going to be releasing some concept sketches VERY SOON – watch out for those, take a look, let us know what you think
  • we’re going to be asking for your help with some WIREFRAMING
  • we’re going to be asking for your help with some TESTING

We plan to make the Drupal 7 User Experience something VERY special. The BIGGEST RISK to this project is community rejection, or community involvement TOO LATE.

Get out of the issue queues, quit bitching about your other CMS tools.

Get over here and help us make something amazing.

thank you πŸ™‚

11 thoughts on “We Need YOU! (how to get involved)”

  1. I don’t mean to be rude, but do you know how incredibly ironic it is that you’ve published this plea on a WORDPRESS BLOG.

    I mean, seriously. Set up Drupal 6 or an alpha of D7 and have people peruse it as part of this exercise; but don’t shoot Drupal in the foot by not … ahem … using it.

    1. Liza, if you’d read the Experience Strategy you’d know that in fact, we’re using WordPress without apology.
      Of course we’re looking at Drupal as well, but frankly, we’d rather do work on this project than battle with the Drupal UI right now.
      The Drupal usability team are doing usability testing on the current Drupal 7 interface (results of which can been found here), and we’re very aware of the issues that require work.

  2. I think getting more and more of the Drupal community to adopt the UX strategy is a huge step. I think so much of the Drupal mess results in trying to everything, and failing to anything really well.

    @Liza β€”Wordpress is a good example, it does such a great job at blogging why wouldn’t you choose it for a blog? I always have a hard time trying to explain to clients why Drupal is a more flexible choice for them when they need to do more than just a blog. Most would rather go out of their way to stick with that gorgeous WordPress interface. I have great hopes that this project will change this πŸ™‚

  3. Wow, CAPS, lose it – please.

    So do you want us to give feedback on the video already, at least the ideas you propose in there? Because those solutions proposed give no context and reason on why you chose them.

    As for the audience matrix, it definitely needs some work I hope to be able to give some feedback this weekend.

    @liza ofcourse its ironic, but they haven’t used Drupal much yet to use it to setup a site like this – don’t think we can blame them for trying to get a move on.

  4. So I’m probably the biggest Drupal fan you’ll ever meet. But come on guys, let’s be practical here.

    Mark and Leisa are being paid for a limited time to work on this stuff. Personally, I’d rather them spend the barest minimum of said time farting around on “plumbing” stuff so that all the rest of their time can be spent making Drupal 7 UX kick ass. πŸ™‚

    So I’m very +1 to using focused tools that already exist (whether that’s Twitter, Flickr, WordPress, whatever) so that we can get the show on the road. Hopefully this is a wildly successful venture, and the next time an initiative like this comes up, Drupal’s the no-brainer tool to build out its website. πŸ˜‰

  5. The rationale for using WordPress is fundamentally flawed. Many new users to WordPress do not find the experience intuitive.

    For example, I set up a site for my wife on the WordPress platform because she wanted an “easy” photo site. But the limitiations of WordPress and the newly complicated UI (as of WP 2.7) really confused her and made it difficult to maintain a professional looking site without a lot of effort.

    As a result I have built her a new site using Drupal. It’s much easier to update, has more features and looks more professional than the WordPress version.

    But that’s not the only point. I’m not a web developer. And I find Drupal easier to use than WordPress when it comes to doing what I want it to do.

    I’m all for improving the user experience of Drupal. But I think it’s silly to refuse to use the platform because it’s not up to your standards.

  6. Leisa & Mark,

    Thank you so much for taking such a challenging project for Drupal community.

    From your use of WordPress we can see that you are Drupal outsider. This is a good thing because you can think out of the box.

    I am also a Drupal outsider (from Physics, Programming, and Photography background) trying to find the entrance to the Drupal community. I have played with Drupal for a couple of months but never made up my mind to actively join the community until I read about your project.

    Although I have programming and web developing experience, I don’t want to attack this problem from a “geek’s point of view”. I believe the solution to the UX issue is above the PHP/HTML/CSS and module/theme layers. It has to be at the community level.

    I did everything you recommended in this post. And I have some ideas that you might be interested in also.

    These days I am reading Alan Cooper’s “About Face”, which I am sure you know it by heart. The central idea is so called “Goal-Directed Design”. So my first question to you from the point of some one who wants to help is

    “What is YOUR goal?”

    Since you are hired to do this project, it would be nice to ARTICULATE what you are hired for, a simple way would be publishing the EXACT contract (minus the money part πŸ™‚ so the community can help you.

    If encouraged, I will come up more ideas later as comments or my own blog/twitter posts.


  7. Great video plea!

    I’m a long-time Drupal user/site builder and more recently moved into a developer role at a US public university. I love design — making things work well both visually and experientially. I’ve always found that Drupal is flexible enough to be beaten into a fairly positive user experience for both admins *and* visitors.

    My goal is the same for every site I work on:
    build a solid platform so that users can publish their content with a minimum of fuss.

    In the past few months, I’ve been digging deeply into the 1,700+ available D6 modules, looking for the ones that are best able to improve UX on larger sites and multi-site deployments. I’m trying to determine the upper end of Drupal’s inherent scalability both in terms of server architecture *and* a solid UX for several thousand users on a university site: “Can Drupal scale and remain focused on different user needs?” I’m very interested in Drupal’s ability to accommodate the more complex workflow/15+ users/collaborative UX -type of sites.

    No matter what the framework, there is nothing like having to repeat the same configuration steps on 237 sites to really focus one’s attention on improving efficiency. I take seriously my responsibility for the UX on sites I build, aiming to shorten the create-edit-review-publish sequence to the fewest possible steps. I aim at filtering out most of the administrative layer, to provide a streamlined UX for the 80% of users.

    I greatly appreciate your call for a well-timed, intensive effort to rip out some vestigial UI conventions before D7 is fully gestated. For myself, I’ve settled on a portable strategy to achieve a positive UX with a minimum of steps, below.

    Immediately after installing a core D6 site, I add just a few UX-focused modules: simple_menu (or admin_menu), admin_links, cmf, and fasttoggle — all of these seem to speed up the create-edit-review-publish cycle in concert with typical site admin tasks.

    Then, I build a short menu block that serves the needs of that magic 80% of author/users with links to the most frequently used content types:
    + Add Story
    + Add Event
    + Add Page
    + Edit All Content
    (linked to CMF, which is dramatically more usable than the built-in Content Management module)
    + Edit Categories
    + Edit Menus

    Lastly, I use the string_overrides module to swap out several confusing terms in the UI and better structure the main admin menus:
    1. Add Content
    2. Manage Content
    3. Layout & Navigation
    4. Modules
    5. Site Settings
    6. Users & Roles
    7. Reports

    With profiles, patterns, drush, administration gets much less painful — if you have a host with sufficient power and access. I try to select building methods and modules with results that can reproduced easily (Views/CCK both offer an import/export function).

    John Forsythe’s extraordinary DrupalModules.com is both a primary community resource and example of great usability and UX for his site visitors. I marvel at how quickly I can browse relevant content, discover new, related modules in such a short space of time on John’s site.

    “Too much abstraction” is the UX battle cry at http://www.drupalusability.org and I think that is a big piece of the puzzle. “Taxonomy” could just as easily be called “Categories” (even with an unfortunate naming conflict with the useful “category” module).

  8. OK, this is gonna be great. I found major terminology hurdles with getting started with Drupal. Also, options I would have thought are related are grouped in separate parts of the administration interface. The usability issues were staring me in the face because I’m such a newbie. Nevertheless, it surprised me that it took the core Drupal developers so long to figure out they had a lot of usability issues on their hands. This project comes at a perfect time for me, because I can still give a lot of near-n00b feedback, but I can translate a lot of it into Drupalspeak as I learn more of that.

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