The Drupal core developers have a long history of making user experience improvements. The developers have made it easier to install, to update, to internationalize, to customize, to theme, to find help, to recover from errors, and to interact. A few years ago, the Drupal project lead, Dries, wrote about The Ockham's Razor Principle of Content Management Systems which stated
Given two functionally equivalent content management systems, the simplest one should be selected.
In order to make Drupal 7 the simplest CMS to use, Mark Boulton and I have developed a user experience strategy as part of an effort previously announced by Dries. You don't have to be an expert core developer or user experience designer to help us make Drupal simpler to use. Even the simple act of reading this strategy or mentioning to someone that we are working on making Drupal easier to use can make a difference. With that in mind we have drafted strategy statements and goals which we hope to use as ’stars to sail our ship by’ on this project.
Drupal7 Experience Strategy & Goals
The design objective:
To make Drupal a tool that is powerful and flexible for content creation and management even for people who don’t write code or speak Drupal-speak without compromising the ability for developers to do their work. Drupal will allow anyone to create complex websites without developer knowledge.
- Make the most frequent tasks easy and less frequent tasks achievable.
- Design for the 80% of current and potential Drupal admin users - 80% of users will only use 20% of the functionality. (Hat tip to Pareto and his Principle)
- Privilege the Content Creator.
- Allow for customisation but don’t make the end user do all the work, make informed and thoughtful decisions about the good default settings.
- non-coding, non-Drupal experienced users should be able to add/edit and otherwise manage content without confusion, errors or extensive training.
- people should be able set up a site and publish content without having to go into a ‘configuration/setting/options’ type section.
- the interface should not get in the way of the developers doing developing (and configuring and other administering) work.
We Need YOU! (how to get involved)
This project will live or die depending on your involvement, and we need your involvement NOW!
THIS IS URGENT!
What you need to do NOW:
- Visit D7UX.org. It has been set up as the central 'go to' place for the project - where to go to find out what is happening and how you can get involved with pointers off to all the other activity.
- Review the Experience Strategy, and give us your comments.
- Review the Audience Matrix and give us your comments.
- Pimp Your Admin: have you been doing some customisation to your Drupal admin interfaces you think we'd like to see? We'd love you to show us!
- Come Wireframe With Us! - something in Drupal bugging you and you know how you'd like it fixed? Come on then, wireframe it up and show us!
- Personality Quiz (Tone of Voice) - how does Drupal talk? Answer a few quick questions and help us work it out.
- Review Drupalusability.org which has all of the issues found at the usability test in Baltimore 2009.
- Join our Twitter Group, also keep an eye out for #drupal7ux.
- Join the following groups:Drupal 7 user experience group, the Usability group, and the design for Drupal group.
- Make sure you’re following Leisa & Mark’s blog
- Join our YouTube group.
- Join our Flickr group.
- TELL PEOPLE! NOW! Blog, Tweet, Talk about it at your next Drupal Local Group meeting, Make some noise for us!
Crowd-sourced Usability Testing: help us get the D7UX tested all over the world and get some usability testing experience under your belt - the first testing 'session' is coming up on 6-8 April
WHAT’S COMING UP:
- 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 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. Thanks to our friends at Acquia who are making this project happen.