Drupal7UX – Pimp Your Admin

You might remember we mentioned that we were going to kick off an activity we call ‘Pimp Your Admin’ at the recent Drupalcon conference – we have a few interesting screencasts already and now we’d like to invite you to join in!

One of the great things about Drupal is that you can bend it to your will – get it to do just about anything you need it to do. Same goes for it’s administration interface (admin).

Before we get to work on the Drupal7 Admin, we’d love to see what you out there have done to make the Drupal Admin System do what you need it to do, or just to work better for you and your project.

Here’s how we want to do it – simply take a little screencast, it seems to take us about six or seven minutes – and walk us through your admin system and show us what you’ve done, even if it’s just something tiny – to make Drupal work better for you.

You can check out some examples that others have done at the Drupal7UX YouTube Group then once you’ve recorded yours, upload it and post it to the group so we can take a look. (Of course, if you’d rather host it elsewhere, you can just leave a link to your preferred location in the comments below (thanks Brandonian, we’ve got a note of yours!)

We’re really looking forward to seeing your work and to see if some interesting trends start to emerge!

update: for those who ask, we’ve been using Silverback to record our screencasts. If you’re a Mac user and interested in User Experience you should have Silverback. It’s great and ridiculously affordable.

Understanding our Audience (Part 1) – Drupal7 UX Project


We’ve spent quite a bit of time trying to develop a framework to understand and frame the Drupal7 Audience in such a way as we can successfully design for them. We thought you might be interested in seeing some of our thinking to date, so we recorded a quick chat about it in the video above. (I really should do my hair before videoing myself!)

As an overview, here is the outline of what we’re thinking:

There are three important user attributes: role, type of site, and size/complexity of the user ecosystem(number of users in the system and no. of different roles defined).

Important roles:
- end user (define here)
- editor
- site builder
- site administrator

Important site types:
- blog
- news/publishing
- groups
- events

Important ecosystems
- single user
- 2-5 users
- 5-15 users
-more than 15 users
(need to work out a way to define number of user roles as well)

This is still very much work in progress and there is more thinking to be done – stay tuned. Meanwhile, I think we need to come up with a fancy word for our little audience prototype thingy.

[x-posted at http://groups.drupal.org/node/20073]

Drupal7 Experience Strategy & Goals

Experience Strategy:

  • Make easy things easy and hard things do-able.
  • Design for the 80% (ref: Pareto Principle)
  • Privilege the End User

Our Goals:

  • The combination of powerful functionality, amazing community and great user experience should make Mark & I switch from WordPress/Expression Engine to Drupal7 as soon as it is released.
  • We should be so proud of the User Experience for newcomers to Drupal that we need to redesign Drupal.org to put the download button back on the homepage.

One of the things we were least happy with in our process for the Drupal.org redesign project was the experience strategy that we developed and then hardly referenced at all. This was because it was simply too long for anyone to keep in mind – an unwieldy experience strategy, as it turns out, is not much of an experience strategy at all.

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.

How do you like them?

[x-posted at http://groups.drupal.org/node/20066]

UX Suggestion Box – Drupal7 UX

Mark at Drupalcon

If you were at the recent Drupalcon in DC you may have seen Mark Boulton and I at the UX Table plying people with jellybeans and requesting offerings to our Drupal7 UX Suggestion Box. This is just one of the ways that we are hoping to engage the Drupal community in this project and to continue that process, you’ll find below the contents of the suggestion box (as of late Friday, unfortunately our desk and all it’s contents was trashed on Friday evening (boo!) so it’s possible we’ve missed a few suggestions).

Please take a moment to look through the very roughly (and quite possibly not entirely well) sorted list below – we’d be very interested to receive more suggestions from you or your comments on the suggestions collected thus far.

There are multiple destinations for the suggestions collected – many of these will feed into our thinking for this project, but there are also a few that will probably be added to the issue queue (if they’re not there already) and a few to add to a wishlist for releases beyond Drupal7 – don’t feel as though you need to censor yourself to only what you think is reasonable to expect for Drupal7 – let us know what you’d like and we’ll see what we can do to help make it happen!

Drupalcon DC UX Suggestion box contents:

Information Architecture (Task Based)

▪    Role/Task/Workflow
⁃    Have ‘packages’ that automatically install common functionality. Talk to Dimitri about install profiles
⁃    CRUD (Create, Read, Update and Delete) admin for specific admin types, terms etc.
⁃    Distinguish between site builders, site managers and site end users
⁃    Better default roles & config
⁃    Workflow improvements to core
▪    ‘Feature based’ administration/ Add ‘features’ then configure content types, views, categories etc. for each one. Everything becomes a feature, some that you can’t disable eg blog, forum, wiki, required ones for example are ‘users’
▪    Bring all options for content types into the same area but also leave the feature config under it’s own admin screen (find either way)
▪    I always use Path to define an alias of “login” for (site)/user. Login as the URL makes sense to people and they can remember it
▪    Get rid of Site Building and Site Config. No one really understands the distinction – you just gt used to where to find what you need but contrib modules are randomly placed. Think about tasks instead

Functionality

▪    It’d be nice to be easier to install language pack from core to modules (esp. Thai!)
▪    Node create and edit menu settings. The ability to set the weight of a menu item via the (existing) drag and drop interface but inline with the menu settings and node edit form before saving node
▪    Install modules, themes and updates through the UI
▪    In Drupal7 revisions should be allowed to be published in the future
▪    XML querying gate w module info
▪    Disable menu fieldset on content types that don’t need it. Also restrict menu locations
▪    Allow user registration using Open ID
▪    Widgets for user fields
▪    Add data types to CCK fields. This way integers and other data types won’t be sirted as strings
▪    Configurable node admin
▪    Smarty type var handling for themes
▪    After running update.php we land on a sreen with links to front or admin – why not just go to  Front and probably save a click?
▪    WYSIWYG Theme Builder/Editor

Interface

▪    Fluid project accessible reorder widget instead of arbitrary drag & drop for menus
▪    Content entry screen improvements
▪    Sorting/Filtering
⁃    Improve the admin/content/node page? I often build a view to replace this page. Clients of mine need: Sort by title/type/etc. (by column), Show last updated date (how about a flexible way to choose columns to display) and created date, search/filter by keyword in the title
⁃    Streamline administering roles & permissions (eg. as an option, allow application of permissions on module config pages)
⁃    Allow configuration of all content type settings on single page as well as existing ‘per content types’ approach. eg comment setting, uploads, etc
⁃    Comment views or CCK for better sorting and control
▪    The date selection shouldn’t just be text
▪    WordPress-like dashboard
▪    Modal dialogs for confirmations
▪    Warn users if they are about to navigate away from an unsaved node or block
▪    Make the UI drag & drop
▪    Increase admin text sizes across the board
▪    Do not get rid of the front end/administration integration
▪    My users want an EDIT button on everything
▪    Smaller /admin page

Search (as in the core search module)

▪    cannot exclude content types – need to, if you have ‘database table’ types that are just used in views but never directly displaced. [I think there's a contrib module that does this]
▪    need ability to add pages and index them, composite pages like views and panels

Accessibility

▪    Our .gov contracts are v interested in accessibility, particularly in the admin section (since so few CMS platforms have admin accessibility)
▪     Accessibility by default – WCAA 2.0

Additions to Core

▪    Core SSL Support
▪    Bring in token and image API into Core. Should be automatically available not just in separate modules.
▪    Views query builder in core, UI as module (views is a single point of failure, too much risk if there’s another views version lag like w/dg)
▪    Image in core content types
▪    Media and WYSIWYG in Core! OMG!
▪    Bring CCK UI into core to bring further consistency
▪    Views in core!

Help

▪    An easy to navigate learning area. Clearly separated sections: learn Drupal, modules / implement learning
▪    Contextual help
▪    Video tutorials in the help area (see WordPress.tv)

Migration/Back Up/ Export

▪    An export module to make migrating a site to a new server/restored server easier
▪    Build in back up and restore utility for admins
▪    When upgrading an existing site, the site’s existing folder and settings should not be over-written
▪    Migration tools that allow easier moves and domain names eg. filesystem path

RDFa
Remove and replace all core themes except Garland

x-posted on Drupal Groups