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]

13 Responses to “Understanding our Audience (Part 1) – Drupal7 UX Project”

  1. sturm March 13, 2009 at 5:19 pm #

    What about organization/business web sites? I build websites for nonprofits, so this might just be my bias, but that is one area in which Drupal excels–low cost, low barrier to entry websites for organizations without large staff and budgets.

  2. tdskate March 13, 2009 at 5:28 pm #

    My brain hurts after watching that vid. It’s sounding very interesting though! :(

  3. Livia Labate March 13, 2009 at 5:31 pm #

    Very interesting! Q: What did you decide to leave out? HOW did you decided which attributes were not important to shape the audience segments?

  4. James Broad March 13, 2009 at 5:33 pm #

    Great work guys, really like the final outcome, seems so simple and logical.

  5. Livia Labate March 13, 2009 at 5:37 pm #

    By the way, as someone evaluating Drupal for possible use in an organization with various teams with different needs, I love the segments you identified. It actually helps me even think of the problem in a more simplified way.

  6. nadavoid March 13, 2009 at 5:39 pm #

    I really like that 3-facet selector. I’m not sure if this ends up being relevant, but one factor to include might be the amount of content. A news site that posts 2 articles a day has different needs than one one that posts 150 articles per day. Maybe this is addressed well enough by number of users, and maybe it will be addressed well enough by how items are managed by default. But in any case, it might be worthwhile to consider the volume of content being managed in these scenarios.

    Thank you so much for thinking through these things so thoroughly. I am thrilled to see this work being done so thoughtfully.

  7. Lee March 13, 2009 at 5:48 pm #

    Congratulations for making the distinction between site builder and site administrator. In the Drupal world they often get lumped together but they are really two completely different functions.

    However, I’m still a little unclear on what you consider a “site builder”. Does that include themer and developer? In my mind, these three – builder, themer and developer – are distinct and separate roles.

  8. sun March 13, 2009 at 6:28 pm #

    @Lee:
    “Site builder”: Some killer modules (CCK + Views + Panels + Flag + Actions) emerged a new world and audience in a CMS. We replaced the webmaster already; those modules replace the person who implemented easy business-logic and customization, the “site builder”.

    I’m glad you identified more audiences than “user + administrator”. This is why I am strongly opposed to http://drupal.org/node/273137, and instead, proposed a total menu revamp here: http://groups.drupal.org/node/19171

  9. Gidget March 13, 2009 at 6:52 pm #

    I really think a “typical” website needs to be included on that list, much like the first commentor mentioned. The world has become very blogcentric in it’s thinking, but the sites we build day in and day out have news, events, blogs, staff directories, featured content, promotions, etc, and that is actually the biggest challenge with Drupal. You can do all those things and do them well, but chasing down the bits, configuring, is um, a suboptimal experience.

  10. pips1 March 14, 2009 at 10:48 am #

    I like your “dress me up doll” approach. :-D

    I couldn’t help to notice the similarity to the ‘user stories’ approach we use in agile development:

    “As [role] I can [functionality] so that [reason]“

  11. vanderwal March 16, 2009 at 3:57 pm #

    I really like what you have ended up with! I have been using a matrix with depth of use and face of perception (user mindset), but have battled how to work through & represent the various elements important with the pairings in each of the cells in the matrix.

    Brilliant! Thanks for sharing.

  12. Michael Prasuhn March 25, 2009 at 12:16 am #

    I think it’s kinda funny that the first item up is End User, Blog, 1 user. Most folks will admit that is the one area where WordPress is leading the way, and not the direction we need to take Drupal (to compete with WordPress).

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