UX Team Q1 2012 update

Bojhan Somers and Roy Scholten are the Drupal UX Team leads.

We believe that Drupal 8 User Experience needs a lot of work to truly make all users of Drupal love what they are working with. We believe that by improving core, we improve the entire Drupal experience for everyone.

How are we doing this? By working with core initiatives, providing ideas, sketches, wireframes, detailed designs, and actively engaging in discussion. D7UX taught us a lot of hard lessons, we now know how to communicate our design rationale more clearly, maintain a UX vision throughout the maze of issues, and empower developers.

What are we working on? We are working on a few initiatives; mobile, blocks & layouts, multilingual and leading a lot of smaller efforts around improving our content authoring and site building experiences.

Drupal 8 design progress so far

Content creation

Our content creation experience is still far from being great, but we have been improving the content creation experience from all angles. We have received lots of feedback on our proposals, and iterated with the community on various parts of this experience.

We have now finalized most of our research activities and we want to start implementing a few of our major ideas. For this to happen, we need developers who want to improve this part of core.

There are two very actionable issues at #1510532: [META] Implement the new create content page design and #1510544: Allow to preview content in an actual live environment for you to help out on!

Blocks & Layouts

The blocks & layout initiative started by EclipseGC focuses on solving the messy experience of placing parts (blocks, views, panes) on the page. We believe this can be fundamentally better if we tackle it in core. This initiative will allow us to arrange and organize blocks into flexible layouts through a drag and drop interface. This initiative has many UX components, from finding the right blocks, to selecting the context, to creating mobile layouts.

We have done a lot of research the past few months to understand the space we are designing for. It’s incredibly complex, but will be a huge win if we can provide a great solution straight out of the box.

We will need help from everyone; developers, designers, user researchers, end users and business owners! Become part of the discussion in the Drupal 8 Blocks & Layouts everywhere initiative group.

UX team activities

ux_sprinting.jpg

UX team bi-weekly office hours

We started to hold bi-weekly UX “office hours” (next one will take place 16 April, 20:00 UTC, 4PM NYC, 4 AM Tuesday Singapore/Shanghai), where we will discuss recent activities of the team but also review contributed modules. This has resulted in modules such as Taxonomy Acces Control making major improvements.

UX team activity

The team has been busy in Q1 2012:

  • Becky Gessler, Garen Checkly and Jen Lampton conducted a usability study at the Google offices, resulting in a detailed findings report and Drupalcon Denver core conversation talk on how to solve it.
  • Lisa Rex, Dharmesh Mistry (dcmistry), Erik Stielstra (sutha), Alexander Ross (bleen18) have done a total of 22 interviews about how people use the module page.
  • Lewis Nyman has been working hard on designing Drupal’s mobile interface, resulting in interesting discussions around navigation, principles and actual implementation of ideas in the mobile issue queue.
  • Roy Scholten (yoroy) has presented on Core product: 3 is the magic number and organised several sprints around UX at Drupalcon. There was also a BoF.
  • Jared Ponchot has been contributing design proposals, to our effort to redesign the content creation page.
  • Kristjan Jansen (kika), Jeff Noyes (Noyz) and Kevin O’Leary (tkoleary), Michael Keara (UserAdvocate) have put out various ideas around media UX, creating UI standards for add/edit flows, optimizing the content listing and research for the Blocks & layout initiative.

We have also released our ideas around redesigning the module page, adding a project browser to core, adding search everywhere, draft revisions and much more in the usability issue queue!

We need your help!

We need volunteers:

  • Developers who can help us with the PHP, CSS or JS parts of these changes.
  • New and experienced UX designers to work on the new features that we want to introduce in Drupal 8.
  • A project manager who can help break down tasks, coordinate contributors, update blog posts and issues, and help the UX team & leads focus more on UX.

If you’re interested in becoming a contributor to the UX Team in one of the roles above, contact Bojhan Somers and/or Roy Scholten.

You can find us in in the usability group, contact us directly by e-mail (or drupal.org contact form), join us on IRC in #drupal-usability, or find us in person at Frontend United.

The cool stuff we’re working on

Still not sure? We we love a lot more help to pursue all these crazy ideas within the next 7 months:

Thanks!

- Bojhan and Roy

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