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Drupalcon Denver UX Redux

Recapping some of the main UX related discussions and topics from Drupalcon Denver:

Keynotes

Dries expressed his desire to win the hearts and minds of people with Drupal 8.
Hangover spot or not, that’s exactly what Luke Wroblewski did during his Mobile first keynote with an engaging mix of poignant statistics and some plain funny jokes. Luke returning back to the stage to allow for some extra questions in person was a nice gesture too.

Design grunt work

Proposals for changing Drupal UI and UX are heavily scrutinized (as are all other changes) once they hit the issue queue for implementing them. To keep discussions on track and prevent “opinion wars”, it helps to bring some solid research.

I’m excited to see more people taking the time and effort to provide exhaustive overviews documenting specific parts of the Drupal user interface. For example:

Denver, Drupalcon, Design

Not long until Drupalcon Denver kicks off. At least three days jam-packed with talks covering the full Drupal spectrum. As ever, with over 100 sessions on the schedule, the trick is to choose which sessions you want to attend.

If you are into design, ux, theming and/or general front-end awesomeness, the “Design & UX” and “Mobile” tracks are the ones to check out and pick your sessions from.

Drupal UX team update, February 2012

Today we’ll have our 14th edition of UX open hours in IRC. It’s the best way to stay up to date on Drupal UX work and you’re all invited.

We started these bi-weekly meetings in July 2011 as a means for experienced contributors to check in on each others work. But more importantly, these chats are for anybody interested in contributing to a better Drupal UX to introduce themselves and find a good place to cut their teeth.

Coming up: the big usability lab test of Drupal 7

The University of Minnesota has graciously offered us another opportunity to gather data and insights from observing smart people using Drupal for the first time.

The two lab tests we did with Drupal 6 really brought home the fact that Drupal can be hard to wrap your head around. The community has responded with a drastically reworked Drupal 7 and next week will give us fresh insights on what we improved, what has become worse and which new problems are out there.

Create Drupal patches with Aptana, a tutorial

If you want to contribute actual changes to the Drupal software, you have to do it through patches. Patches are a kind of text file that describe the changes in a way that lets them easily be applied to the official code base. To create them, you have to jump through a couple of hoops, especially checking out Drupal head from CVS and creating the actual patch from the changes you made.

A user interface design pattern library for Drupal

“…Surgical teams that follow a basic checklist in the operating room, from discussing expected blood loss to confirming the patient's name, reduced the rate of deaths and complications by more than a third.” (source)

Drupal module development will hopefully not cost human lives one way or the other. But when building your module's UI the same principle is at work. It's all too easy to skip the basics, and go straight for the more complex parts of the problem. That’s the interesting part after all.