Notes on the D7UX Sunday Structure Summit


Preamble: The site builder tool is not meant to replace all the available expert interfaces in Drupal core but aims to provide a user friendly get-me-started-quick tool on top of these.

All Drupal usability tests have shown that people fall flat on their face the first time they start to use Drupal. This tool wants to specifically improve this first 30 minutes scenario by letting people accomplish something real within that timeframe. Maybe not a full site but at least some "linked and dressed up pages".

  • An important concern is that so far the site builder tool hasn't shown how it will connect it's beginners' toolset with the expert interfaces.
  • But it might even not that bad if people have to unlearn stuff when they are confronted with the expert admin interfaces. Getting stuff done in the first 30 minutes gets you invested enough to re-learn some Drupalistic concepts when diving deeper.
  • Current proposal seems to mix up 'globals' and 'per item' settings, content-types and actual content, page template and actual page etc.
  • On the spot solutioneering before the actual question is even clear is in the engineer’s DNA, they really can't help it.
  • Whereas designers… Uhm, what was the question again?
  • Audience consisted of mainly experienced Drupal insiders with a few brave souls from outside the Drupalverse.
  • Ivanka did a great job at keeping the discussion on track and on schedule. Much needed, too. Thank you.
  • Another concern is that the initial choice between site types (blog, social network, event site, brochureware) is both too abstract for total newbies ("what is a social networking site?") and too narrow for people who do have an idea of what they want to make (“If I choose brochureware, does that mean I can't have a forum in there?”). For me that was the main take away.
  • Instead of site types, people got quite enthousiastic around offering features like a shopping list with ingredients like image gallery, wiki page, blogpost,
  • D7 core committer Angela cooked up a nice diagram during the chat. We think the features layer in the middle would be a better fit for kickstarting your Drupal first time experience. Maybe the top layer smells too much like weaksauce microwave meals.
  • Goal of the chat was to decide on wether to continue with the site builder concept or not. The outcome was a firm “Yes, but only if…”. (you break it down one level / show how it connects to the underlying existing tools / ?). This chat deserved better. Not sure what could have been done about it though.
  • The cooking metaphor works quite well though, use it more often