Drupal UX is hot!

hot-drupal-uxThere is a lot going on to improve the UX for the next Drupal version. I didn't get a chance to play around with Drupal 7 until yesterday. We had to enable PDO support (the new database object layer) but now it works like charm. One of the reasons we wanted to take it out for a spin was this request to test out the patch for vertical tabs which adds (and I quote) 'sexy awesomeness to Drupal'. Yeah baby!

D7ux.org
Drupal 7 will be all about improving the usability and user experience (or UX). Everybody is invited to participate through the special project website www.d7ux.org. This is where Mark and Leisa will work with the community to make Drupal even better.

Buzzr
The team at Lullabot is also busy showing off how frameworks are the new Dreamweaver. Their project is codenamed 'Buzzr'. This  'software as a service' concept will be enable users with no technical knowlodge to easily create their own Drupal. Watch this video for a demonstration.

Their work has a lot of overlap with d7ux.org. One major issue is improving the Drupal admin interface. It also shows some other interesting ideas and findings. For example how most normal users are confused by the term 'blocks' but have a clear picture what a 'widget' is. Something similar are nodes and pages. For most users the difference isn't clear.

Interface improvements
It's also about using the right interface at the right place. The popups module offers ajaxy lightbox dialogs which can be very useful to prevent the user from feeling lost in the admin environment. Another improvement is grouping related tasks (something which already better in the d7-dev version).

Also interesting is the idea of 'features'.  (proof of concept module here) For example: usually if you want to enable ratings on your Drupal site, you've got the install several modules, set them up and configure a lot of settings. With features you can simply enable 'ratings' on your website with on switch. Developers like us won't care much for such settings because we 'think' in modules anyway. But well, you know... most people don't.

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