Monday, May 2, 2011

Drupal Usability Testing

During the Drupal 7 release cycle we had two usability tests, one at the University of Minnesota and one at the University of Baltimore. These tests helped us understand the fundamental issues that Drupal site-builders face and set the direction for many of the major usability improvements in Drupal 7. These tests also triggered a cultural shift within the Drupal contributor community: we now consider user experience design a top priority in all major development efforts.

As the next step in this effort, we are running new usability tests to inform Drupal 8 development!
From May 17-19, the University of Minnesota has once again offered to host a formal usability test in their lab facilities, this time targeting Drupal 8 (as well as Drupal 7 contrib). These tests will give us the chance to see how far we’ve come in solving issues we identified previously. They will also give us a chance to evaluate the new interfaces and tools we added to Drupal 7 core, including the Overlay, Contextual Links, and Toolbar modules.

Attending community members will analyze the test data and produce actionable issues to work on by starting discussions and bringing the problems we find to the issue queues. All test results, including much of the data (e.g., videos), will be made publicly available on the web and in presentations at DrupalCamp Twin Cities and  DrupalCon London.

While the Drupal 7 user experience movement focused on improving things for content editors, we now want to specifically work on making it easier to build out a site structure in Drupal 8. We will test Drupal site-building tools like blocks, menus, content types and module pages. This is an area with serious problems which keeps many people from using Drupal.

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