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Plan your Chunks!
2014 April 5
DrupalCamp Pune
@adellefrank
Win the Future with
Information Architecture NOW
2
Good Morning … Afternoon, Pune!
3
A bit about me & about Drupal
4
Who are Y’ALL?
5
What we’ll discuss
• Our Plan
– Slides will be posted on my blog.
– For Beginners (also good for Intermediate)
• No Codi...
6
What is Information Architecture (IA)?
DEFINITION:
Designing and building
STRUCTURES
that make it easier to
FIND, USE, &...
7
Why do we need (IA)?
"It‟s a war of blobs versus chunks: sloppy blobs of where
there‟s no distinction between content an...
8
Best practices for IA in Drupal
• Fields
• Naming & Language
• Paths
• Entities
– Taxonomy
– Content Types
– Users
– Med...
9
Fields
• DEFINITION: place on a form where people add data.
• PARTS:
– Label: tells person what kind of data to add.
– M...
10
Fields (continued)
BEST PRACTICES:
• Do not share fields, because of conflicts in Field Permissions.
• Machine name: Ke...
11
Naming & Language
BEST PRACTICES:
• Build Multilingual in from the beginning (Title, Entity Translation,
etc.). This is...
12
Paths
• DEFINITION: The text at the end of your web address that shows
for each individual page (gostem.gatech.edu/en/p...
13
Entities
• DEFINITION: A container for a “bundle” of fields.
• Common types of entities include:
– Taxonomy
– Content T...
14
Taxonomy
• DEFINITION: Tags in Lists.
• Most helpful if SHARED (but must be thought out to
work well)
• Can be used as ...
15
Content Types
• DEFINITION: a flexible type of entity that site builders
can make when Core entities do not meet their ...
16
Users
• Think CAREFULLY about Roles people will play on the
site
• Give MEANINGFUL labels
• Carefully set & test permis...
17
Media & Images
• Good default Configurations matter (Image
Styles, Transliteration, Filefield Paths)
• How you organize...
18
Blocks
• DEFINITION: a container (often box-like) that displays
data in some area/region of your theme/design.
• Blocks...
19
Views & Rules
• DEFINITION (Views): List of entities, may be shown in different
ways.
• DEFINITION (Rules): workflows t...
20
Features
• DEFINITION: Exports entities and configurations as
code that can be imported into another Drupal site.
• Con...
21
Questions & Answers with Y’all
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Plan your Chunks! Win the Future with Information Architecture NOW

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Master the tools in your Drupal site-building arsenal! Learn basic concepts AND expert tips for organizing Drupal.

You will:
Uncover secret strategies for making findable, usable content.
Future-proof your information design.
See sloppy blobs battle discrete chunks…and lose.

Some of the topics I cover include:
entities versus content types
why NOT to share fields
always be multilingual
when and why to use taxonomy
connecting with entity reference
the importance of planning your names
...and more!

Published in: Technology
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Plan your Chunks! Win the Future with Information Architecture NOW

  1. 1. Plan your Chunks! 2014 April 5 DrupalCamp Pune @adellefrank Win the Future with Information Architecture NOW
  2. 2. 2 Good Morning … Afternoon, Pune!
  3. 3. 3 A bit about me & about Drupal
  4. 4. 4 Who are Y’ALL?
  5. 5. 5 What we’ll discuss • Our Plan – Slides will be posted on my blog. – For Beginners (also good for Intermediate) • No Coding! • Short definitions of strange Drupal words • What is Information Architecture (IA) & why do we need it? • Best Practices for: Fields; Naming & Language; Paths; Entities (Taxonomy; Content Types; Users; Media; Blocks); Views & Rules; Features • Q & A
  6. 6. 6 What is Information Architecture (IA)? DEFINITION: Designing and building STRUCTURES that make it easier to FIND, USE, & MANAGE shared information on any DEVICE. Photo Credits: hello world by Windell Oskay (https://www.flickr.com/photos/oskay/472097903); Samsung Galaxy Gear by Hi- tech@Mail.Ru (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Samsung_Galaxy_Gear_Comparison.j pg); Flat Screen LCD television by Vector Fresh (http://vector4free.com/vector/flat-screen-lcd-television)
  7. 7. 7 Why do we need (IA)? "It‟s a war of blobs versus chunks: sloppy blobs of where there‟s no distinction between content and form versus clean, flexible, presentation-independent chunks.” Karen McGrane (DrupalCon Portland 2013) Photo Credits:Mystery blob of jelly in the woods by Lairich Rig (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mystery_blob_of_jelly_in_the_woods_- _geograph.org.uk_-_1000481.jpg); Paneer from http://www.loveandlentil.com/2011/06/orange-paneer.html
  8. 8. 8 Best practices for IA in Drupal • Fields • Naming & Language • Paths • Entities – Taxonomy – Content Types – Users – Media/Images – Blocks • Views & Rules • Features
  9. 9. 9 Fields • DEFINITION: place on a form where people add data. • PARTS: – Label: tells person what kind of data to add. – Machine name: computer-friendly name used in database. – Data type: kind of data stored in this field (numbers, text, etc.). For type details, see: https://drupal.org/node/774742 and http://drupalwatchdog.com/1/1/introduction-field-ui – Widget: interface people use to add data (checkbox, list, etc.) – Configuration: varies by type of data and widget. – Display: what people see (view mode in D7 vs. form mode in D8), more information at: http://www.acquia.com/blog/tutorial-drupal-8- sitebuilding-modeling-data-fields
  10. 10. 10 Fields (continued) BEST PRACTICES: • Do not share fields, because of conflicts in Field Permissions. • Machine name: Keep it short; Only use underscores “_” instead of spaces between the letters; and follow a pre-set pattern for naming, such as: mct_data_herein (mct = my content type). This will make managing your database easier and require less developer documentation. • Label: Keep it short and use simple language; If you need longer instructions, use the Markup field; If you have a lot of fields, use Field Groups to organize your fields so that the user is not overwhelmed. • Configuration: think ahead when setting this, as it can be VERY difficult to change after data has already been collected (especially „unlimited„ and removing options from a list).
  11. 11. 11 Naming & Language BEST PRACTICES: • Build Multilingual in from the beginning (Title, Entity Translation, etc.). This is even easier in D8 and helps future-proof, because adding it later is VERY difficult (it impacts many parts of your site.) • Make ALL your names meaningful and easy to understand! • When choosing short Machine names, decide on a pattern and name all your stuff the same way. These mostly helps the developers of the site (but can sometimes impact users, too). • When choosing Labels (people-facing descriptions), keep them short and use simple, clear words to describe them. These are to help the people using the site, not the developers.
  12. 12. 12 Paths • DEFINITION: The text at the end of your web address that shows for each individual page (gostem.gatech.edu/en/planned-path). • Multi-lingual often depends on this to determine WHICH language to show. • Menu, the underlying part of Drupal which manages paths, is crucial to your site working correctly. • Using PathAuto, and create patterns that: – Are guaranteed to be unique (and so don‟t overlap/conflict), – Increase your SEO (search engine optimization) – Are easy for people to type into their browser – You can use for other purposes (such as showing specific related content, making filters in lists/views, and automatically creating breadcrumb navigation).
  13. 13. 13 Entities • DEFINITION: A container for a “bundle” of fields. • Common types of entities include: – Taxonomy – Content Types – Users – Media
  14. 14. 14 Taxonomy • DEFINITION: Tags in Lists. • Most helpful if SHARED (but must be thought out to work well) • Can be used as “List” data type in a Field.
  15. 15. 15 Content Types • DEFINITION: a flexible type of entity that site builders can make when Core entities do not meet their needs. • How many & when to make fields? – Device variety – Purposeful – Do NOT want to change later (data loss concerns) – Not TOO many (100 or more) for good performance • Special field types – Date – Entity Reference
  16. 16. 16 Users • Think CAREFULLY about Roles people will play on the site • Give MEANINGFUL labels • Carefully set & test permissions. • Be conscious that Users have accounts on the system (and are different from managed Contacts)
  17. 17. 17 Media & Images • Good default Configurations matter (Image Styles, Transliteration, Filefield Paths) • How you organize your files on the server matters • Media vs. IMCE
  18. 18. 18 Blocks • DEFINITION: a container (often box-like) that displays data in some area/region of your theme/design. • Blocks are full entities that can add Fields in D8, but need Beans to make them entities in D7. • Default interface for managing them in D7 is not user friendly (some people plan layouts with Display Suite to make this less painful).
  19. 19. 19 Views & Rules • DEFINITION (Views): List of entities, may be shown in different ways. • DEFINITION (Rules): workflows that occur when other events happen in the system. • Use Tags to organize & A scan-able naming scheme • Rules • Re-use components when possible (example = Emails) • Views – Can be displayed as a block. – Displays in SAME vs. SEPARATE views? – Entity Reference and Views – Views Data Export & Views Bulk Operations (D7)
  20. 20. 20 Features • DEFINITION: Exports entities and configurations as code that can be imported into another Drupal site. • Configuration management is in Core in D8, but Features is a crucial way of managing this in D7. • If you use Features, there are already best practices for structuring them to avoid conflicts: https://drupal.org/project/kit
  21. 21. 21 Questions & Answers with Y’all

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