Building User-Centred Websites with Drupal


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presented at the Ontario Library Association Super Conference 2009, Toronto, ON

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Building User-Centred Websites with Drupal

  1. 1. Building user-centred websites with Drupal Amanda Etches-Johnson Greg Sennema Catherine Baird OLA Super Conference, January 29, 2009
  2. 2. Quick show of hands... how many of you have heard of Drupal? how many of you are planning to use Drupal? how many of you are already using Drupal?
  3. 3. Here’s what we’re going to do The what, how, why of Drupal The Laurier Experience The McMaster Experience Wrap-up: lessons learned, what not to do, etc.
  4. 4. The what, how, why of Drupal
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  11. 11. Drupal: out of the box blogs + comments regular web pages polls forum user profiles taxonomies ...and a few other things
  12. 12. So, what does “modular” mean? turn on the features you want ignore the ones you don’t want add new “modules” as you build
  13. 13. But, what does it really mean? out of the box = a reasonably functional site modules enabled = a super-duper, highly customized, wicked functional site!
  14. 14. Modular is good! remember that HUGE development community? over 5,800 modules in the directory if you can dream it, there is a module that can do it
  15. 15. Working with Drupal HTML CSS PHP Server admin
  16. 16. The Laurier Experience
  17. 17. easier web site maintenance web-based maintenance incorporate different functionality easily re-purpose content just completed site redesign sick of Dreamweaver!
  18. 18. The timeline June – Aug. 2007: evaluated Drupal Sept. 2007 – Feb. 2008: surprise me! V5 or v6? Mar. – Apr. 2008: tried to break Drupal May - July 2008: moved content August 2008: final testing, went live
  19. 19. Altering our workflows Reformulated web advisory committee Gave access to more staff Held series of training sessions Created help pages
  20. 20. The players web advisory committee systems programmer (90%) me (40%)
  21. 21. The cool stuff...
  22. 22. Library Tamarak Juniper Hemlock
  23. 23. Our plans... Gallery Events/Calendar Taxonomy CCK/Views/Panels, i.e…. …the cool stuff Amanda will show you from the McMaster site…
  24. 24. The McMaster Experience
  25. 25. Why Drupal? make site admin easier past experience with Drupal
  26. 26. The players advisory committee sysadmin co-op student me
  27. 27. Decision time! which version of Drupal? decided on 5 module development
  28. 28. Decision time! to CCK or not to CCK? CCK is not essential but it’s a really good idea think about site updating & permissions 20+ content types
  29. 29. The cool stuff...
  30. 30. The McMaster [Intranet] Experience
  31. 31. Staff intranet redesign Redesigned public website Busy organization Many projects/initiatives Increased use of blogs/wikis, particularly for projects Improve internal communication Clarity and consistency
  32. 32. Where I’m coming from 1992 1996 1998 2006 2008 2009
  33. 33. Where we started
  34. 34. Requirements Solutions to all of the problems (navigation, search, consistency, etc.) Self-serve Customizable permissions Dynamic Interactive
  35. 35. Process Inventory of content Examined usage statistics Staff survey Wireframes
  36. 36. Wrapping my head around Drupal
  37. 37. Content types for staff intranet Department Committee Project Service Page (default) Policy & Procedure Training & Development page
  38. 38. Sample committee page
  39. 39. Categories/taxonomies
  40. 40. The redesign
  41. 41. The redesign
  42. 42. Time & resources 1 librarian 1 co-op student Support from User Experience Librarian Started Fall 2008 Plan to launch Spring 2009
  43. 43. Wrap up: Must-Have Modules, Lessons Learned, What NOT to do
  44. 44. Must-have modules CCK Views Webform PathAuto IMCE Faceted Search Google Analytics FCKEditor/TinyMCE Backup and Migrate Nice Menus Akismet/CAPTCHA
  45. 45. Lessons learned it can be done! envision the site first think about who will maintain what think of content types in terms of consistency of information and permissions having a blogging background helps use PathAuto for human-readable URLs when templating, start with a core theme (e.g. Zen) multiple backups and test servers carefully consider version
  46. 46. What NOT to do mess with core code use alpha release versions of modules install modules 1st time on live server get deterred: lots of help online and in library community
  47. 47. Questions?
  48. 48. Thanks! These slides are online at: