This is where the site ended up. I can focus on blogging on that site again, now that I straightened that out.
Frankly, I'm tired of working on blog themes and it was refreshing to just strip all the visual artifice out of the skin so that the content came to the fore.
I'm going to be going through a career change in a week, so I expect to be blogging about blogging and interface design with a bit more vigor in the future. I also expect to strip out the design of this site once again so I can concentrate on the content.
Pursuant to that, I also expect that a little case study for how I built the themes for konigi and this site should be warranted. It's been an interesting 2 months living with that original fussy konigi design and ending up where it is now.
Am toying with the idea of stripping all graphic elements from konigi.com to speed up load times, simplify navigation, and make screenshots the focus of the page. If you're a registered user to the site, you may login and use the konigi-1-1 theme to test drive it.
Apparently Chris Pirillo wants to do something with Drupal that will make using Drupal as a producer/publisher easier. He describes (with his usual zeal) why Drupal makes sense for people wanting to build communities. They're talking about making an installer profile and some modules. Adam Kalsey is in on it and his first module, activitystream is up. I installed it on Konigi, but ran into some installation errors. Will have to try again later.
I think this will all be good for Drupal, since it comes down to contributing to the community in order to make the experience friendlier for community-minded publishers. I'm definitely going to be paying attention. More about this project can be found at assembla.com/wiki/show/drupalcpp.
The presentation deck from the talk I gave at DrupalCon Boston on March 3, 2008 is now available to view and download. This was a talk that introduces the UCD lifecycle and proposes to developers methods for doing UX activities. We compare the more rigorous activities and artifacts of the process with the simpler things you can do right now that are painless and produce the majority of the improvements you are likely to get doing UX the hard way.
This is the presentation I gave at DrupalCon Boston on March 3, 2008. This was a talk that introduces the UCD lifecycle and proposes to developers methods for doing UX activities. We compare the more rigorous activities and artifacts of the process with the simpler things you can do right now that are painless and produce the majority of the improvements you are likely to get doing UX the hard way.
The videos on slides 24 and 25 could not be embedded in the slide player, so I've embedded them separately below. Thanks to all who attended and came up with their comments and questions.
Wireframing with OmniGraffle
Prototyping with OmniGraffle
This is the talk I'm hoping to give at DrupalCon in the UX and Design track. Looks like there are lots of very exciting talks already planned for theming and visual design, so I'm excited to focus my discussion around the topic of User Experience. It's great for me, actually, since it's the stuff I do best and I believe there is a lot that might be gleaned from a discussion between both designers and developers alike on both the site building and Drupal development sides of the spectrum.
Looks like it'll be a great conference. I look forward to meeting my tribe--the many people I've been acquainted with for years, but have never met, who've put their sweat into this tool which I love as equally as I do OmniGraffle and Photoshop. See you in Bean Town.
We all want our customers to be satisfied with our products and for them to sustain their use of them. But have you ever wondered if the design of your product is on the right path towards getting that satisified user? The process of crafting successful user experiences that help achieve these goals isn't rocket science, and need not be painful or difficult. What it does require, however, is: 1) empathy for users, 2) the ability focus design discussions around specific problems and the details that matter in those contexts, 3) the willingness to be open to solutions that are unconventional and which may come from anywhere, and 4) the willingness to edit and remove when necessary.
What we can do to ensure we're on the path to usability and satisfaction is to really take a look at how we might support our design efforts by devoting a wee bit of thought on user centered design process and practices. It's simple stuff and anyone can do it.
Design and User Experience
This talk will focus on the following:
1) Respect them or they're out the door: How to bring the user into the design process
2) Make 'em beg for more: How to research, craft, and communicate (sell) ideas that are appropriate to the problem
3) Prove your love: How and when to test and iterate designs
4) Staying for breakfast: How to keep user satisfaction in mind after the product's out the door
You'll forgive the cheekiness, Valentine's Day is around the corner. :)
You should come away with a sense of how user centered design principles can fit into your product development life cycle, and a plan for developing a strategy for keeping it there.
I'm considering posting a proposal to give a talk at DrupalCon Boston. The UX track looks interesting to me. I've been using Drupal and have been an evangelist of blogs for business for some time now, having done over a dozen projects using Drupal, WordPress, and Movable Type over the years. Each project was not readily recognizable as a site typical of each platform.
What I was thinking might be interesting to do is to talk through my process for creating these sites, using a specific site I'm working on as a case study, and focusing on user experience and design.
The outline below is what I was thinking of presenting. What do you think? Sound like a good session? I'm still kicking the idea around.
Drupal 4 Designers: Giving clients exactly what they want
Visual designers, now is the time to give up your fear of Drupal and use this powerful platform to express your designs exactly the way you want. This talk will begin to show you how. If you've never used Drupal before, you'll be convinced afterward that this is the platform for you.
The evolution of the platform has improved the implementation experience for designers and front-end site developers with each release. After doing your technology assessment, if Drupal is what comes out on top, and very often it will, you can feel assured that you've got a powerful engine under the hood. Now it's your job to connect that power to a usable experience. I'll show you that a high level of understanding of what Drupal will do for you and a methodology for researching how to implement specific user interface needs (i.e. finding recipes) will get you very far.
What we'll cover
- Plan the user experience
- Information architecture and UI requirements
- Sketching and schematics (wireframes)
- Making it simple and usable
- Scoping out features and matching up with Drupal modules
- Design with CMS agnosticism
- Introduction to Blueprint CSS framework
- Comping with the Blueprint Grid
- Slicing and splicing graphics
- Theme with abandon
- Embracing PHP Template
- Leveraging CCK, Views, and Taxonomy
- Using recipes
- Busting up blocks and putting things where you want
- JQuery for that sophisticated feel when you need it
- CSS tips to keep it tight
Someone asked me the following question:
I'm considering using a wiki as a documentation tool for a collaboratively written project. The main functionally I need is a table-of-contents navigation, probably similar to how a document tree or outline format nests links under a multiple categories.
In response, I wrote up the following review of some of the Wiki and CMS options I've used and am familiar with. This isn't an exhaustive survey of the solutions out there, but my report of solutions I have experience using feel confident recommending. Other suggestions are welcome.
TOC of Single Page
When I left Bell Labs, we were using Twiki and were using the built in TOC variable for pages. Like Word Processing table of contents, this works by editing your page naturally using headings, and then inserting a %TOC% variable at the top of the page. The variable automatically generates a table of contents based on the headings you've used in the page. MediaWiki features a similar TOC variable.
TOC of Multiple Chapters and Pages
If you're looking to create a document that consists of a series of chapters and pages, like a traditional book, then you might be more interested in Drupal's Collaborative Book module. This module allows you to create books with chapters, and assign pages to chapters in the book. You work organically by creating pages and assigning the pages in a hierarchical book outline. The Drupal documentation itself is built as a series of books.
The administrative display for organizing a book is really quite good.
I was working with a client that wanted to basically take a printed publication and later move their editing process to a web-based application that allowed them to provde a companion ebook. The idea of a living document suited itself to using Drupal's book module. With the module, they can create a site organized in chapters as the printed book is, and also export or print the book as a single page PDF.