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Drupal kung-fu ballet

At Web 2.0 I ran into Christine Herron. Christine is a ballet dancer and venture capitalist. We got to talking about ballet and an upcoming show at her favorite ballet company, Lines Ballet. She recommended that I attend what she termed "Ballet for Geeks," a combination of ballet and shaolin monks martial arts. The Shaolin ballet is sponsored project by the government of China.

The Drupal community has embraced a number of martial art themes to describe its activities. Job advertisements call for Drupal ninja's and the most popular method for learning Drupal is to attend classes in the Drupal Dojo. A dojo "is considered the formal gathering place for students of a martial arts style to conduct training, examinations and other related encounters."[1]

Over the last five months, the community has been accelerating core development through the use of Drupal code sprints, mostly focused on great development improvements like data architecture, testing, and search. Acquia's been active in all of these sprints working closely to organize the data architecture, and testing, and search sprints. We've been active in the University of Minnesota usability sprint and helping to organize the Drupalcon code sprint.

This got me thinking that for the next Drupal sprint we should bring together Drupal's kung-fu masters with a group of elegant artists. But who would they be, and what would be the vision for this next sprint?

It occurred to me that we should considering having an administration design sprint. We've recently had good feedback on usability from Chris and the usability sprint. We are making good improvements to Drupal 7 now, but we've not yet planned for a design sprint to improve Drupal administration. Drupal sprints usually come together over years, and directly take months of planning and coordination. We are getting better at organizing these sprints, executing them, and funding them.

If we were to do some Kung-fu ballet for Drupal, what would be your vision, and who would the performers be?

If you are interested in discussing this further, please join us on the design outreach call Monday, April 28th, 2008 at 2PM Pacific Time.


Posted on by tjholowaychuk (not verified).

Personally I think Drupal needs to reach out of the Drupal community for these designers / information architects. Granted yes there are some good designers in the Drupal community, but I have not seen many, and this is something that should certainly not be taken lightly. insights from industry professionals would certainly be worth it IMO.

Posted on by Senpai (not verified).

Well said! It's been a long time in coming, and maybe you guys can be the impetus that fuels a change to how the site owners administer their Drupals.

What I'd like to see is a couple of talented designers give us a mockup of what they feel Drupal's administration interface should be. In the same way we as a company design and build sites for the users by cutting mocked-up photoshop files into a Drupal theme, the community should decide what the mock-up should be without relying on how Drupal currently works.

It's always better to try and fit new code ideas into a great design than it is to try and code something without knowing what the end goal (or output) will look like and feel like.
Joel Farris
Achieve Internet