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Two more Drupal user experience studies underway

The Drupal project has been doing user experience work for several years but the pace has really picked up in 2008. This year alone we've have already completed two studies, both for Drupal 6.

Over the last week Leisa Reichelt, from Mark Boulton design has continued her user experience studies with iteration four of the redesigned Drupal.org site. In testing iteration four here's what the team from Mark Boulton design found.

  • We need to remove the word ‘Join’. Users need to be steered towards joining the community in the context of when they need to, not before. It just sends the wrong message.
  • We need to think about revising the ‘What is Drupal’ bit at the top of the non-logged in homepage. Leisa suggests putting case studies in there – it’s what everyone wants to see; who’s using Drupal and for what.
  • We need bigger and better signposting in the central section of key pages to download/extend, and community.
  • The logged-in homepage only appealed to hardcore community people. Even those who are fairly active, with 5-6 months experience, don’t find it that useful.

The results of those improvements can be see in prototype iteration 5.

The second user experience study is related to Drupal 6. Becca Scollan, from the interaction design & information architecture program at the University of Baltimore is starting her second Drupal user research study. Becca is studying strategies and workflow of web developers when building and maintaining a web content management system. Earlier this week we recruited thirty participants on the front page of Drupal.org and these participants are being invited to participate in 60 minute interviews. She will release the report in January and it should help to advise the Drupal community's efforts in improving the administration interface. If you would like to take part in the study please fill out this form.

The tools and techniques being used for improving open source software are becoming more accessible. We are working hard to make user experience studies an ongoing part of our every thing we do in the Drupal project. If you are interested in conducting your own studies let us know in the Drupal usability group.

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