Six Drupal.org redesign proposals received, association votes on Monday
Last night I met with Tiffany Farriss and Drupal association board member Larry Garfield at the Palantir offices in Chicago. I was in town for HostingCon. We reviewed the six proposals we received from 6 design firms.
The proposals are extensive and the 26 Drupal association members are being provided with the raw proposals to be reviewed. On Monday, August 4th, the Drupal board will meet and Tiffany will present a summary and analysis of the proposals with a recommendation. Some of the design firms have worked on Drupal sites previously so we are able to take a look at their work. Some of the design firms have a strong passion for open source and Drupal.
The proposals involve the confidential design process used by each firm, and include hourly rates which are also confidential, so we are unable to share them publicly.
I can specify some ranges to give you an idea and scope of the work the designers are proposing to do. One of the reasons why we conducted an open bidding process is to get a range of costs, processes, techniques and deliverables. We provided the firms with a target budget and they all came within -20% and +33%. The firms frequently made optional offers as part of their proposals including branding, or content work.
Time estimates range from 2 months to 5 months of scheduled delivery. The proposals include total number of hours worked on the redesign project and either the exact members of the design team or the portfolio of designers at the firm.
In one case association members have personal experience working directly with a design firm on a major Drupal showcase project. Others are known for their high profile work in other open source projects.
The proposals include a research phase so the designers are going to get know Drupal.org users, including new visitors in redesigning drupal.org. The business objectives for the redesign were included in the request for proposal and there will be significant amount of effort upfront creating a design that meets users needs and the associations business objectives. What that means is that there are no screen shots or mock-ups yet, as it's too early in the design process.
The Drupal community has already begun working on the redesign including efforts in personas, user interviews, survey research including Dries 2007 and 2008 state of Drupal survey, and now web analytics on Drupal.org. We are also working on upgrading Drupal.org to Drupal 6 including a major reworking of the Drupal.org project module to make use of views.
The winning firm will present their plans for the redesign at Drupalcon Szeged. Part of this project will be helping the designers and Drupal community, particularly Drupal webmasters and infrastructure team come up with designs that the community not only can implement, but are really excited to implement on Drupal.org.
It's also worth noting that the association has set aside the money to pay for this design work. Our efforts in fund raising with the 652 Drupal association paid members, sponsorships from Drupalcons, prize money, donations, advertising revenue, book sales commissions, and a new affiliate program for hosting companies will bring the revenue to pay for hundreds of hours of design work from outstanding designers.
As we head into the implementation phase of this project look for me to asking "Buddy, can you spare a themer?".