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Jumpstarting a UX Research Program at Acquia

This April, at the Lean UX NYC Conference, Ezra Gildesgame and I will co-present a half-day workshop, Communicating the Business Value and Getting Buy-in for UX Research. In our workshop, we will share techniques for selling your internal stakeholders on the importance of research for making business and product decisions. In 2013, one of the biggest priorities for the Acquia UX team was to revamp our customer research program to effectively involve our internal team members in our research projects. During the... Meer

Acquia Workshop at Lean UX NYC Conference

The most successful UX teams understand that their skills must extend beyond running solid research studies and producing great product designs. First, teams must establish buy-in and participation in research from the people who matter most--the other stakeholders involved in making the decisions that influence products. Next, week, I’ll partner with Christine Perfetti, Acquia’s Senior Director of User Experience to lead a workshop called, “Communicating the Business Value and Getting Buy-in for UX Research” as part of... Meer

Tutorial: Drupal 8 WYSIWYG, inline and responsive images

There are some excellent improvements to modeling data in Drupal 8, including a number of new fields. This is going to make it easier to model content in Drupal. Let’s look at the image handling in Drupal 8 and what changes are in store. In this post we'll look at: The image field in Drupal 8 Inline images — the tradeoff Drupal 8’s WYSIWYG editor Drupal 8 inline images Responsive images in Drupal 8 (picture) Responsive support in Drupal 8, some issues you can help on. Correction: An earlier version... Meer

Drupal - Views & SQL Analogy - An easier way to explain Views

With over 4 million downloads, Views is the most used contributed module in Drupal. Every Drupal developer knows that Views is an absolutely inevitable part of almost every Drupal project. Using Views, one can build anything from simple list of content, slideshows, jump menus to RSS feeds, JSON feeds through to contextual blocks of information and even PDF and Excel downloads of data. That's why, in the Drupal development universe, understanding & effectively using views separates novices from experts! This blog post is by Prasad Shirgaonkar who has recently joined our Learning Services... Meer

Bringing Life to Human Rights Abuses with a Multi-functional Drupal Site

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) Film Festival brings to life human rights abuses through storytelling in a way that challenges each individual to empathize and demand justice for all people. HRW needed a multi-functional site to support their International Film Festival held in various cities across the globe. The information architecture and visual design was developed by a design agency in order to present festival information in a distinctive, location-centric manner - making each city’s page look and feel like a unique festival unto itself.... Meer

A totally beginner tutorial to Views for Drupal 7

As part 1 of our 3 part mini-course on Views, I've written up the notes for today's session. Update: here is the recording To get the most out of this mini-course, you need to know the following: How to customize content types (add fields); and add content in Drupal 7 What modules are; how to install and configure modules in Drupal 7 Sign up for the next one... Meer

Drupal How-To: Responsive or adaptive images

In this 3 part Drupal How to series, I'm going to show you how various options for configuring images on your site. In Part 1, we looked at how to tweak the default image options. In Part 2, we saw ways to allow inline images. In this post, I’ll discuss the various options for responsive/adaptive images on your site. Though I’m writing for beginners to Drupal, I assume you’re aware of responsive design and of... Meer

Drupal How-To: Basics, tweak the defaults for adding images to your site

By Heather In this 3 part Drupal How to series, I'm going to show you how various options for configuring images on your site. Here, in Part 1, we'll see how to tweak the default image options. In Part 2, we'll see ways to allow WYSIWYG and inline images. In Part 3, we'll see the latest options for responsive images. What can Drupal do with images out of the box? I first sat down to write a tutorial (and some Drupal.org documentation) about the... Meer

Acquia UX and Design at BADCamp 2012

BADCamp is the Bay Area Drupal Camp, held in Berkeley, California Nov 1-6, 2012. This year, over 1600 people registered and there were 8 different summits over two days, loads of sessions in 5 tracks over two days, and then two days of sprints. It's pretty impressive that this is also the the world's largest free Drupal event! Acquia UX team successes The Acquia design team was was particularly well represented at BADCamp. Dharmesh Mistry and myself, Usability Specialists from Acquia (and members the Drupal UX team), were the co-organizers of the Drupal's very first... Meer

A tiny introduction

Hello, I’d like to introduce myself as the newest addition to the UX team at Acquia, where I've been fast at work getting my hands dirty with Drupal Gardens. Even as a beta tester, I was impressed with Acquia’s vision to make Drupal more accessible through Drupal Gardens. Like with any open source projects, if there are easy ways to start using a platform adoption can increase dramatically. Automattic figured that out with Wordpress.com, and it has been a huge success for their platform. I hope Drupal Gardens continues to help in the adoption of Drupal in much the same way. A little about me... Meer

Evolving product: Drupal Commons

The Drupal Commons 3.x interactive demo was posted recently, and we’d love your feedback. But in the meantime, I'll go into the reasons Drupal Commons software was redesigned, our approach and some of the tough challenges we faced. In a future post, I'll get into the details of the design process. Mission statement: Drupal Commons empowers communities with easy-to-use collaboration tools so that they can answer questions, share solutions and self-organize. The goal and challenge for the Drupal... Meer

Drupal t-skirt!

by Heather It's the Drupal t-skirt! You have a pile of Drupal t-shirts, you can knit some Drupal socks (by Emma Jane Hogbin), and now you can complete your outfit with a skirt. Today was a day off in the UK. (Yay bank holidays!) I decided to breath new life into some of favorite Drupal t-shirts, though I couldn't bear to cut up my Drupal Gardens t-shirts, or ones by MortenDK. I sew, but I hate following patterns. I didn't seem to... Meer

UX Research at DrupalCon Denver

Attending DrupalCon? Help us improve Drupal core, Acquia.com, Acquia Cloud and Acquia Network by participating in a quick one-on-one research session. Dharmesh Mistry and I would like to meet with you individually for approximately 10 minutes. During this time, we’ll either do a short exercise online or just have a chat to hear about your experiences. Taking part in a session also a great way to decompress after lots of learning! Say hi if you see us in the hallway, or let us know when you’re free, and we’ll schedule a time. If you’re a... Meer

Choosing the right medium to present findings

Earlier this year, I was invited to be on a panel for Usability Professional Associations’ (New Hampshire). The discussion was focused on how user experience researchers report/present their findings. Do they use conventional methods such as PowerPoint or Word? Or do they use unconventional methods such as spreadsheets, video, storyboards, and/or sticky notes? It was insightful to learn how other researchers carefully consider the audience and the message to make their research findings effective. However, the discussion left one important question unanswered “How do researchers choose one... Meer

Drupal is content first, and that's good

As a Drupal trainer, I am very interested in the results of usability testing because it often chimes with the same observations we make of new users as they learn Drupal. One finding in particular strikes a chord for those who are new to theming: "While Drupal takes a "content-first" approach to site building, many people take a structure- and/or appearance-first approach." - Drupal usability testing results It's true, Drupal takes a content-first approach, and while this may be disorienting for a new users, I think in some ways- that's a good... Meer

Going mobile with a web app

Acquia is going mobile in 2012. Therefore we’re using a “mobile first” mantra when approaching our designs. What is “mobile first design”? It is a philosophy of design that centers on the theory that trying to squeeze a desktop experience into a smaller screen size is counterproductive to providing a good mobile experience. Instead, you design an optimal mobile experience before you consider the desktop. In this scenario, the desktop experience that is built on top of a mobile first design can be enhanced to use additional screen space and features as they become available. Rather than... Meer

The journey to build a better Drupal toolbar

Drupal is known for its power and flexibility, but it is also known for its steep learning curve. Over the last few years, Drupal has taken this concern seriously. For Drupal 7, significant attention was paid to the user experience. The Drupal 8 user experience team aims to continue this effort. To make these efforts effective, more work is needed in multiple areas. One such area is the toolbar. Trying to gauge the effectiveness of a toolbar is tricky. Over the last year, I have conducted several usability task-based studies for Drupal Gardens. The issue of not knowing where to go on the... Meer

Does my site look drupally in this?

No naming and shaming here, but you know you've seen it. You're browsing around and see something very "drupally" about a site. Suspiciously, you view source or look at builtwith.com just to double check. What was it that you noticed? Was it some odd styling? Can we blame this "drupaliness" on Drupal? Making a theme in Drupal 7 is surprisingly easy. If you can go with the flow, much of what you want to do can be overridden with CSS. As Laura Scott wrote recently about the... Meer

Going to BADCamp? Participate in our usability studies!

As a new member of the Acquia Design team, it’s an honor to be working with smart and dedicated UX designers. I’ve been focusing on usability studies, and I’m a little bit like a kid in a usability candy shop, with all the usability evaluation tools available to us. Usability studies are essential to the Acquia engineering process; our goal is to build the most useful, efficient and usable features for our customers, so we need to speak with real people who use Drupal. We conduct most of our... Meer

Drupal Gardens hosts over 50,000 sites, adds styling history, and fonts.com support!

We are thrilled to announce that the 50,000th Drupal Gardens site has been created.  Thanks to all of you who made this milestone possible!  To celebrate this milestone we have updated Drupal Gardens with two major improvements to its powerful ThemeBuilder. First, you can now review and change any of your theme customizations to get even more control over your theme's design.  With this feature you can quickly see all of the stylings and corresponding CSS the ThemeBuilder generates, and hide, show, delete or restyle it as needed. Second, we have... Meer

Drupal Gardens improves new site builder experience

Recently the Drupal Gardens team has been working on both some exciting new major features (coming soon!) as well as simplifying the overall new user experience for those not familiar with the power of Drupal 7.  Recently we updated the Drupal Gardens service with the following new user experierence enhancements:  Publishing content, saving drafts, and promoting content is easier. To add content, click the 'Publish' or 'Save draft' button at the bottom of the form. To edit existing content, click the 'Save' or 'Unpublish' button. To manage content... Meer

Drupal Gardens adds SSL, RTL language support, streamlined block editing and more

This sprint the Drupal Gardens team worked on several areas of polish including internationalization, security, multi-image handling, performance and general UX. We hope you like the changes and additions outlined below: Updated all sites to the official Drupal 7.0 release.  Thanks again to everyone who made it possible! Updated the majority Drupal Gardens contrib modules. You can now delete multiple gallery images at the same time. Select the "... Meer

Drupal Gardens adds custom surveys, forms and questionnaires

Lately the Drupal Gardens team has been busy adding several highly-requested mega-features.  A mega-feature is a feature so large, some companies build entire products based on that feature.  Webforms is the most recent mega-feature we have added.  Since mega-features can be complicated, we invested hundreds of design hours and thousands of engineering hours to make webforms easy-to-use.   Based on the powerful webform and form builder projects, the team... Meer

Help make my Drupal Gardens site look great!

Thank goodness I only have black socks in my drawer. Otherwise I’d walk around with black and blue mixed and never notice! To say that design isn’t my forté would be missing the point. I can sum up most of what I know about CSS in one line: border: solid red 1px; It's called "The Rob", and it's what you do to an element to see if you've selected it correctly. Given these limitations, I usually leave designing websites to those who can. Whenever in need, I usually ask someone I know to help out. As it happens, I'm presently in need. I made myself a Drupal... Meer

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