Designing User-Friendly Drupal Modules
We love Drupal and want to see it continue to grow and flourish. One of the most important things we can do to help that happen is to focus on improving the experience for content editors and site builders.
Like many open-source projects, Drupal thrives on a do-ocracy: those eager to solve a problem are encouraged to "scratch their itch." This development process has been likened to a bazaar in which needs are met via a flurry of creative exchanges.
This scratch-your-itch model works best when the user base share similar needs, abilities, and resources. Developer tools like Drush, Ctools, and Migrate lend themselves well to the bazaar because it's likely my itch is the same as yours.
A typical tension we see is that many modules are designed and built by developers, who prize flexibility, but are intended for editors and site builders, who prefer simplicity.
To meet Drupal 10's vision of empowering ambitious site builders, our projects need to shift away from the itchy bazaar model. At DevCollaborative, we took a product design and design justice approach to our maintenance of the MaxLength module, involving developers and non-developers in the process. The result is a tool that is more intuitive for site builders and editors.
In our session we'll share the steps we took of defining a strategy, conducting research, prototyping, and iterating that produced a more user-friendly MaxLength module.