Takeaways from Design4Drupal Boston 2020

Design4Drupal is a Boston Drupal conference created with front-end developers, UX teams, designers, and creatives in mind. The conference focuses heavily on theming and design, and aims to expand Drupal’s audience to more than the stereotypical backend developer or site builder.

This year, despite the conferencing going virtual due to COVID-19, our team was a proud sponsor! We were excited to attend the live-streamed keynote by Cristina Chumillas, Drupal Core UX Maintainer and Admin UI Initiative lead designer. Cristina’s keynote, titled “Design. Usability. Accessibility. Compatibility. Meeting the challenges of today’s world with the Claro Admin Theme” brought to light some of the experiences of creating a Drupal 8 interface. Here are three main takeaways our team found from attending the conference.

1. Drupal is more than the site builder

When you think about who is most tasked with maintaining a Drupal website, your first instinct might be to say it’s the Drupal site builder, or maybe even the developer who performs updates to keep the site running. While at the very beginning of Drupal, this held true – any time a change needed to be made the developer would often be called in for code changes – this is not the case today. In today’s technology-driven world, it’s actually the website manager, or the content editor, or even the client, who spends the most time managing and using a Drupal website.

2. We must design for the end users

Knowing that Drupal is more than just site builders, it brings to light the need for a better user interface. If content editors and less-than-developer-techie clients are the roles spending the most time working in and on websites, we know we need to make the interface easy to use. The harder it is to use the interface, the more time gets lost, which can result in inefficiency, silos, and higher costs. To address the need for a better UX, Drupal 8 focused on making a much cleaner and powerful UI, including a major addition of a media management system.

3. It’s a marathon, not just a sprint

Long-term involvement is huge in making strides in Drupal. Being open-source, Drupal depends on its community to contribute to its growth – through coders and designers as well as strategists for creating and executing on long-term visions. The Drupal Association deeply appreciates any one who is able to help out at any capacity, especially folks who are able to help long-term, as they tend to be the people that help the platform evolve to fit current technology needs. Learn more about contributing at https://www.drupal.org/contribute/development.

To learn more about Design4Drupal, visit https://design4drupal.org/. To learn more about Drupal’s Claro admin theme, visit https://www.drupal.org/project/claro. To watch Cristina’s full keynote, find it on youtube.