This might be boring (and might be better at chxramblings than here) but oh well. I will talk about some things that I perceive as I live the typical (?) geek, introvert life and the consequences for usability.
I have used the phrase "the day I have not learned something is a day wasted" much, much longer than I have known about the "Today I learned" section on Reddit. The use of almost the same words is shocking. It's not "something interesting I read" -- it's today I learned. There are apparently many people out there who want to learn something every. single. day. That's the true meaning of "lifelong education" for me. This drive makes the "just try stuff" hacker attitude absolutely natural, self evident.
This xkcd comic has a part which is a centerpiece of why this flowchart does not work at all for "non-computer people": pick one at random. Remember the picture in The Inmates Are Running the Asylum by Alan Cooper where the guy is getting on the airplane and is given the choice of the cockpit and the passenger seats? For me, the cockpit but asking someone who is not experienced with and not even interesting in flying airplanes, gosh, that's really frightening!
This post came to my mind as I was walking home last weekend from Manhattan to my hotel in Queens after successfully navigating the subway system while parts of it was closed and catched myself condensing the day's experiences into rules I can reuse when riding the subway like that again. The timing was apt -- it was just a week after DrupalCamp Colorado and our seminal session with Jen Lampton (gawd, how is it possible it was not selected for London?) and so the rift was much on my mind.
So the fundamental drive for me is to learn, try and create. This leads me to very different paths than other people who have different drives and priorities. Crystallizing it down makes me understood better why I have chosen the workplace I did and what is the very question I need to ask in the future: what will this work teach me? What areas will I get a chance to learn? If your company is just spinning the same wheel over and over, color me not interested. If there are several companies which give me a good enough salary and acceptable working environment, the choice is made on those questions. (In a somewhat similar vein, when I need to chose a technology, technological fitness only matters as a barrier to cross, the choice of those that are good enough for the task is not made on any technology but the support.)
So how does this relate to Drupal? To Drupal 8 specifically? There is already a movement called Snowman which wants to add, to my understanding, something that "works" as profile, possibly as a default profile. That's not going to be enough. To make Drupal great we must take away most of the choices from the default UI. We started this by moving things into collapsed fieldsets but as a usability study showed people start with opening them. No. Take them away hard. Have a very wizard-heavy default UI with very few choices. Do not show any of the advanced features. Maybe add a true overlay which is not moving every goddamn feature in Drupal into the overlay but have a very limited admin wizard in there. I know very well how separate beginner and advanced UIs are a burden on both the developers and the users but I see no other way to ease people into Drupal. Mind you: this is doable as a Drupal 7 distribution as well and then you can usability test it.
Ps. it seems Snowman is stalled a bit. Anyone wanting to help moving it forward? http://groups.drupal.org/snowman
Commenting on this Story is closed.