Entity view (Content)

Drupal 8 and the User Experience Upgrade

By moleary
Jul. 7, 2016

Drupal and user experience can sometimes be at odds. For years, the front end customer facing experience has been been sculpted to be very useful and easy to use, but those poor content creators toiling away in the CMS always get the shaft. You know the people who paid you to build the website? Thankfully Drupal 8 is moving into some bright new pastures.

Content creation in Drupal has always been powerful, but not always intuitive. Content creators have always had to live in an abstract world where the creation screen is very disconnected from the end result. Usability tests have shown that the backend interface is just too complex for new and existing users to understand. However, Drupal 8 is fixing that.

One major step is the addition of a WYSIWYG to Drupal core! I still cannot believe this does not exist. I remember uploading the module many years ago with a hundred question marks over my head. It’s nice to know it will be standard. My hope is that it is stripped down or configurable. There are many cases where too many options is bad for clients.

Another major leap (and probably the biggest, WYSIWYG is cool and all, but there is a simple module for it) is the movement to a mobile friendly world! Responsive tables, responsive editor interface, and every core theme is now built on a responsive framework!

The responsive tables are not so exciting. Personally the way they collapse sounds strange to me. Each column is given a “weight” and when the screen shrinks it drops a column depending on how they were ranked. Not sure how much I like that concept, but they’re going with it. The mobile friendly editor interface is a great idea though.

Lastly I think the responsive framework for all of the core themes sends a good message. There is no site that shouldn’t be responsive (or mobile specific). Every project needs to account for at least (at least, at least … I said it three times so you remember) three devices. Ideally you are accounting for those three devices and both orientations of them. But that is not always possible in the real world where there are deadlines and launch dates.