Drupal Author Experience: Simplify & Save Time

When the City of Colorado Springs switched to Drupal, there were a myriad of requests from the internal stakeholders:

  • Separate content into departments
  • Publishing workflow
  • Subdomains to silo content and authors
  • Categories for content
  • Menu control for everyone
  • Background and CSS variations per department
  • Never have to collaborate with anyone else ever ever. Ever.

Needless to say this created a lot of complexity when it came to building pages. The struggle between stakeholder requests for features and functionality and keeping things simple came to a head when caching problems caught the attention of the City leadership.

In this presentation, I'll relate how we re-worked the Drupal back-end from the ground up--literally starting with a brand new database. Our mantra for the restructure was "simplify, simplify, simplify."

The backend restructure went live on March 31st along with a drastic update to the site's information architecture. Since then our calls for support have gone down, feedback on the website has been more positive from both citizens and employees, and maintenance is Vanilla-Drupal level of simple.

How did we do all this with over 60 content managers, 400,000+ citizens, and 20+ departments involved? Simple:

  • Conducted user research with our content managers
  • Totally ignored everyone's opinion who didn't manage content within the City
  • Collected 2 years’ worth of citizen feedback and implemented fixes for major pain points
  • Waded through boycotts, terrified supervisors, and skeptical Content Managers

The end result was a system that was dead simple for content managers to use to publish pages to the website. 

Speaker(s): omorrill Time: August 13 - Day 1 2:00pm-2:45pm Room: Room 314 Track: Development and Site Building Experience level: Intermediate