We are pleased to announce that the University of Minnesota Libraries are partnering with the Drupal development community on the first round of formal usability testing for the Drupal open source content management platform, to take place in February 2008.
- Testing will be conducted at the University's Office for Information Technology’s usability lab with the generous support of Usability Services.
- Seven Drupal community members, including project lead Dries Buytaert, will be on-site as members of the usability test team.
- Results will be presented at Drupalcon Boston, where we’ll discuss future directions indicated by the test results as well as next steps for further usability testing.
- To get involved or to learn more, see this post in the Usability Group.
Our goal is to provide the Drupal development community with a baseline picture of Drupal’s usability for common user tasks. In doing so, the University Libraries hope to improve user experience in a new generation of Drupal-based tools for discovering, managing, and sharing information.
Usability testing will be conducted at the University of Minnesota Office for Information Technology’s usability lab (http://1help.umn.edu/usability/lab.html) with the generous support of Usability Services. This is a state-of-the-art lab that, among other things, will allow us to record eye-tracking data and video which we will provide to the community.
We will be seeking input from the Drupal development community on aspects of testing, and will provide details of our testing scenarios and methods. A brief summary of our findings will be presented at Drupalcon in Boston in March, and the full results will be made available to the development community soon thereafter.
It is our hope that this testing will guide future work on usability in Drupal and will provide benchmarks against which improvements can be measured. We intend to test scenarios that are central to content creation and site administration in most any configuration of Drupal.
Among the usability test team members will be:
- Drupal founder Dries Buytaert (http://drupal.org/user/1, http://acquia.com, http://buytaert.net/)
- Angela “webchick” Byron (http://drupal.org/user/24967, http://www.lullabot.com/)
- Nathaniel “catch” Catchpole (http://drupal.org/user/35733
- Neil “drumm” Drumm (http://drupal.org/user/3064, http://www.advomatic.com/)
- Greg “greggles” Knaddison (http://drupal.org/user/36762, http://knaddison.com/)
- Kieran “Amazon” Lal (http://drupal.org/user/18703, http://civicspacelabs.org/, http://acquia.com/)
- Karen “KarenS” Stevenson (http://drupal.org/user/45874)
The University of Minnesota Libraries have made a commitment to Drupal in our work on such projects as EthicShare (http://www.lib.umn.edu/about/ethicshare/) and Harvest Choice (http://harvestchoice.org/) and will fully implement Drupal as its system-wide CMS in the coming year. Working directly with the Drupal community to take advantage of our local usability resources was an obvious opportunity for us to build bridges to the community while making a direct impact upon the software we have come to depend upon.
Questions about this round of usability testing can be directed to Chad “libsys” Fennell (email@example.com, http://drupal.org/user/10297) or Cody “codyh” Hanson (firstname.lastname@example.org, http://drupal.org/user/210060).
To get involved with this project, please see the solicitation for feedback and review at the Usability Group here: http://groups.drupal.org/node/7878.