user experience

Drupal creates the ultimate experience for site administrators and visitors alike

6 July 2021

DXP

A user experience (UX) that stands as a benchmark for others has long been at the top of the wish list for a (new) website. The most important principle for achieving this is that the design must always reflect the underlying functions. To design a Drupal website properly, both at the frontend and at the backend, you need to understand the underlying technology. Since Drupal 8, Drupal has devoted a great deal of attention to creating the best experience for both administrators and visitors of a Drupal website.

User experience in 2021

The term 'user experience' has been tossed around in marketing and design meetings for quite a number of years now. The needs, wishes and expectations of customers in this regard are evolving almost daily, so the definition of a good UX is also evolving. Ultimately the user experience is not so much about how something looks, but how it works. If you really want to keep up with current trends, you must keep the following things in mind:

  • The number of clicks a user needs to get the information they are looking for should be kept to a minimum, the maximum being 3 clicks.
  • Navigating through a website should feel as intuitive as possible. Since users know certain patterns from using other sites and apps, following these patterns as much as possible will make your website feel more familiar.
  • However, complex flows are sometimes unavoidable. Make sure they start off easy so the threshold is lower.
  • A modern website is inclusive and therefore accessible to everyone. Multilingualism is an example of this.
  • Look at how the website is used to learn how to improve the user experience. For this, check the user analytics regularly. 
  • Fast content production and online deployment is the way to keep up in our fast-changing world. This only works if there is sufficient user-friendliness for editors.
  • The average website visitor expects decent performance. They don't like it when it takes 3 seconds for content to appear.
  • A good experience is a consistent experience. Define a clear framework (a central theme throughout the experience) in which you can work.
  • Provide clear call-to-actions.
  • The experience must be equally good on every device.
  • Last but not least: go for a healthy dose of personalization.

 

user experience

A whole community devoted to user experience

The Drupal UX community meets regularly. They write a lot of guidelines that go beyond merely 'this is how you can make it look nice'. They work together to find answers to the above issues, based on the functionalities and characteristics of the platform, so that form always follows function. Such a community consists of experienced specialists from all sorts of sectors. This ensures that influences come from all directions, so you automatically end up with a user experience where many things have been considered. This is the open source strength of such a community.

Drupal does not believe in one platform that does everything. You are not tied to frameworks imposed by other platforms; the door is open to creativity from the community. A marketing professional working behind the scenes with a Drupal website can therefore continue using their favorite tools. This is also a nice example of the quality of experience that Drupal wants to offer its users.

Some examples of specific features that Drupal offers as an open-source platform to build a good UX for yourself and your customers are described below.

Practical answers from Drupal

Integration with StoryChief

Content doesn't have to be managed via the Drupal platform. For example, you can use StoryChief to collaborate on SEO blog posts, social media posts and one-click multichannel distribution. Whatever you want to work with, you can usually embed it in Drupal.

Multilingualism and accessibility

Every piece of code in Drupal can work with all kinds of languages. You can build a website with pages containing both Western and Arabic alphabets. You can even set the admin interface to Arabic if you need to.

Accessibility is also important to the Drupal platform. They encourage and support the proper use of semantic markup. This way you can make your website accessible for people who need a screen reader or other assistive technology.

Maximum performance

One way to achieve higher performance is to use the breakpoint module in Drupal 8 and 9. This means that images that are not in view are not loaded (image lazy loading). This can also be adapted per device by specifying different image ratios. As a result, visitors can see content immediately and you avoid losing them.

Your website may look good, but does it also provide an optimal user experience?

A good user experience focuses on both the frontend and backend of a website. Have you taken the above aspects into account? Do the check and get the most out of your Drupal website.

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