Stop talking about scaling Drupal and make it easier to use

It seems that I hear a lot of people within the Drupal community focusing on how to make Drupal scalable. This is all well and good, but Drupal does scale; the Emmys know this, the Grammys know this and so does the Economist. Drupal can handle millions of page views in single day and frankly this isn't an issue that most websites face. This single biggest argument people have against building a website in Drupal is that it too complicated.

So does Drupal need to be complicated? Absolutely not! As Drupal service providers our job is to build something that's not only high quality but also to make the user experience during and (maybe more importantly) after development easy. Drupal 7 is a great step in this direction, so let's get it out the door. Let's focus more attention on administrator workflow and making some of the more commonly used features of Drupal (like blogging) more easy to use and more intuitive. Let's attract more designers and non-developers to this fantastic platform.

The usability of Drupal affects every Drupal user. So let's leave the scalability question to Dries and Acquia and start focusing more on making Drupal sites that are intuitive, easy and a joy to use.

Addendum (7/23/10):

I'd like to start out by apologizing for not recognizing the contributions of more people in my initial post; I don't want to under value the work that has been done on Drupal to-date. Notable companies/people doing scalability work include Chapter 3, Four Kitchens, and countless others.

As for UX, as merlinofchaos mentioned you can get a sense of who's active in this movement in terms of improving the codebase at:

http://groups.drupal.org/drupal7ux

As I already mentioned, I think that Drupal7 makes great strides in improving the usability of Drupal.

With that said, the reason that I posted this article is that I think that during site building by service providers (this is important) strides forward in UX tends to take a back seat to how many visitors the site can support. I hear a lot of buzz about high profile sites switching to Drupal and not as much about how Drupal is making people's lives easier.

I know that people who are excited by scalability are going to continue to work on this and continue to push the envelope getting bigger sites on to smaller hardware. That's great! I'd just like creating fantastic user experiences within Drupal to be seen as just as important and get the recognition and attention it deserves. Great users experiences will attract more people and increase Drupal adoption rates - and that is good for everyone.

About the Author

Joaquin Lippincott, CEO

Joaquin is a 20+ year technology veteran helping to lead businesses in the move to the Cloud. He frequently speaks on panels about the future of tech ranging from IoT and Machine Learning to the latest innovation in the entertainment industry.  He has helped to modernize software for industry leaders like Sony, Daimler, Intel, the Golden Globes, Siemens Wind Power, ABC, NBC, DC Comics, Warner Brothers & the Linux Foundation.

As the CEO and Founder of Metal Toad, an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, his primary job is to "get the right people in the room".  This one responsibility is cross-functional and includes both external business development functions as well as internal delegation and leadership development.

A UCLA alumni, he also serves in the community as a Board Member for the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce, and Stand for Children Oregon - a public education political advocacy group. As an outspoken advocate for entry-level job creation in tech he helped found the non-profit, P4TH, an organization dedicated to increasing the number of entry-level jobs in the tech industry, and is in the process of organizing an Advisory Board for the Bixel Exchange, a Los Angeles non-profit that provides almost 200 tech internships every year.

 

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