[drupal-devel] A collection of usability problems

Dries Buytaert dries.buytaert at gmail.com
Fri Sep 23 17:10:52 UTC 2005

Hi Richard,

I think you nailed it, and I encourage everybody to read your e- 
mail ... twice.  :-)

> I must admit, I'm finding Drupal's admin interface and usability to  
> be a real problem. I myself can work out how to do everything, but  
> I am not at all confident that the manager would be able to  
> maintain the site in the long run.

I think our short-term priorities should be to:

  1. Integrate the primary/secondary navigation system.
  2. Simplify the theme settings pages.
  3. Rename 'path alias' to 'custom URL' (patch pending).

It would come a long way improving the out-of-the-box user  
experience, and is absolutely necessary if we want to make Drupal  
more accessible.  Anyone?

> As Dries has indicated, the menu_otf module has been merged into  
> the menu module. This is great as it will allow my site owners to  
> manage their navigation panel(s) through the same interface they  
> manage the content. I would like to see the settings panel and the  
> jjeff patch also included in this module to make it so much more  
> useful. Allowing the user to control the order of their menu  
> through the Content interface is essential.

I'm not familiar with jjeff's patch.  Can you provide me a link so I  
can check it out?

> The built-in upload module does not allow comments and titles to be  
> added to  files. This is included in the attachment module (which  
> requires one of the file management modules) but I think this is  
> should be a core feature. I include this "feature request" in a  
> usability discussion because without this functionality in the core  
> module I need to install the attachment and filesystem modules,  
> increasing the complexity of my sites and therefore reducing the  
> usability.

There is a patch in the patch queue that lets you add titles to  
uploaded files.  It doesn't add comments though.  Maybe 'title'  
should simly be renamed 'description'?

> There is a good deal of confusion with terminology used in the path  
> module. On the Create Content page the heading is "path alias". You  
> then specify an "alternative URL" but are then warned about the  
> "URL alias" not working. It took me a good while to work out that  
> this was all talking about the same thing and that the "url alias"  
> admin menu option was managing the path module. I'd be happy to see  
> this all changed to "friendly URL" throughout (including the module  
> name) because the only reason to use this module is to make your  
> URLs friendly to both humans and search engines.

There is a patch for this in the patch queue; it needs some  
additional love before it can be included.  I wrote an e-mail about  
that earlier today.

Dries Buytaert  ::  http://www.buytaert.net/

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