[development] Summary of 5 Drupal administrator interviews

Kieran Lal kieran at civicspacelabs.org
Sat Aug 5 10:24:14 UTC 2006

Hello, I conducted 5 interviews today and began the process of  
summarizing the findings leading to a Drupal administration survey.   
My hope is to do 4 more interviews tomorrow and collect interview  
notes from Dries and Steven Peck.  I'll then put out a draft survey  
for comments and deploy on the home page of Drupal.org ASAP.

Usage of Drupal
Daily for 30-60 minutes of website management
Daily for several hours in site development and deployment

Motivations for using Drupal
Speed of feature and requirements deployment is critical to choosing  
Quality of people, their contributions, helpfulness, and community  
building domain knowledge is critical to choosing Drupal
Drupal website end users benefit from fast feature deployment and  
Drupal feature innovation

Tasks-Drupal software
Logging to identify the state of the web site as well as events that  
indicate upcoming website issues are critical.
Managing users, content, and spam are top activities for  
administrators. Better contextual interfaces are need to manage this.  
e.g. Banning, un-publishing should be beside username or content not  
in administer >> somewhere
Discovery of administration settings is hard. Grouping settings into  
situational use is important. Situations include: site building, new  
feature testing and deployment, and ongoing maintenance
User interfaces for large scale management of Drupal (blocks, menus,  
content, categories, users)  do not scale adequately.  e.g. interface  
assume individual changes and not bulk changes of hundreds of items.

Tasks-Drupal processes
Testing features and getting feedback from site users is an important  
activity. e.g. provide testing role with feedback block for that role
Process of discovering features, downloading, installing,  
configuring, testing, filing issues, working with developers,  
evaluating, and abandoning broken modules is a major cost associated  
with administering Drupal
Integrating features(module X and module Y) produces errors and makes  
theming hard.  Despite difficulties it is a net positive.
Upgrading and versioning Drupal and the ability to make informed  
decisions about this process is currently inadequate.

Here is table collecting responses from the interviews: http:// 

Interview 1: http://groups.drupal.org/node/1136
Interview 2: http://groups.drupal.org/node/1135
Interview 3: http://groups.drupal.org/node/1133
Interview 4: http://groups.drupal.org/node/1137
Interview 5: http://groups.drupal.org/node/1134

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