[development] Drupal administration survey draft based on 10 interviews

Gary Feldman dpal_gaf_devel at marsdome.com
Thu Aug 10 18:09:01 UTC 2006

Kieran Lal wrote:
> On Aug 9, 2006, at 7:23 AM, Gary Feldman wrote:
> ...
>>> New user
>>> Non-technical user developing community or social change web site 
>>> forced to become "accidental technologist"
>> The nature of the web site doesn't seem relevant.  How about:  " 
>> Non-technical user developing a web site, and becoming adept at the 
>> technology"
> Yes, it's very relevant.  See interviews and response to Dries.
It seems reasonable to me to have a separate question asking people to 
characterize the web sites on which they work.
> ...
>>> What are some infrequent Drupal tasks?
>>> (select all that apply)
>> Ditto, but see next comment.
>>> Add new features by adding modules or coding new features
>>> ...
>>> Modify site navigation
>>> Other_______________
>> The fact that this list differs from the preceding list suggests that 
>> you already believe these to be infrequent.  But does that mean that 
>> if the respondent doesn't check something, it means that it's a 
>> frequent task, or that it's not a task at all?  Or more to the point, 
>> what is this question trying to learn?
> Think about the 400* options in Drupal's administration interface 
> today.  Some should easily accessible as they are routinely accessed.  
> Think about the hundreds of professional Drupal consultants who live 
> in the Drupal administration interface day in an day out.  For example 
> logs or spam seem to be the most frequently accessed.   However, a 
> task like clean URLs is only usually set once, but it has prominent 
> real estate at administer >> settings.  Infrequent tasks should be 
> tucked away in favor of more common tasks, but made easy to find 
> during site set-up.
> The first set of questions are about understanding the users.  The 
> second set of questions are about the situation the user is in when 
> they are doing administration.  In general I would say that the notion 
> of administration configuration and administration settings need to 
> give way to: Site set-up, Site development, site testing and 
> maintenance.  At least this is what the interviews reveal about how 
> Drupal is actually being used.
I certainly agree that those four categories make sense and are better 
than the administration configuration and administration settings 
classification.  This makes me wonder if there should be two tiers of 
questions.  That is:
    A:  While administering Drupal, what percentage of your time do you 
spend doing : a) setup; b)development; c) testing; d)maintenance; e) 
other?  (I don't know whether SurveyMonkey can handle it, but my intent 
is that these add up to 100%.)
    B1:  Which of these are the most common tasks during site setup?
    B2:  Which of these are the most common tasks during site development?
>> Should it be something like "These are some Drupal tasks that are 
>> done less frequently.
> infrequent, less frequently.  Potato , Potato, Tomato, Tomato.  Pick 
> the one that is grammatically correct and let me know!
This wasn't grammatical nitpicking (not that I'm above that :-), but 
about the ambiguity in interpretation.  There are three possibilities, 
frequently, infrequently, and never.  Dries's suggestion of "Which of 
these are the LEAST common ..." solves the ambiguity, but not 
necessarily in a way that gets the answers that are needed.  I think 
that asking "which of these infrequent tasks is most important" is one 
way of phrasing it.  Another might be "how often do you do these", with 
answers such as "once a week or more", "2-3 times a month", "rarely", or 
"in bursts, several times per day or week, but then days or weeks will 
elapse before doing it again."  I don't have strong feelings about which 
form of question to pick, as long as it's clear how things that fall off 
the scale at either end (either too frequently or never) are classified.



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