Recently, I had my first experience with Drupal CMS for a web class. I can’t say it was all I was hoping for. The interface was not intuitively designed. It seemed like it was designed by programers for programers, which makes it difficult for the rest of us.
Here is what I needed to accomplish:
- Enable a new theme
- Add some custom CSS rules to the theme
- Add a contact form and add to menu
- Enable at least three additional modules
- Create at least 3 more navigation items
I did not expect these tasks to be too difficult. But, I was wrong, I ran into an issue with almost every task, other than enabling a new theme. The fact that Drupal decided to develop their own vocabulary instead of using existing vocab, makes it very difficult for new users.
I found many items I needed were hard to find due to the strange names and many options were buried in menus. Even after completing the assignment, when I went to help other students, it was hard to find menu items again.
While Drupal may be a powerful tool, it needs a facelift.
Recently, a Portugees beer brand, Sagres, launched a chocolate beer, Somo Gulosos. They decided to go a completely different way with their marketing strategy by building their site out of chocolate. They even hired a master chocolate sculptor to make the site.
There is also a beautifully edited video that shows the creation of the website, if you click “Baking of.”
I wonder how the marketing strategy paid off for for the company. The site is completely built in Flash, did that deter users using iPads and iPhones?
Personally, I love the site and hope I can think of creative ideas like this in the future!
Recently, in my interactive media strategies class, a professional user experience researcher Skyped in with the class. She had many helpful insights on user experience, and as a designer, I need to constantly think about UX. The speaker was a researcher who conducted usability testing in the healthcare field. She said that based on our experience we could all be usability researchers if we so chose.
While I am still interested in design, I feel that user experience is extremely important to producing interfaces. She discussed the difference between and interaction designer and a visual designer. An interaction designer works with information architecture. They examine how a user interacts with a system.
While this interests me, I am more drawn towards being a visual designer. A visual designer conveys the information in a visually pleasing way. She mentioned that one of the biggest challenges in the healthcare field is figuring out a way to display a lot of data in an understandable way and not to overload the user.
The speaker reassured us that when looking for a job, to remember that it was okay if we don’t know everything. We should let potential employers know we are open to learning.