August 5, 2014

Design4Drupal 2014: Where the Rubber Meets the Road

Michael McPherson, Partner & Creative Director, and Ryan Evans, Director of Experience Design, recently attended the Design4Drupal Boston 2014 conference at MIT’s Stata Center. The event is a place for front-end designers and back-end developers to discuss issues, techniques and innovations related to the ways they collaborate on web sites. Through the weekend three key themes emerged: Collaboration, Community, and the Responsive Web.

MIT Stata Center

A forward looking conference in a forward looking building.

A successful website is made up of many parts and integrating a successful UX design with backend functionality can often be frustrating. One of the keys here is to collaborate, or as one speaker put it: avoid hand-offs. The more we can trust and listen to team members while dissolving the ambiguity inherent in a project with multiple players, the more successful our web launches will be.

Drupal is an open source project. It thrives on the active community that has grown up around this popular content management system. The community does more than just bring enhancements to the code base. It serves as a way to bring exposure to businesses and consultants. It serves as a talent filter when looking for help. And the passion of the community feeds the advocacy that helps bring growth to the industry.

Several sessions explored responsive theming for Drupal. Responsive websites are a key way that we ensure our work is accessible to our target audiences. But they can be difficult – difficult technically and difficult to effectively scope and budget. Consistent techniques and feature prioritization are the keys to launching responsive sites.

We’re looking forward to rolling these lessons into our own work and improving web work for our clients.

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