Designing for chaos: The design process behind Olivero


Olivero is a core initiative to create a new default theme for Drupal 9. Designing a core theme presents unique challenges as compared to designing traditional websites.

This talk will tell the story of what it’s like to design a theme for an open source content management system (CMS) and will answer questions like:

  • What is Olivero, and why did we create it?
  • What are the challenges of designing for an open source community made up of thousands of stakeholders?
  • What compromises were made to make the design accessible?
  • What are the challenges of designing for a CMS that will be used for a wide variety of sites?
  • What approaches and methods did we use to do this successfully?

Throughout this session, we’ll walk through real-world methods and processes. We’ll discuss each stage, from the first conceptual “zoom mocks” to the various ideas along the way that never saw the light of day!

Learning Objectives

At the end of this session, attendees will be ready to identify challenges, architect solutions, and validate results when designing a new theme for a content management system. 

Target Audience

Designers and developers who are interested in the design process for creating a theme for Drupal.


Basic understanding of designing for Drupal or any content management system.


User Experience, Accessibility, & Design


ui design

Experience Level


When & Where

Thursday, 16 July, 2020 - 14:15 to 15:00
Hopin Sessions

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