For the love of the content editors - now with Drupal 8!


The devil is in the details when creating a content management system, but it's the details that often get left out.

Your client or stakeholders care about how the site looks; your developer cares about how elegant the solution is. But rounded corners and clever back-end architecture don't make the content editors' lives any easier.

Why should I care?

Simply, it's in the best interest of the vendor to deliver a product that people don't hate to use.

Especially if the client doesn't seem to care, it can be really easy to ignore the issue of usability, and proceed on your assumptions. But even though they may not care during development, they will be made to care once it's delivered.

As a former content editor I can attest to this! Ignored we were, until the day came when we had to use the thing. Day after day, we slogged through it, cursing the evildoers (i.e. 'the vendor' and 'the project lead') who inflicted this torture upon us!

What can I do about that?

You can help! And it's not even that hard, or expensive! Especially in Drupal 8, where we are better off, but still not out of the woods.

Out of the box, Drupal is... OK for content editors. But oftentimes post-major-development, it's... bad.

There are a lot of simple things you can do to make life easier for these users, and it doesn't require major customisation. It can also make training easier, and reduce support requests that come from not understanding the system.

A few basic guidelines for your team can produce a hugely better result. So it's easy, it's valuable, and it makes people happy - how could you say no to that?

Topics to be covered include:

  • Ask first, rather than fixing later
  • Help text is your greatest weapon
  • Contextual links - check the permissions dummy!
  • Advanced content search was not a requirement because it was assumed to exist (well, OK, it sort of does in Drupal 8)
  • So you developed it - have you ever tried to use it?
  • And much more!

Session Track

Business and Strategy

Experience Level


Drupal Version