Improving usability for site builders and administrators


The new Drupal release cycle has allowed us to add new features such as workflows and a new settings tray but, at the same time, lots of the old problems exist and we still lack guidance or UI standards.

This session will be about UI Standards, restructuring the admin interface, and having different variations of the same admin menu for different personas.

Admin interface

At Dev Days in Milan, we looked at a range of these issues and fixed them individually, and we discussed a different way at organising the Admin interface. We then continued to look further into the overall need to make improvements to the site-builder interface in Dev Days Seville and proposed a way forward for better organisation of admin functions.

This session will give an update on where we stand: an idea on how to improve the admin menu in a sustainable way, taking core and contrib modules into account.


UI standards

Even within core choices are made = or re-made - based on a particular use case. This is then exacerbated when contrib module developers, with little guidance, try their best to interpret the unwritten rules (or just give up).

We should develop straightforward UI standards, just as we have coding standards. They can be used to guide core and contrib developers, making decisions easier, and making it clear when a different decision has to be made.

How can we best decide on these standards, without getting lost in a bikeshed conversation? How do we write them so any developer can easily follow them? How do we then promote these standards?

Permissions and access

The permissions for admin pages in many cases lack sufficient granularity to configure the admin interface and menu for different roles. Instead of just seeing pages they need for their tasks, users see numerous pages that give them access to configuration they shouldn’t have, to sub-menu items that contain nothing they can access, or pages that are useless to them. These issues cause usability problems, but can also threaten the structural integrity of a website.

While we spend a  lot of time providing new and exciting ways of accessing Structure and Configuration tasks through system trays or the direct placement and configuration of blocks, these underlying issues that cause usability problems are neglected.

How can we fix these issues to provide better usability of the core admin pages as well as a clearer starting point for further core and contrib development?



Session Track

Core Conversations

Experience Level


Drupal Version

When & Where

Wednesday, 27 September, 2017 - 13:00 to 14:00
Schubert 3