Doe eens een gok

Verken je fitness landschap
climb this hill a bit more or try for another one?

Puur en alleen data-driven werken riskeert te vervallen in het optimaliseren van de huidige stand van zaken. Locale optima.

Maak ruimte voor pogingen gebaseerd op qualitatieve input of zelfs maar donkerbruine vermoedens. Zet deze onbewezen maar coherente experimenten in om het potentieel van het omliggende landschap te verkennen.

(En het verschil tussen die twee inspanningen weten te herkennen, zodat je weet welke aanpak te volgen)

Talk talk in Dublin

Looking forward to meetings
Initiatives > ? > Doable chunks + customer value

I think in between the conversations with people I’ll talk with some other folks and have some chats besides that.

Very likely topics

  • Media
  • Content workflow
  • Data modelling
  • Sample content
  • Core ideation

I’ll make sure to share any visual notes fast this time…

Drupal UX meeting, 13 September 2016

“Kevin, talk sample content to me”

Another fun live hangout with Drupal UX peoples. We review and discuss current issues and provide feedback or guidance where needed. These hangouts are recorded and available on YouTube. I try to link to the right segment in the recording when updating issues with team feedback.

Discussed today:

A separate queue for Ideas

I marked Agile process for bigger changes in core (Part A: Ideation) RTBC today. It’ll be open for final thoughts for a few more days. Looks like we’ll have a dedicated place to work through ideas soon.

Sort of like a Display Suite lite in core

Or as we say: Add ability for entity view modes to switch between two hard-coded layouts.

Eaton called it, this is very inside baseball, but adding layout options for arranging the fields in your content type is super exciting.

Media library design

We have an issue going that collects examples of media library features in other systems. Super useful. We (you!) can start sketching out Drupal specific user interface screens and flows now and post them there. (This is one of those issues that would start in the above mentioned Ideas queue).

Sample content

There’s Lee’s post about what it means to provide the tools that enable you to add your sample content to your flavour of Drupal installation. And then there’s adding some (hardcoded?) sample content to core itself, because, well, onboarding. Starting with the latter, that means figuring out what sample content to add in the first place.

The brand new Drupal user guide uses the example of a website for a farmer’s market. Wouldn’t it be great if our sample content and configuration would support that scenario? Yes, yes it would.

1 op 1 doorvertalen wat je hebt werkt niet

Krachtig Duits Statement
Wenn sie einen Scheissprozess digitalisieren, dann haben sie einen scheiss digitalen Prozess

Maakte onlangs een vergelijkbare analogie bij planning voor responsive maken van een bestaande site. Huidige site is al een drol. Kun je die wel responsive gaan maken maar doe je dat zonder plan, dan heb je daarna een responsive drol.

Ben in goed gezelschap blijkbaar :-)


Book of the New Sun

Severian betrays his order by showing mercy…
picture of the covers of the two books that bundle the four parts.

Meest bizarre, moeilijke en toch (dus?) meeslepende boek dat ik tot nu toe gelezen heb zijn de vier delen van Book of the New Sun door Gene Wolfe.

For science-fiction readers, “The Book of the New Sun” is roughly what “Ulysses” is to fans of the modern novel: far more people own a copy than have read it all the way through. A surreal bildungsroman, the book centers on a character named Severian. Trained as a torturer on the planet Urth, where torturers are a feared and powerful guild, Severian betrays his order by showing mercy, allowing a prisoner to kill herself rather than be subjected to his terrible ministrations. He then wanders the land encountering giants, anarchists, and members of religious cults. He eventually meets and supplants the ruler of Urth, the Autarch.

(via The New Yorker)

Als ik ooit nog eens een megalomaan project zou beginnen dan is het dit werk te illustreren middels grafische technieken. Wat een wereld.

Improve your design process

with reggae music

Nice interactive session by Peter, self-confessed design process freak. Starting with a trick question on ux deliverables: you want to at least influence what's in project plans and estimates as well!

It's good to have a well defined design process. It enables to take care of solving the known problems in a repeatable and effective way. Which leaves you with more time and resources for tackling the as yet unknown problems where you probably have to improvise your way to a solution.

Document your design process first. Then improve it using this formula:

  1. I will [do something]
  2. Together with [another role]
  3. And we will change [a part of the process]
  4. To improve [a success metric]
  5. Before [a deadline]

Prioritize your work as a product designer

trade-offs. you have to make them

Thank you Derec for opening up an interesting discussion on prioritizing product design work. The group widenend the scope a bit (no surprise there) and focussed on how we can help stakeholders express the impact, relevance of their idea compared to all the other new feature or improvement proposals.

Look up: RIC/E, OKR's and maybe even NPS.

Kill lorem ipsum

uxcamp session 1

Rob facilitated a short workshop on how to find your main content requirements. Called the Task Canvas it starts from a single user goal paired with a relevant organisation goal. For the user there are questions that need answers. For the organisation there's desired outcomes. At the intersection of those you can then identify the content you need to support the user task and organisation goal.

Reminiscent of the Core Model

Getting your content requirements straight is essential. How else to know what to design for in the first place. Killing lorem ipsum is a worthy goal!

Maintain the illusion of freedom

components before templates

Simon showed which decisions he had to make to balance editorial and design freedom with keeping the CMS and design system behind it maintainable.

There was consensus in the room that all CMS's suck. Glad we could establish that.

Simon combines frontend dev and interaction design skills which enabled him to do this website build mostly on his own and stay in control, keeping the number of components and exceptions on them low. Well done!

Making possible needs examples

A platform needs a killer app

Tim blogs about core development being hard. Lee talks about adding sample content. Jeff’s comment there (the first) gives a good example of why core dev is so difficult:

…what we need is a tool that allows modules or profiles to optionally install content after their other setup steps

It’s never just the direct application X or feature Y that gets added. It’s the tools that enable X or Y that get added to core. And for a long time this generalized approach was considered enough.

What’s changing is that on top of the enabling tech we now strive to also add a more opiniated example, a more concrete and specific expression of those new capabilities. I’m reminded of of Stevey’s Google Platforms Rant: “A platform needs a killer app.”

It’s interesting to see this shift in balance and I’m curious to see how it will play out.

Print making workshop results

hoogdruk, diepdruk, indruk

Team VPRO Digitaal heeft vandaag flink haar best gedaan in Grafisch Atelier Hilversum. Experimenten met letterdruk, legodruk, droge naald en monotype vormen bij elkaar een levendig Gesamtkunstwerk.

Ideaal teamuitje voor als je het over de creatieve boeg wil gooien. Iedereen komt tot een verrassend resultaat.

Hire me to work on Drupal core

Evolve Drupal 8, faster

There’s an unprecedented opportunity to quickly add and evolve critical features and usability improvements to Drupal 8. We can ship new things every 6 months. The amount of change we accomplish depends for a large part on clearly defined goals and a clear path to get there.

I volunteer about 4 to 8 hours a week on Drupal core ux work doing just that. Would love to do more.

If you are waiting for Drupal 8 to have things like better media capabilities, content workflow tools, a better Field UI, a smoother onboarding process and the like, I can help make that happen faster.

The deal: a €3000,- per month retainer gets you a solid 30 hours of design making, decision taking, issue wrangling, people connecting, task defining and all that’s necessary to get things done. Contact me if that sounds like a plan.

Why me?

  • Close to 10 years of working on Drupal UX. Experience helps moving things along.
  • I translate and clarify, bridging and translating between different perspectives, roles and priorities
  • Which helps make the necessary design trade-offs and provide direction
  • Clear design direction frees developers to actually go for it, reducing risk of working on the wrong thing.
  • Rebooted twice weekly UX meetings, productive on both strategic and tactical levels, getting more people to succesfully contribute.

No really, why me?

  • Bootstrapped Drupal UX team in 2007, contributing ever since
  • Top 30 contributor to Drupal 7
  • Helped redesign content creation page in Drupal 8.0
  • Helped ship the Place Block MVP for Drupal 8.2
  • Clarified what’s happening in the Workflow Initiative, designed some critical parts of the user interface so that content moderation tools could ship with Drupal 8.2
  • Helped define, refine and implement the new approach for shipping new features in Drupal 8.x

What’s in it for you?

  • Together we’ll define a plan for what to work on. You get what you need in Drupal 8, sooner
  • I’m sure we can figure something out around issue credits so that they are in your name
  • Bragging rights for doing the right thing!
  • I’ll write 2 blog post per month, crediting you and reporting on achievements and progress.

All in all, I can help ship more Drupal goodness, faster by clarifying and designing what’s next. If that is something you want to support, contact me and lets talk.


One man metal

look up the documentary on youtube

Some recent favorites:

  • Panopticon – Roads to the North
  • Leviathan – Scar sighted
  • Midnight Odyssee – Funerals from the Astral Sphere
  • Spectral Lore – Gnosis
  • Blut Aus Nord – Odinist


Has good things to say about the anti-bucket list.

Voortschrijdend inzicht

Van nu naar beter, altoos

Als samenwerking dan zo’n belangrijk thema is, dan kun je geen dichtgetimmerde, “volledige” plannen presenteren. Wat valt er samen te werken onder een dictaat?

In plaats daarvan: heb het lef om een incomplete versie 0.3 aan te bieden. Dat levert feedback vanuit betrokkenheid en met impact.

Er is altijd voortschrijdend inzicht. Maak het niet tot de onvermijdelijke jammerlijke conclusie op het eind.

Maal voortschrijdend inzicht de modus operandi.

Pictures that tick

Multiples, multiples

Pictures that tick, understanding comics, sequential art, collage, montage, assemblage. Multiple panels next to eachother (and the multi-layered process of how I build up my etchings).

It’s been a long time since I first read Understanding comics. Strongest memory: the concept of closure, what happens in the gutter that separates the frames. See collage, above. A patchwork of related or juxtaposed images seems more interesting (truthfull?) than a single idealized representation.

After that, will have another go at Unflattening.

The mess of things

The map is not the territory
Handwritten version of the mess of things

Life is an ever-changing mess. This doesn’t need to be fixed. Perfectionism moves you away from the natural state of things.

Spreadsheets, maps and blueprints can be useful models, but they remain abstractions.

The map is not the territory.

Dance with the flow of things instead.

Answering the Drupal Why

Something something usability testing
lab test illustration, druplicons in an erlenmeyer flask

The basis for knowing what to focus on for evolving Drupal core is learning about what people want to do with it.

Testing the initial experience of core as a whole has had our main attention so far. Now with focussed initiatives (content workflow, media handling, outside in, layouts,…), we’re adding experimental features with the assumed requirement that we validate and improve them trough feedback from usability testing.

So, we could (should!) create a more regular schedule of more smaller instead of few bigger usability test sessions. What’s our version of getting out of the building and increasing our exposure?

What would it look like if we did test every 6 weeks?

Produce testing scripts for each initiative. These can be reused, eventually updated where needed. Every 6 weeks we run those tests for each initiative. We learn what works, what needs to be improved. Initiative teams can prioritize fixing UX bugs. All things are connected anyway so we’ll learn about overall issues as well.

Feedback from the test participants can feed into ongoing persona work: what are people trying to achieve? Voilà, we’re learning about the Why.

Of course this requires planning, recruiting participants, having a setup for remote testing, getting access to a usability testing lab once in a while, observation, analysis, designing possible solutions, reporting back to the community, creating actionable issues to work on etc. But wow, we’d learn so much about where to focus our efforts.

Who wants to help make this happen? Mail, Slack (get invite) or lets talk at Drupalcon Dublin.

Why is the foundation for What and How

First things first

It is really very hard to discuss the specifics of What and How if a clear answer to Why is missing.

Why tells the story of where you want go in the first place.
What defines the strategy for getting there.
How takes care of the implementation details.

No use to fret about the how or what if the why is unknown.

Split second