Answering the Drupal Why
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.