All RPGs and Storygames by Tod Foley are now available at DrivethruRPG and RPGnow. Bring these games to your table!
The demand for Voice technology is rising and it is likely to revolutionize the way publishing websites engage with their audience. The Internet-connected virtual assistant is seeing a significant rise, but the question is how publishers can use this tech to grow their audience base and ultimately increase revenue? Here, we will explore how to use Actions on Google for a new project and an existing one followed up by an integration with Drupal 8 website.
Let’s have a look.Integrating Actions on Google with a device
Integrating Actions on Google with an electronic gadget or smart speakers allow us to trigger voice command to control various Drupal commands such as:
- Clearing cache
- Count number of node
Most customer will manage their own accounts on an ecommerce website just fine. However, sometimes you need to create new accounts for your customers, or edit their existing account. For example, if you have both an online store and a brick-and-mortar store running on the same platforms (which Drupal Commerce can do), your in-person cashiers may have reasons for creating or updating your customers account. Likewise, if you offer support by phone, a customer service rep may also need to create or update accounts.
In this Acro Media Tech Talk video, we user our Urban Hipster Commerce 2 demo site to show you how you can manage your customers online accounts. These are things like finding specific users, adding new users, blocking users, modifying a users payment methods and viewing their previous orders, etc. It's super simple.
Its important to note that this video was recorded before the official 2.0 release of Drupal Commerce. You may see some differences between this video and the current releases. The documentation is also evolving over time.Urban Hipster Commerce 2 Demo site
This video was created using the Urban Hipster Commerce 2 demo site. We've built this site to show the adaptability of the Drupal 8, Commerce 2 platform. Most of what you see is out-of-the-box functionality combined with expert configuration and theming.
- Drupal Commerce 2 - OMS and Fulfillment
- Watch more Tech Talk how-to videos
- Learn more about Drupal Commerce
- Learn more about Acro Media
Every year at DrupalCon our team has an amazing time. This year was no different. We rounded up everyone who attended and asked them about their favorites this year.
Technical information was being readily exchanged and processed, while the humans who make up the community shared many stories as well. On top of all of the good information there was good food, so much food!
Update automation sounds nice as long as you don’t think about your (heavily) patched Drupal project, right?
In this “recipe” I will explain how Drop Guard handles custom patches within an fully or partly automated update process.
An update got released on Drupal.org. Only a few minutes later, Drop Guard detects the update release information, such as update type and version.
Drupal Planet Drupal Drop Guard recipes
A question which I see quite often in response to posts like A modern way to build and develop Drupal 8 sites, using Composer is: "I want to start using Composer... but my current Drupal 8 site wasn't built with Composer. Is there an easy way to convert my codebase to use Composer?"
Unfortunately, the answer to that is a little complicated. The problem is the switch to managing your codebase with Composer is an all-or-nothing affair... there's no middle ground where you can manage a couple modules with Composer, and core with Drush, and something else with manual downloads. (Well, technically this is possible, but it would be immensely painful and error-prone, so don't try it!).
We didn’t see this project solely as a chance to rebrand and rebuild for ourselves, it was also an opportunity to try something new and expand our collective knowledge with the potential for using with clients in the future. We had been discussing using Pattern Lab for Front End development for some time and this was the perfect opportunity to try it out.
Patten Lab allows the creation of component-driven user interfaces using atomic design principles. This means we can create modular patterns all packaged up nicely that can be assembled together to build a site. Plus we can use dynamic data to display the patterns in a live style guide which makes viewing each component quick and easy. And nobody is viewing out of date designs or code - an issue we had on a recent project. With Pattern Lab, we would have a central place to view all of the actual components that will be used on the live site.
The guys over at Four Kitchens made implementing a Pattern Lab with Drupal super easy, by creating Emulsify. Serving as a Drupal 8 starter kit theme, Emulsify allows you to build and manage components without using Drupal's template names but by using custom template names that make sense to everyone, instead. When you're ready, you can easily connect them up to Drupal.
Building the frontend in this way allows it to be built separately from the backend development. It's possible to create the whole of the front end before even touching Drupal. If needs be, it also allows developers to work on the frontend and backend at the same time without stepping on each other's toes.
As well as compiling, this command also provides a url for the local server. Open it up in a browser and you can see your live style guide!
Now for the actual components. These are filed in the theme, inside:components/_patterns/
As we're working with Atomic Principles, the smallest components are filed first building up to the biggest. The beauty of pattern lab is nesting - it's possible to include patterns inside each other to make larger components. Although it's not necessary to use Atomic Design naming conventions when organising patterns, it does make sense. These levels are:
Atoms are the basic elements of the site like HTML tags and buttons. Molecules combine these Atoms to create larger components like a card and then Organisms can combine Molecules to create more complex page components and so on...
Numerics are added to ensure they are listed in the correct order and also a Base folder is added to house variables, breakpoints, layouts and global sass mixins. So, this is how our file structure looks inside that _patterns folder:- _patterns/ - 00-base - 01-atoms - 02-molecules - 03-organisms - 04-templates - 05-pages
Having just the code that makes the component isn't enough for us to view it in our style guide. In addition to the files that make up the component, we can also include files to give the component context. A Markdown file allows us to give the component a title and description, which are used in the navigation and style guide. To each component folder we can also add a YML file which holds filler content solely for use for the style guide. We basically just take each variable name from the twig file and provide some content for each.
So, a typical component file structure might look like this:- card - _card.scss - card.md - card.yml - card.js
Once we had a full understanding of the structure and had added our colour palette and set up our grid and breakpoints it was a case of working through the designs to determine what the components were and of which size. Then starting with Atoms and working up we could build each component. We'll look at the actual development in the next article in the series.
Reviewed a list of design system sites today.
- Google’s Material
- Lightning for Salesforce
- Fluent by Microsoft
- Polaris for Shopify
- Photon for Firefox
- IBM design language
- Australian Government Design System
- Nachos for Trello
Not super strict, but mostly these are design systems that aim to support multiple apps, tools and services on multiple platforms.
I specifically looked at:
- The guiding design principles: which ones and why
- Top level sections for exploring the full system
Can be short on this: a quite consistent pattern of entries for "Getting started, Styleguide, Resources/downloads. What’s behind there varies a lot in depth and quality, mostly depending on the size of the organisation behind it. IBM goes very deep, Nachos understandably less so.Design system principles
The most common pattern is to list a noun or short statement that expresses a characteristic of the type of designs the system wants to support. “Clarity”, “Empower but dont’t overwhelm”, “Universal”, “Engaging and immersive”, “Approachable”, etc. Material only lists 3 high-level ones but has more per section below. Nachos maybe goes a bit long with 10.
Not many of the systems listed mention content, text, words as an important part of a design. Shopify says: “Thoughtful, consistent interface content is a core element of a well-designed user experience.” IBM puts “Defer to content” as the first guiding principle for their visual design guidelines.
Even less mentions of designing for people. This may be inherent to what these sites do: describing the aspects of the system itself. Most of the times the human centered part is put under a usability or accessibility section further down the hierarchy.One interesting outlier
- Discover, try and buy – Meet users where they are. Show, don’t tell. Create a seamless transition from “try” to “buy.”
- Get started – Invite users in and show them what they can do.
- Everday use – Users should get personal value every time they interact with your product.
- Manage and upgrade – Upkeep and receiving the newest improvements should be as elegant and predictable as using the product every day.
- Leverage and extend – Everything wants to be mashed up. Each part of your offering should be available as an API.
- Get support – Support users in the ways they want to get help. Expand their knowledge and encourage them to share.
These put user-centered design center stage, using a life cycle approach. It acknowledges that there are different stages in familiarity with the product and identifies different clusters of scenarios and tasks. Everyday use is something else than Manage and upgrade. Different frames or lenses for looking at the same product(s). This also implies that the same app, product, or even a single new feature has to worked on from all these perspectives.
Thinking about first time use (getting started), regular use (typical tasks), advanced use (extending, customizing) and managing/upgrading are all very relevant perspectives on how people work with Drupal. One example: “Getting started” currently gets special attention, see improving the Drupal evaluator experience.Tags drupalplanet
That's a common question we get from people who join OSTraining for the first time. They want to know about the skills they will need, and what kind of classes they should take.
In this guide, I'll give you an overview to help you get started with Drupal development.
Sites have truly unlimited opportunities in Drupal 8 — they are not even limited by the “website” concept! They can go far beyond it, and easily exchange data with all imaginable applications. Special opportunities for that have appeared thanks to built-in web services, which are listed among Drupal 8’s main improvements. Let’s see what web services can give you, how they work, and what extra special options are added by other Drupal 8 modules.Read more
It feels like it was just yesterday… probably because we still have visions of beignets dancing in our head. But we had such a blast at 18NTC, and we have you, the nonprofit community to thank for it.
Our pre-conference Drupal Day was jam-packed with content from project management to content strategy, to Bene.
Brett and Mimi take over registration!
Here were some highlights:
Brett and Chris Carrol from University of Chicago Graham School definitely schooled us (sorry) on Content Strategy in Drupal.
Lev shares a case study on Bene with the crowd. Bene is an open source distribution intended for small to medium-sized nonprofits. We have a whole page dedicated to it here.
Jessica and Carie Lewis Carlson (formerly from the Humane Society of the United States) shared some wisdom on the challenges often faced in a redesign process.
We want to give a special shout out to our collaborators from Gizra and Fionta - who contributed to the breakout sessions – and to anyone who led a BOF (birds of a feather) breakout and conducted a lightning talk to close. We appreciate you adding your voice to the day.
Next year we’re especially excited about NTC because it’s happening right in our home town of Portland, Oregon! We’re eager to participate and contribute to the rich and vibrant nonprofit community that we deeply care about, and also show you some of what we love best about our hometown.
To stay up to date on everything pre-con / Drupal Day related, (or just to stay in touch!) sign up for our email list. We’ll send a monthly newsletter with the latest trends and case studies to share…and as 19NTC approaches (too soon?) you’ll be first to hear about our plans and how you can join in the fun.
Below is the full agenda from Drupal Day 2018, please reach out if you would like slides from any of the presentations. Thanks and see you all soon!
TEN7 Blog's Drupal Posts: Episode 027: Kaleem Clarkson, Drupal Front End Developer, Inclusion Evangelist
One of OSTrainings members asked how to create a search box with a sliding out effect. Their goal was to arrive at the search box similar to the one you can find at the top of Drupal's own website.
In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a search box that expands once you clicked on its icon. Also, while it stays expanded until you close it, it will keep blurring out your main menu.
If you are weighing whether to upgrade to Drupal 8 but aren’t sure what kind of budget to expect, we’re going to breakdown the upgrade (migration) process. Along the way, we'll highlight the factors that will add hours to your project. This guide is especially for non-technical folks (and written by one). However, all audiences should gain something. We’ll detail the questions you should go to your developer with before quoting your upgrade. We'll also discuss some best practices and common "gotchas".Luke Pekrul Tue, 05/01/2018 - 16:01
Now that Drupal 8 is maturing, it is an exciting time to be on the Drupal Association Board. With Drupal always evolving, the Association must evolve with it so we can continue providing the right kind of support. And, it is the Drupal Association Board who develops the Association’s strategic direction by engaging in discussions around a number of strategic topics throughout their term. As a community member, you can be part of this important process by becoming an At-large Board Member.
We have two At-large positions on the Association Board of Directors. These positions are self-nominated and then elected by the community. Simply put, the At-large Director position is designed to ensure there is community representation on the Drupal Association Board. If you are interested in helping shape the future of the Drupal Association, we encourage you to read this post and nominate yourself between 1-11 June, 2018.What are the Important Dates
Self nominations: 1-11 June, 2018
Meet the candidates: 12-29 June 2018
Voting: 2-13 July, 2018
Votes ratified, Winner announced: 25 July, 2018How do nominations and elections work?
Specifics of the election mechanics were decided through a community-based process in 2012 with participation by dozens of Drupal community members. More details can be found in the proposal that was approved by the Drupal Association Board in 2012 and adapted for use this year.What does the Drupal Association Board do?
The Board of Directors of the Drupal Association are responsible for financial oversight and setting the strategic direction for serving the Drupal Association’s mission, which we achieve through Drupal.org and DrupalCon. Our mission is: Drupal powers the best of the Web. The Drupal Association unites a global open source community to build and promote Drupal.
New board members will contribute to the strategic direction of the Drupal Association. Board members are advised of, but not responsible for matters related to the day-to-day operations of the Drupal Association, including program execution, staffing, etc.
Directors are expected to contribute around five hours per month and attend three in-person meetings per year (financial assistance is available if required).
Association board members, like all board members for US-based organizations, have three legal obligations: duty of care, duty of loyalty, and duty of obedience. In addition to these legal obligations, there is a lot of practical work that the board undertakes. These generally fall under the fiduciary responsibilities and include:
Overseeing Financial Performance
Setting and Reviewing Legal Policies
Managing the Executive Director
To accomplish all this, the board comes together three times a year during two-day retreats. These usually coincide with the North American and major European Drupal Conferences as well as one February meeting. As a board member, you should expect to spend a minimum of five hours a month on board activities.
Some of the topics that will be discussed over the next year or two are:
Grow Drupal adoption through our channels and partner channels
Evolve drupal.org and DrupalCon goals and strategies.
Please watch this video to learn more.Who can run?
There are no restrictions on who can run, and only self-nominations are accepted.
Before self-nominating, we want candidates to understand what is expected of board members and what types of topics they will discuss during their term. That is why we now require candidates to:
Read the Drupal Association bylaws
Read the board member agreement
Watch the video of what it means to be a board member
Read The Drupal Association mission statement
During the elections, members of the Drupal community will ask questions of candidates. You can post comments on candidate profiles here on assoc.drupal.org.
In the past, we held group “meet the candidate” interviews. With many candidates the last few years, group videos didn’t allow each candidate to properly express themselves. We replaced the group interview and allow candidates to create their own 3 minute video and add it to their candidate profile page. These videos must be posted by 11 June, the Association will promote the videos to the community from 12 -29 June. Hint - Great candidates would be those that exemplify the Drupal Values & Principles. That might provide structure for a candidate video?How do I run?
From 1-11 June, go here to nominate yourself. If you are considering running, please read the entirety of this post, and then be prepared to complete the self-nomination form. This form will be open on 1 June, 2018 through 11 June, 2018 at midnight UTC. You'll be asked for some information about yourself and your interest in the Drupal Association Board. When the nominations close, your candidate profile will be published and available for Drupal community members to browse. Comments will be enabled, so please monitor your candidate profile so you can respond to questions from community members. We will announce the new board member at the 25 July, 2018 public board meeting and via our blog and social channels.
Reminder, you must review the following materials before completing your candidate profile:
Read the Drupal Association bylaws
Read the board member agreement
Watch the video of what it means to be a board member
Read The Drupal Association mission statement
Voting is open to all individuals who have a Drupal.org account by the time nominations open and who have logged in at least once in the past year. If you meet this criteria, your account will be added to the voters list on association.drupal.org and you will have access to the voting.
To vote, you will rank candidates in order of your preference (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.). The results will be calculated using an "instant runoff" method. For an accessible explanation of how instant runoff vote tabulation works, see videos linked in this discussion.Elections process
Voting will be held from 2-13 July, 2018. During this period, you can review and comment on candidate profiles on assoc.drupal.org.
Finally, the Drupal Association Board will ratify the election and announce the winner on 25 July.
Have questions? Please contact Drupal Association Community Liaison, Rachel Lawson.
Many thanks to nedjo for pioneering this process and documenting it so well!
By now, we all know the importance of building responsive websites that dynamically adjust to any screen size. According to Statista, 52 percent of all global web pages served in 2018 were viewed on smartphones. And now that Google’s index is mobile first, it’s essential for websites to be designed (or redesigned) mobile first — with a smartphone screen size as the starting point, and resizing up from there.
Building a site to be fully responsive starts with organizing your content so it can be browsed and read on even the smallest smartphone. Whether you’re creating content for a new site, or restructuring a legacy site, begin with a responsive content strategy that defines how you will optimize and structure content for mobile users.
Here are the key components of responsive (and mobile first) content strategy:1. Be mobile first
When you begin planning content, start with the smallest screen size and work your way up. This will allow you to tackle the most challenging task first, and it will help you make the most of the smallest interface. This process is also very effective for eliminating unnecessary content elements that you may be tempted to include if you’re designing desktop first. An effective and efficient mobile-first design will more easily translate to a clean desktop design (rather than trying to scale down your desktop design).2. Structure your content first, design later
Begin by stripping all the design elements from your text content. Develop and structure your content, add it to your Drupal 8 CMS and then apply styling and design.3. Optimize and structure your content for mobile
Responsive content needs to be modular so it will easily break into mobile-friendly pieces. And it needs to be skimmable, so mobile readers can easily consume it.
Create less content (if that’s an option) and keep it short. Organize website copy into small, granular paragraphs or chunks, no longer than three paragraphs. Add subtitles that define each piece, so mobile users can easily browse and scan content.
Working in your Drupal CMS, define separate fields for different pieces of content. The more fields you create for your content, the more flexibility you will have. In other words, you’ll have a field for a title, subtitle, pull-quote, body text, instructions, etc. Each field can be uniquely styled according to its content type. Then prioritize fields based on their importance so they stack in a logical way on a user’s screen — the most important content up top, less useful content can be condensed, stacked below, or even hidden.4. Simplify navigation
Nobody wants to browse a mega menu that consumes their entire smartphone screen. The ubiquity of mobile means menus need to be reduced and simplified. Put a lot of thought into how you will make your most important content accessible via your menu. How many menu items can you remove or de-prioritize? Flatten your navigation — stop nesting menus inside menus inside menus and instead create fewer layers and way less navigation points. If you’ve decided to take links out of the menu, you can add them elsewhere as links or call to action.5. Be strategic with your calls to action
Take the time to prioritize your calls to action. On mobile, it’s even more important to define your most important CTAs — the ones that directly impact your business objectives. List your objectives in order of importance, and align a call to action with each one. Then choose objective that’s most critical to your bottom line. This is the only CTA that should live above the fold on your mobile screen.6. Optimize media
Make sure your sound, video and image files are optimized for devices large and small. Always use image thumbnails so users don’t have to load a video player. And never, never use autoplay on your video and audio content.
For images, start with image sizes and proportions that can be adapted. And don’t resize or add image treatments before adding images to your CMS — let Drupal do the heavy lifting (just like you did with your text content). Images should not be larger than you need them to be (even on large screens). Rely on Drupal 8’s Responsive Image module to resize images to the screen-appropriate size.7. Begin the long, hard task of cleaning up legacy content
Of course, there’s always the large, old-school website that needs to have its content converted to mobile first. In addition to all the content tips we’ve outlined above, you want to dive into that static HTML and clean it up. Remove fixed-width tables, inline media and floats with content (ouch). And on the content level, start to structure long content into browsable chunks that can be organized into content fields.Mobile first: it’s universal
Many of us been applying similar content guidelines and strategies for quite some time; but the need for a mobile-first approach was not universal. It was dependent on the project, technology used, the target user, etc. In today’s digital ecosystem, mobile-first has become a given. Now it’s time to explore the creative potential for creating sharp, sparse, targeted content that fits in the palm of a user’s hand.+ more awesome articles by Evolving Web