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Dries Buytaert: Friduction: the internet's unstoppable drive to eliminate friction

Fri, 05/19/2017 - 01:02
figure class=figurediv class=img style=border: 1px solid #ccc; display: inline-block img src=http://buytaert.net/files/cache/blog/friduction-742x1114.jpg style=display:block alt= //div /figurepThere is one significant trend that I have noticed over and over again: the internet's continuous drive to mitigate friction in user experiences and business models./p pSince the internet's commercial debut in the early 90s, it has captured success and upset the established order by a href=http://buytaert.net/drupal-and-eliminating-middlemeneliminating unnecessary middlemen/a. Book stores, photo shops, travel agents, stock brokers, bank tellers and music stores are just a few examples of the kinds of middlemen who have been eliminated by their online counterparts. The act of buying books, printing photos or booking flights online alleviates the friction felt by consumers who must stand in line or wait on hold to speak to a customer service representative./p pRather than interpreting this evolution as disintermediation or taking something away, I believe there is value in recognizing that the internet is constantly improving customer experiences by reducing friction from systems — a process I like to call friduction. /p h3Open Source and cloud/h3 pOver the past 15 years, I've watched open source and cloud computing solutions transform content management into a href=http://buytaert.net/from-content-management-to-digital-experience-managementdigital experience management/a. Specifically, I have observed open source and cloud-computing solutions remove friction from legacy approaches to technology. Open source takes the friction out of the technology evaluation and adoption process; you are not forced to get a demo or go through a sales and procurement process, or deal with the limitations of a proprietary license. Cloud computing also took off because it also offers friduction; with cloud, companies pay for what they use, avoid large up-front capital expenditures, and gain speed-to-market./p h3Cross-channel experiences/h3 pTechnology will continue to work to eliminate inefficiencies, and today, emerging distribution platforms will continue to improve user experience. There is a reason why a href=https://www.drupal.org/node/2757967Drupal's API-first initiative/a is one of the topics I've a href=http://buytaert.net/a-roadmap-for-making-drupal-more-api-firsttalked and written/a the most about in 2016; it enables Drupal to move beyond the page and integrate with different user engagement systems. We're quickly headed to a world where a href=http://buytaert.net/cross-channel-user-experiences-with-drupalwebsites are evolving into cross­channel experiences/a, which includes push notifications, conversational UIs, and more. Conversational UIs, such as chatbots and voice assistants, will eliminate certain inefficiencies inherent to traditional websites. These technologies will prevail because they improve and redefine the customer experience. In fact, a href=http://buytaert.net/think-beyond-with-acquia-labsAcquia Labs was founded last year/a to explore how we can help customer bring these browser-less experiences to market./p h3Personalization and contextualization/h3 pIn the 90s, personalization meant that websites could address authenticated users by name. I remember the first time I saw my name appear on a website; I was excited! Obviously personalization strategies have come a long way since the 90s. Today, websites present recommendations based on a user's most recent activity, and consumers expect to be provided with highly tailored experiences. The drive for greater personalization and contextualization will never stop; there is too much value in removing friction from the user experience. When a commerce website can predict what you like based on past behavior, it eliminates friction from the shopping process. When a customer support website can predict what question you are going to ask next, it is able to provide a better customer experience. This is not only useful for the user, but also for the business. A more efficient user experience will translate into higher sales, improved customer retention and better brand exposure./p pTo keep pace with evolving user expectations, tomorrow's digital experiences will need to deliver more tailored, and even predictive customer experiences. This will require organizations to consume multiple sources of data, such as location data, historic clickstream data, or information from wearables to create a fine-grained user context. Data will be the foundation for predictive analytics and personalization services. Advancing user privacy in conjunction with data-driven strategies will be an important component of enhancing personalized experiences. Eventually, I believe that a href=http://buytaert.net/the-future-of-software-is-data-drivendata-driven experiences will be the norm/a./p pAt Acquia, we started investing in contextualization and personalization in 2014, through the release of a product called a href=http://buytaert.net/tag/acquia-liftAcquia Lift/a. Adoption of Acquia Lift has grown year over year, and we expect it to increase for years to come. Contextualization and personalization will become more pervasive, especially as different systems of engagements, big data, the internet of things (IoT) and machine learning mature, combine, and begin to have profound impacts on what the definition of a great user experience should be. It might take a few more years before trends like personalization and contextualization are fully adopted by the early majority, but we are patient investors and product builders. Systems like Acquia Lift will be of critical importance and premiums will be placed on orchestrating the optimal customer journey./p h3Conclusion/h3 pThe history of the web dictates that lower-friction solutions will surpass what came before them because they eliminate inefficiencies from the customer experience. Friduction is a long-term trend. Websites, the internet of things, augmented and virtual reality, conversational UIs — all of these technologies will continue to grow because they will enable us to build lower-friction digital experiences./p

Lullabot: Modernizing JavaScript in Drupal 8

Fri, 05/19/2017 - 00:00
Mike and Matt host two of Drupal's JavaScript maintainers, Théodore Biadala and Matthew Grill, as well as Lullabot's resident JavaScript expert Sally Young, and talk about the history of JavaScript in Drupal, and attempts to modernize it.

Third Grove: Using the Batch API and hook_update_N in Drupal 8

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 23:07
span property=schema:name class=field-name--titleUsing the Batch API and hook_update_N in Drupal 8/span span class=field-name--uid rel=schema:authorspan lang= about=https://www.thirdandgrove.com/user/78 typeof=schema:Person property=schema:name datatype= xml:lang=ed/span/span span property=schema:dateCreated content=2017-05-18T21:07:27+00:00 class=field-name--createdThu, 05/18/2017 - 17:07/span

agoradesign: How Drupal Commerce 2.x improved my skills

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 22:59
div class=field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden div class=field-items div class=field-item evenBeing one of the first early adopters of Drupal Commerce 2.x by starting our first project in early 2016 (on alpha2 version) and soon after a second one, I originally planned to write a blog post soon after beta1 gets published. Unfortunately I was too busy at that time..../div /div /div

Blair Wadman: End of life of Mollom. What can you use instead?

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 17:57
div class=field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hiddendiv class=field-itemsdiv class=field-item even property=content:encodedpAcquia has announced that they will be ending the life of Mollom. As of April 2018, they will no longer support the product./p pYou have over a year to find a replacement. I am currently using Mollom and planning on changing mine now. Chances are, if I don't, I'll forget to change it closer to the time!/p/div/div/div

Promet Source: Supporting Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 14:43
Thursday, May 18 2017 marks the sixth annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital (web, software, mobile, etc.) access/inclusion and people with different disabilities. Promet Source is proud to support GAAD as we help our clients achieve equal access for all across their digital properties.

Agiledrop.com Blog: AGILEDROP: DrupalCon sessions about Project Management

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 10:04
a href=http://www.agiledrop.com/blog/drupalcon-sessions-about-project-managementimg src=https://www.agiledrop.com/sites/default/files/2017-05/checklist-2077020_640.jpg //a Last time, we gathered together DrupalCon Baltimore sessions about Case Studies. We promised that we will also look in some other areas. Therefore, we will this time explore the sessions from Project Management. Project Managers ARE the new Content Strategists by Lynn Winter from August Ash The session is about Project Managers being a content strategist. They become so because nobody has money to pay for a content strategist. Therefore, a session walks you through the discovery, design, and build phases of a website redesign sharing tips, tools, and examples of steps you can take to… a href=http://www.agiledrop.com/blog/drupalcon-sessions-about-project-managementREAD MORE/a

Kalamuna Blog: Lessons from Our Drupal 8 Blog Migration

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 23:29
span class=field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hiddenLessons from Our Drupal 8 Blog Migration/span div class=field field--name-field-featured-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item img src= alt=Storefront with sign that reads Early Learning Centre title= width=870 height=330 //div span class=field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hiddenspanShannon O'Malley/span/span span class=field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hiddenWed, 05/17/2017 - 14:29/span div class=clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__itemp dir=ltrLate last year, we upgraded our blog from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8. Our main objective was to invest in our skills within Kalamuna so we could, in turn, better serve our clients. We have a lot of Drupal 8 migrations lined up over the course of the next year or so, and we foresee many more coming down the pipeline. This gave us a chance to learn the ins and outs of Drupal 8, with the added value of sprucing up our very own blog. This post is a summary of takeaways from our experience that I hope will help you on your own Drupal 8 adventures./p/div div class=field field--name-field-featured-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-above div class=field__labelCategories/div div class=field__items div class=field__itema href=https://blog.kalamuna.com/categories/articles hreflang=enArticles/a/div div class=field__itema href=https://blog.kalamuna.com/categories/drupal hreflang=enDrupal/a/div div class=field__itema href=https://blog.kalamuna.com/categories/git hreflang=enGit/a/div div class=field__itema href=https://blog.kalamuna.com/categories/guidance hreflang=enGuidance/a/div div class=field__itema href=https://blog.kalamuna.com/categories/information-architecture hreflang=enInformation Architecture/a/div div class=field__itema href=https://blog.kalamuna.com/categories/responsive-design hreflang=enResponsive Design/a/div /div /div

myDropWizard.com: Drupal 6 security update for Legal

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 16:29
div class=field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hiddendiv class=field-itemsdiv class=field-item evenpemAs you may know, a href=https://www.mydropwizard.com/blog/weve-reached-drupal-6-end-life-date-what-does-meanDrupal 6 has reached End-of-Life (EOL)/a which means the Drupal Security Team is no longer doing Security Advisories or working on security patches for Drupal 6 core or contrib modules - but the a href=https://www.mydropwizard.com/blog/how-official-drupal-6-long-term-support-will-workDrupal 6 LTS vendors/a are and we're one of them!/em/ppstrongToday, there is a Moderately Critical security release for an Access Bypass vulnerability the Legal module./strong/pp class=p1span class=s1The a href=https://www.drupal.org/project/legalLegal/a module dspanisplays your Terms amp; Conditions to users who want to register, and requires that they accept the Tamp;C before their registration is accepted./span/span/pp class=p1span class=s1spanIt had a bug where a specially crafted URL could allow anyone to login to a user account that hadn't yet accepted the terms and conditions. This is mitigated by the fact that an attacker must have a way to obtain the URL, possibly by snooping on web traffic that isn't protected via HTTPS or a man-in-the-middle attack./span/span/pp class=p1span class=s1span(strongA note about the timing of this release:/strong per our agreement with the Drupal Security Team, we were unable to release this patch until the same vulnerability was fixed for the Drupal 7 Legal module, or two weeks went by after that module was unsupported, if it appeared it wasn't going to be fixed. The fix for Drupal 7 was a href=https://www.drupal.org/project/legal/releases/7.x-1.7released today/a.)/span/span/ppHere you can download a href=http://cgit.drupalcode.org/d6lts/plain/common/contrib/legal/SA-CONTRIB-2017-036.patchthe Drupal 6 patch/a./ppIf you have a Drupal 6 site using the Legal module, we recommend you update immediately! We have already deployed the patch for all of our Drupal 6 Long-Term Support clients. :-)/ppstrongIf you'd like all your Drupal 6 modules to receive security updates and have the fixes deployed the same day they're released, please a href=https://www.mydropwizard.com/drupal-6-ltscheck out our D6LTS plans/a./strong/ppemNote: if you use the a href=https://www.drupal.org/project/mydropwizardmyDropWizard/a module (totally free!), you'll be alerted to these and any future security updates, and will be able to use drush to install them (even though they won't necessarily have a release on Drupal.org)./em/pp/div/div/div

Code Positive: Easy effective testing for Drupal 8 sites with Behat 3

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 13:13
a href=http://www.codepositive.com/articles/easy-effective-testing-drupal-8-sites-behat-3img src=http://www.codepositive.com/sites/default/files/styles/rss_banner/public/2017-03/eyeglasses-2003188_1280.jpg?itok=T3fUNrm2 width=940 height=230 alt=Testing for Drupal 8 sites with Behat 3 title=Testing for Drupal 8 sites with Behat 3 typeof=Image class=image-style-rss-banner //a pThe easiest way to effectively test your Drupal 8 site - Behat 3 with the Behat Drupal extension is an incredible tool for keeping your project out of trouble./p pa href=http://www.codepositive.com/articles/easy-effective-testing-drupal-8-sites-behat-3READ MORE/a/p p /p

Valuebound: Guide to Drupal distribution Thunder for Media Publishing companies

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 13:04
p dir=ltrspanWhile, a drupal developer is working on a project, adding custom codes or functionalities is one of the unavoidable things to do. Otherwise known as extensions or modules in drupal. Drupal modules do not come packed with the core built of drupal and often has to be navigated and found on drupal.org. But is does not end there, you have to know the exact task or functionality the drupal module will add. /span/p p dir=ltrspanThe solution to extensive module search may end with drupal distributions. Making a big fat functional website with the perfect drupal modules would be so much easier if someone would do that for us and we could download it whole as a package, well that is what distributions are for. /span/p p dir=ltrspanA drupal distribution…/span/p

Websolutions Agency: Creating a custom checkout pane for Drupal Commerce in Drupal 8

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 11:46
divdiv class=img-thumbnailimg typeof=foaf:Image src=https://ws.agency/sites/default/files/field/image/custom-checkout-pane.png width=1130 height=441 alt=Custom checkout pane //div/div div class=field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hiddendiv class=field-itemsdiv class=field-item even property=content:encodedpIn this article, I#39;ll show how you can create a custom checkout pane for Drupal Commerce in Drupal 8. For this purpose, we#39;ll create a checkout pane with a configuration form and ability for users to add coupons to their order./p /div/div/diva href=/tags/drupal-planet typeof=skos:Concept property=rdfs:label skos:prefLabel datatype=Drupal Planet/a, a href=/tags/drupal-8 typeof=skos:Concept property=rdfs:label skos:prefLabel datatype=Drupal 8/a, a href=/tags/drupal-modules typeof=skos:Concept property=rdfs:label skos:prefLabel datatype=Drupal modules/a

Comic Relief Technology Blog: Drupal 8 and Composer can be friends

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 10:41
Introduction 10 years ago (at the end of 2006), Drush appeared to make it easy for Drupal developers to do#8230; div class=more-link-containera class=more-link href=https://technology.comicrelief.com/2017/05/17/drupal-8-and-composer-can-be-friends/Read More/a/divimg alt= border=0 src=https://pixel.wp.com/b.gif?host=technology.comicrelief.com#038;blog=99245653#038;post=2144#038;subd=crtechnologyblog#038;ref=#038;feed=1 width=1 height=1 /

Freelock : Is your website safe from a cyber attack?

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 05:38
div class=g-plusone-wrapper style=margin: 0 1em 1em 1em;float:right g:plusone href=https://www.freelock.com/blog/john-locke/2017-05/your-website-safe-cyber-attack size=medium annotation=bubble width=250 /g:plusone/divdiv class=field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hiddendiv class=field-itemsdiv class=field-item evenpAs I write, we're in the midst of a big Ransomware attack. Millions of computers have been infected, with their data encrypted, held ransom pending an extortion payment or deleted. Supposedly./p pThere's a very simple way to avoid the catastrophe of losing everything due to an attack like this. And it's nothing new, it's something we've known to do all along: make good backups of everything, all the time./p/div/div/divdiv class=field field-name-taxonomy-vocabulary-5 field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-hiddendiv class=field-itemsdiv class=field-item evena href=/tag/securitySecurity/a/divdiv class=field-item odda href=/tag/hacked-sitehacked site/a/divdiv class=field-item evena href=/tag/ransomwareransomware/a/divdiv class=field-item odda href=/tag/drupalDrupal/a/divdiv class=field-item evena href=/tag/word-pressWord Press/a/divdiv class=field-item odda href=/tag/drupal-planetDrupal Planet/a/div/div/div

Colorfield: React and Drupal 8 with JSON API 1/3

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 22:30
span property=schema:name class=field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hiddenReact and Drupal 8 with JSON API 1/3/span div class=field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item a href=https://colorfield.be/blog/react-and-drupal-8-json-api-1img property=schema:image src=https://colorfield.be/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/2017-05/react-logo.png?itok=Q4pNzFAS width=500 height=234 alt=React logo typeof=foaf:Image class=image-style-large //a /div span rel=schema:author class=field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hiddenspan lang= about=https://colorfield.be/user/1 typeof=schema:Person property=schema:name datatype= xml:lang=christophe/span/span span property=schema:dateCreated content=2017-05-16T20:30:07+00:00 class=field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hiddenTue, 16/05/2017 - 22:30/span div property=schema:text class=clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__itemThe goal of this serie of posts is to achieve quickly a simple museum Audioguide web app based on a React isomorphic boilerplate with a Drupal 8 backend that uses the latest standards. The web app will be fully decoupled by being hosted on another domain than the Drupal one. As a real world case, we want it to be fully multilingual. This is the first post of a serie of 3. This first one focuses on having a Drupal and React setup that meets our requirements. The second one will define a MVP that will just fetch the audioguides list and a detail view (GET operation), the last one will then add extra features like getting user feedback (POST operation)./div

Drupal Association blog: Want to host DrupalCon North America in Your City? We Have the RFP for You.

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 22:23
div class=field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hiddendiv class=field-itemsdiv class=field-item evenpimg alt=DrupalCon Logo class=left height=155 src=/files/DrupalCon_branding_prism_Final1.jpg width=300 /We are excited to open our RFP process for DrupalCon North America. We are currently looking at locations for 2019 and at locations for 2020. We are running the RFP process concurrently for both years./p pIf you've attended DrupalCon in the past, you know that it is a pretty unique event. It brings together 3,200 people from across the globe to build Drupal, outline the future of the project, learn skills, teach others, and propel the project forward./p pIf you are eager for your city to host a DrupalCon we recommend you send this link to your city's Convention Center or Tourism Bureau. We have begun outreach to cities that our DrupalCon team, and the community, have identified as a good fit. That said, we are always welcome to suggestions./p pAll of the RFP needs are outlined in any of the documents in a href=https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B5kzn7mfJL8vdWR6ZGU0bjA3MzQ rel=nofollowthis folder/a. Note - the documents are different file formats, however the contents are identical. All proposals must be submitted by May 30, 2017, 5pm PST/p pIf you are a convention center or tourism bureau and have any questions, feel free to a href=mailto:rachel@association.drupal.org?subject=DrupalCon%202019%20%26%20DrupalCon%202020%20RFP rel=nofollowreach out/a directly to us./p pWe appreciate your interest in DrupalCon and can't wait to tell you where the next Con will be!/p/div/div/div

Phase2: 5 Emerging Online Community Platform Trends

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 19:44
p dir=ltrBuilding an online community is not a new topic, but a href=https://www.re-imaginework.com/sites/default/files/public/document/IDC%20-%20Worldwide%20Enterprise%20Social%20Networks%20and%20Online%20Communities%202015%20-%202019%20Forecast%20and%202014%20Vendor%20Shares.pdfthe market is refocused on its growing importance/a because these online communities can increase customer retention, decrease customer support expenses, and increase profits./p

Acquia Developer Center Blog: The Tools You Get with Cog: The New Drupal 8 Base Theme

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 19:00
div class=field field-name-field-blog-image field-type-image field-label-hiddendiv class=field-itemsdiv class=field-item evenimg typeof=foaf:Image class=img-responsive src=https://dev.acquia.com/sites/default/files/styles/blog__190_x110_/public/blog/gettyimages-505508344_0.jpg?itok=EqhDivcB width=140 height=85 alt=gears title=gears //div/div/divdiv class=field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hiddendiv class=field-itemsdiv class=field-item even property=content:encodedpCog, introduced in a a href=https://dev.acquia.com/blog/welcome-to-cog-a-new-drupal-8-base-theme-/11/05/2017/18161previous post/a, was built as a toolset for satisfying the needs of enterprise clients by Acquia's Professional Service Front-end Team. It's used as a basic starting point for a new project and includes tools for reinforcing front-end best practices. In this blog post we will introduce you to some of the tools included in Cog. /p/div/div/divdiv class=field field-name-field-blog-tags field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-inline clearfixdiv class=field-labelTags:nbsp;/divdiv class=field-itemsdiv class=field-item evena href=/tags/acquia-drupal-planet typeof=skos:Concept property=rdfs:label skos:prefLabel datatype=acquia drupal planet/a/div/div/div

Jacob Rockowitz: Wrangling the Webform Issue Queue

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 17:27
pstrongI’m afraid of the Webform module's issue queue. I see the Webform 8,x-5.x module's usage stats growing and with it, duplicate bug reports are increasing. The webform_update_8025() update hook is going to haunt me for months. Now I’m afraid to write any update hook that touches an existing field definition. I’ve realized that it is time to push back on the Webform module's issue queue before it’s too late./strong/ppHear me out: I’m not looking for a fight - just a solution to a very simple problem. People don't know how to write proper bug reports and feature requests, and they don't like to read the a href=https://www.drupal.org/node/317issue queue handbook/a. The solution could be equally simple, which would be to require them write good tickets./ppPlenty of documentation and a href=https://drupalize.me/videos/getting-started-issue-queue?p=1176videos/a about writing good issues exist. My goal is to make it easier for people to write complete and useful tickets so I can better assist them./ph3p style=font-size: 60%;bHelp us Help you/b/p/h3pFor now, I have three goals for improving the Webform issue queue process:/pulliProvide easy-to-use bug and features templates./liliEncourage users to employ these bug and feature templates./liliShow users how to create a good issue./li/ulh3p style=font-size: 60%;bProvide bug and feature templates/b/p/h3pGitHub allows a maintainer to create an a href=https://help.github.com/articles/creating-an-issue-template-for-your-repository/issue template/a and a href=https://help.github.com/articles/creating-a-pull-request-template-for-your-repository/pull request/a for their repository. I have decided to do the same thing for the Webform module. Drupal.org does not really support issue templates, however I can recommend that people use them by prepopulating the issues' body field/ph3p style=font-size: 60%;bPrepopulate the Create...a href=http://www.jrockowitz.com/blog/wrangling-the-webform-issue-queueRead More/a

Phase2: How Columbia is Leading Universities in the Digital World

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 16:44
p dir=ltrColumbia University is taking proactive steps to ensure its predominantly Drupal-based digital properties are offering the best possible experience to site visitors. Using Acquia’s a href=http://lightning.acquia.com/Lightning/a distribution as a base, the CUIT team has begun to roll out a new platform on Drupal 8./p p dir=ltra href=https://cuit.columbia.edu/Columbia University Information Technology (CUIT)/a provides Columbia students, faculty, and staff with central computing and communications services. I caught up with Ian Mieville, Director of Web Services at Columbia University, to talk about how Columbia uses Drupal to support the university’s web services -- and how Drupal 8 is improving those services./p p dir=ltr /p pstrongHow does CUIT support Columbia University?/strong/p p dir=ltrCUIT is the centralized IT department for Columbia University. We’re in charge of the university’s security and asset management, technology infrastructure, enterprise systems, as well as custom development and application work. We develop, support, and host about 300+ websites and web applications, which are all almost exclusively on the Drupal framework./p p dir=ltr /p pstrongWhat were your goals for Columbia University’s new Drupal 8 platform?/strong/p p dir=ltrThe first goal was to synchronize the user experience of most CU sites. We discovered a real inconsistency of experience site-to-site -- not only with regards to design, but also usability. Users had to constantly reorient themselves every time they went to a new CU site, even if it was related to the one they just left./p p dir=ltrSo we aimed to create a standard UX where key components (search, events, news, people directories, course directories, etc.) were consistent with a single usable pattern and design. This would allow site maintainers to focus on what’s really important to them (content and information), without worrying about the technical details of digital property management. As an incentive to adopt the new standard model, we’d make this service available for free to our CU clients./p p dir=ltrOn the back-end, we found it highly inefficient to keep recreating the wheel every time we launched a new site. So our second goal was to standardize things like content types and integration patterns, and provision a single code base. This would mean our time at CUIT could be better spent doing more complex work./p p dir=ltr /p p dir=ltrstrongWhat was your strategy to accomplish these goals?/strong/p p dir=ltrIn conjunction with our partners, we decided to develop three models of a distribution, to serve as blueprints for standardization./p p dir=ltrThe first was the Research Model, designed for use by Columbia’s labs and research institutes. The blueprint design focused on research projects, peer-reviewed journal publications, and the people running and working in the labs. It’s meant to give faculty members a platform for publishing their research, in addition to marketing to post-doc applicants./p p dir=ltrSecond, the Administrative Model will support departments like HR, Finance, and the International Student and Scholars Group. As an administrative unit, these departments exist to offer some service to Columbia’s community, so the model for their sites will give them a way to forefront popular services and organize them by personas, so as to better serve the target audience./p p dir=ltrFinally, the Academic Model allows academic departments to showcase their course selection, faculty members, research initiatives, etc. It is formatted to be both a recruiting and informational tool for prospective and current students. This model is still being developed at the moment./p p dir=ltr /p pstrongYou designed these models on Drupal 8, using Acquia’s a href=http://lightning.acquia.com/Lightning/a distribution as a base. Why Lightning?/strong/p p dir=ltrWe chose Lightning because it fit into what we were thinking already. As a distribution, it is well-suited for site maintainers and people who manage content. From the back-end, it had the tools to support that use case. And because it’s supported by a href=https://www.acquia.com/Acquia/a, we knew we’d get timely updates. Most importantly, it was a recommendation from Phase2 Software Architect a href=https://www.phase2technology.com/mike-potter/Mike Potter/a, who worked on this project with us early on./p p dir=ltr /p p dir=ltrstrongWhat do other universities stand to gain from using Drupal 8/Lightning?/strong/p p dir=ltrThere’s a lot to gain from Lightning specifically and Drupal 8 in general. Drupal 8 makes it easier for us to control functionality and integration points, and support Columbia digital properties as a product and a platform./p p dir=ltrThat being said, we had a very good understanding of what Drupal 8 was offering and what we could do within those parameters. So do your research. There are a lot of contributed modules that still aren’t over to Drupal 8 yet. Choosing Drupal 8 should depend on what you want to do, and your development team’s ability to support customizations and write custom modules./p p dir=ltr /p p dir=ltrstrongAny other advice for universities investing in digital transformation?/strong/p p dir=ltrYour digital strategy depends on how centralized the university is. Columbia is very decentralized digitally, but other universities may have a central CMS where every department hangs off that main site -- I can’t speak to that./p p dir=ltrHaving said that, you should partner with those people on the other side of the IT site, ie your public affairs group. In doing that, we were able to present a more uniform front. It also makes it easier to convince departments to adopt the standard, as it’s a direct recommendation for the central administration./p p dir=ltrWith Drupal 8, there’s a little bit of a learning curve. Here at CU, we separate our front-end and back-end developers, so each of those teams learned those functions in Drupal for us. My recommendation is, if at all possible, to dedicate team members to different pieces of the Drupal ecosystem to ensure a high level of expertise in both front-end and back-end./p p dir=ltr /p p dir=ltrstrongWhy did you select Phase2 as a technology partner?/strong/p p dir=ltrI previously worked with Phase2 (several times!) when I was at the College Board. When we started initiating this project at Columbia, we needed a certain level of expertise in Drupal, which I knew from experience Phase2 had. We also had other ongoing IT work, so having support from Phase2 allowed our team not to be overrun with the platform design./p p dir=ltrIt was all very seemless; we were happy to work with Chauncey, Daniel, and Mike on the project. They were really great developers and added a lot of value to the overall project./p p dir=ltrThanks for taking the time to chat, Ian!/p