A Transformative Approach to Drupal Migration
Over the past several months, much of the focus within the Drupal community has concerned the imperative of Drupal migration. Between the Nov. 1, 2023 end of life for Drupal 9, and the announcement at DrupalCon last Spring that Jan. 5, 2025 was the final, final end-of-life date for Drupal 7, there has been a steady stream of messaging concerning the Why, the When, and the How of upgrading to Drupal 10.
It’s all true, but lost in all of the "have-to's" concerning transitioning to this best-ever version of Drupal, it’s easy to lose sight of the incredible opportunity inherent in a Drupal migration.
Migration provides a prime opportunity to think strategically about your site and how the architecture, design, and user experience can be better aligned with current objectives and branding.
Redefining Your Digital Presence
More so than ever before, web experiences represent a defining digital presence. The stakes for getting it right are high. What proved to be the right approach a a few years ago, might be inching toward becoming out of sync with user expectations.
Keep in mind, users form rapid-fire impressions about your organization and your website the second they land on a page:
- Am I going to engage with this site?
- Does it contain the information that I need?
- Should I keep scrolling?
- Do I want to click on this link?
- Is this interface going to be easy or trip me up into some frustrating sort of loop?
- Should I just order now?
- Do I want more information?
- Where else can I click that looks interesting?
Expertise Plus Empathy
Getting into alignment with user expectations calls for a deep level of inquiry along with a complex mix of empathy for users, elimination of assumptions, and user journey mapping. At Promet Source, it’s what we call Human Centered Design, and it serves as the foundation for user experience design that that optimizes first impressions, maintains engagement, and drives organizational goals.
Fact is, a depth and breadth of effort and expertise factors into the creation of engaging web experiences that require minimal effort on the part of user. Great UX is a multi-layered process, which incorporates the following objectives.
Convey Your Brand Story with Intention
Determine what it is that sets your organization apart, and ensure that your messaging, tone, and brand guidelines seamlessly align. Empathy to the fact that visitors to your site are bombarded with more messaging every day than they can ever hope to absorb, will strengthen your resolve to create refreshing web experiences that offer a break from the clutter.
Even if—especially if—the subject matter is complex, focus on connecting the content to the distinct needs of your audience.
Establish and Adhere to Consistent Standards
Clearly understood guidelines for brand colors, fonts, and all stylistic considerations, and how they are to be used across your site, drive a consistent user experience with clear expectations. Consistency provides a mental model for similar patterns, which facilitates navigation.
Monitor Site Performance
Sites that respond efficiently and pages that load rapidly are a significant factor in a positive user experience. Expectations are high and patience is low in the current digital environment. In fact, a slow-loading website is a source of lost business. Visitors tend to stop engaging with a site if images take too long to load.
Build Information Architecture Around User Journeys
Too often, the information architecture of a site is based loosely on an internal organization chart, or what seems to make sense to the development team, or simply what appears to be standard practice. There are multiple approaches, but a deeper dive into user preferences and what makes the most sense to them is guaranteed to produce valuable insights.
Optimize for Mobile
Recent studies reveal that mobile devices account for more than half of all web traffic worldwide, and the upward trend is continuing. Mobile optimized websites, however, are lagging far behind. Mobile optimization is no longer a nice-to-have. It’s an urgent business imperative.
Ensure Web Accessibility Compliance
Whether or not your site is legally required to do so, adherence to web accessibility guidelines is simply the right thing to do. Recent CDC reports indicate that fully 25 percent of the population has a disability of some sort. More so than ever before, online experiences represent an essential link to the outside world. Creating a site that works for people with disabilities also means that it works better for everyone, at every ability level.
When online experiences consistently spark a sense of "Why can’t our site do that?" or "Why doesn’t our site look more like this?" It’s time take action. Your site can step up and serve as a strategic driver in an environment in which your web presence is an increasingly defining factor for your organization, your brand, and your values.
Shepherding the transformation of websites from a source of frustration, or simply a functional presence, to an intentional experience that ignites new digital possibilities is what we do here at Promet Source. Check out our recent work!