This summer I’ll be helping the Drupal Documentation team with some bottom-up Information Architecture for migrating the Docs content over to the redesigned Drupal.org. I’ve been chatting with add1sun about the project for a month or so, who tells me there’s been a lot of excitement around IA in the Docs community, and this will be the first big project.
There are a lot of skills within the Docs community that I’m excited to collaborate with – from analytics to surveys, and obviously writing
Some general information I’ve learned about Drupal Docs:
The primary places to get involved with Drupal Documentation is the Docs issue queue (where a lot of decision making happens) and the mailing list . It also helps to watch the the Documentation Team Group page for IRC meetings in #drupal-docs (but this room I’ve learned has limited activity outside of scheduled meetings).
At this point written goals for Documentation (as in it’s mission and measurable goals on what it’s trying to do) are in progress. The general idea is to support new Drupal users and make Docs a place where someone can get something useful done. From the current understanding of Docs users, some want to walk through instructions step-by-step and others want to quickly zero in on the information they need. The Docs team wants to support both. One problem at the moment is that browsing the book pages is difficult, and I suspect this may be a problem for some of the new step-by-step users.
It’s generally thought that the most common way people use Documentation is through Search. But not just Drupal.org – there’s a whole world of resources out there that people sift through to find an answer to their question. There are language community sites as well, and non-native English speakers tend to stick to those unless they’ve come to a dead end (according to add1sun).
Currently there are 4700 book pages under Documentation. That’s a whole lot, but fortunately there’s really only HTML pages, no other kinds of documents to mess with for now. There are a few new vocabularies to categorize the information, like audience type, Drupal version and page status. There’s interest in tagging too, which stemmed from marking pages as incomplete. The book pages are undergoing minor edits all the time, and new pages are added somewhat regularly. Any major changes or restructuring goes through the Docs community.
I’ll post more about the project as it gets rolling. I’m brainstorming ways to make it as interactive and fun as possible, ’cause it is a heck of a lot of content to go through! In the meantime, if you have any gripes or ideas, let me know.