Are you a solo web designer or part of a small team itching to build interesting projects with Drupal? This hands-on book provides the tools and techniques to get you going. Award-winning designer Dani Nordin guides you through site planning, teaches you how to create solid, user-centered design for the Drupal framework, and shows you tricks for using real, honest-to-goodness, developer Ninja Magick.
This book is a compilation of three short guides—Planning Drupal Projects, Design and Prototyping for Drupal, and Drupal Development Tricks for Designers—plus exclusive "director’s material." If you’re familiar with HTML and CSS, but struggling with Drupal’s learning curve, this is the book you’ve been looking for.
Get extra material, including an expanded Grids chapter, more recommended modules, and a Short Form Project plan
Learn how to work user-centered design practices into Drupal projects
Choose the right modules for your project, and discover several go-to modules
Use strategies for sketching, wireframing, and designing effective layouts
Manage Drupal’s markup, including code generated by the powerful Views module
Learn how to work with Drupal on the command line
Set up your development environment and collaborate with other designers and developers
Learn the basics of Git, the free open source version control system
Chapter 1 Some Things to Remember About Working with Drupal
A Quick and Dirty Guide to DrupalSpeak
Discussing Drupal with Clients
Organizing Your Files
Life Cycle of a Drupal Project
Implementation Plans: Breaking Up Your Work
And Now We Are Six
Discovery and User Experience
Chapter 2 Setting the Stage—Discovery and User Experience
Discovery: Breaking Down the Project Goals
User Experience: Framing the Design Challenge
Bringing UX Design to an Embedded Team
The Drupal Designer’s UX and Design Toolkit
Chapter 3 User Experience—Techniques for Drupal
Screen Sketches and Wireframes
Content Strategy Documents
Non-HTML Digital Prototypes
HTML or Drupal Prototypes
UX Techniques and Drupal: Some Practical Issues
A Further Note on Documents
Chapter 4 Putting It in Practice—A Short-Form Project Brief
Real-World Example: The TZK Project Plan
Go Deeper: User Experience and Project Management
Sketching, Visual Design, and Layout
Chapter 5 Sketch Many, Show One
Style Tiles: A Way to Explore Multiple Design Ideas
Design Layout: Covering All Your Bases
Chapter 6 Working with Layout Grids
Why Use a Grid?
Grids in Wireframing
Grids in Theming
Anatomy of a Grid Layout
Working with Square Grid
But What About All These Presentational Classes? There Must Be a Better Way!
The New CSS Grid Layout Module: The Future Is Now
Going Deeper: CSS Layout and Grid Systems
Chapter 7 Putting It in Practice—Setting Up Fireworks Templates for Drupal
Step 1: Set Up the Grid
Step 2: Set Up the Header
Step 3: Create a Single Node Page Without a Sidebar
Step 4: Create Single Node Pages with One and Two Sidebars
Step 5: Create the Other Pages
Setting Up a Local Development Environment
Chapter 8 The Drupal Designer’s Coding Toolkit
Wait, What? Why?
A Note for Windows Users
The Drupal Designer’s Coding Toolkit
Working on the Command Line: Some Basic Commands
Chapter 9 Installing Drush
Another Option: Creating a Symbolic Link to Drush
Now the Fun Begins
Chapter 10 Getting Started with Git
Master Versus Origin
Setting Up Git for Your Workflow
Step 1: Create an SSH Key
Step 2: Install Git
Step 3: Set Up Your Git Configuration
Step 4: Set Up a GitHub Account
Step 5: Create the Remote Repository
Step 6: Set Up the Local Repository
So, What Happens on a Team?
First Things First: The Git Workflow
And There We Go
Chapter 11 Putting It in Practice—Setting Up a Local Development Environment and Installing Drupal
Step 1: Install MAMP
Step 2: Set Up Your Local File Structure
Step 3: Set Up the Drupal Files
Step 4: Set Up the Drupal Database
Step 5: Install Drupal
Step 6: Use Drush to Install Some Modules
Prototyping in Drupal
Chapter 12 Prototyping in Drupal
Working with Content and Content Types
Trial by Fire
Working with Content Types: A High-Level Overview
Organizing Your Content
Putting It All Together
Chapter 13 Choosing Modules
So Many Modules; How Do I Choose?
I Don’t Need This, but Ooh, It’s Purty! Modules
A Completely Incomplete Listing
Chapter 14 Making Views Sing—Using Views to Enhance a Layout
But I’m Not a Developer—What If I Don’t Want to Code?
Step 1: Create the “Event Categories” Taxonomy Vocabulary
Step 2: Create the Event Content Type
Step 3: Create an Image Style
Step 4: Create the User Profile
Step 5: Get Profile Content into the Event Page
Step 6: Set Up the Contextual Filter
Step 7: Set Up the Related Events Block
So, What Did We Just Do Here?
Chapter 15 Making Views Sing—Controlling Views Markup
Step 1: Associate an Image with a Taxonomy Term
Step 2: Create the Event Categories View
Step 3: Update the Field Settings
Step 4: Add a Custom Class to Each Taxonomy Term: Name Field
Step 5: Style Away
So, What Did We Just Do Here?
Chapter 16 Getting Started with Drupal Theming: Base and Child Themes
Breaking Down a Layout for a Drupal Implementation
Choosing a Base Theme
Creating a Child Theme
Other Things You Should Know About Base Themes
Please, Tell Me More!
Chapter 17 Making CSS Easier with LESS
The Mighty Mixin
Nested Selectors and Styles
Compiling the Code
Working with LESS: Organizing Your Stylesheets
Why LESS Is Awesome (Besides the Obvious)
Working with LESS on a Team
Making It Easier to Start Projects
Chapter 18 Using Features
Still More Awesomeness Awaits
Chapter 19 Working with Drush Make and Installation Profiles
Step 1: Install Drush Make
Working with Clients
Chapter 20 Proposing and Estimating Projects
Preproposal Discovery: What You Need to Know
Pricing a Project: Fixed-Bid Versus Hourly
Writing the Proposal
Chapter 21 Getting Clients to Love You, Even When You Have to Tell Them “No”
That’s Easy for You to Say ...
The “Professional Relationship” Clause
Chapter 22 After the Handoff—The Project Retrospective
Including Clients in the Retrospective
Documenting What You Learned
Documenting for the Community
Appendix Project Brief
Hey There! It’s Nice to Meet You.
Appendix Work Agreement (with Professional Relationship Clause)
Terms and Conditions
Appendix Project Proposal
Section 1.0: Project Background and Objectives
Section 2.0: Statement of Work
Section 3.0: Development Process
Section 4.0: Budget Estimate
Section 5.0: The Zen Kitchen Background and Capabilities
Dani Nordin is the founder of the zen kitchen, an independent user experience design and research practice focused on helping forward-thinking organizations and development shops create great things in Drupal. Her background runs the gamut from print design and branding to layout, site planning and user experience for the web, with a specialty in interaction design for content-heavy Drupal implementations. She has been an active member of Boston's Drupal community since 2008.
The animal on the cover of Drupal for Designers is a butterfly blenny (blennius ocellaris).It is a small fish, only growing to approximately 8 inches in length. The butterflyblenny is characterized by a long, comb-shaped dorsal fin and tentacles around its nasalarea.The Blenniidae family is quite numerous and recognized by a long, tapering body anddorsal fin. However, blennies vary widely in appearance, behavior, and eating habits.Butterfly blennies are nocturnal fish. They inhabit shallow water from Morocco to theEnglish Channel, feeding on small invertebrates and mollusks. Blennies make theirhomes among seaweed and large rocks, often using castoff shells as homes and as placesto keep their eggs safe. Sometimes, they have even been known to inhabit old cans.Blennies are protective of their eggs: the male watches over them constantly and refusesto leave them until they hatch.The cover image is an original engraving, loose plate. The cover font is Adobe ITCGaramond. The text font is Linotype Birka; the heading font is Adobe Myriad Condensed;and the code font is LucasFont’s TheSansMonoCondensed.
If you have some web design experience but have yet to take on a larger project driven by a content management system (CMS), Drupal for Designers is a great place to start. Not only does Dani Nordin do an admirable job of introducing Drupal concepts to CMS beginners, she also provides a wealth of business advice that can be applied to any web project, regardless of the CMS one chooses.
Drupal, being the open-source/full-service CMS distribution that it is, can be intimidating to approach for the first time. Thankfully, Nordin does a great job of sifting through all the documentation and relays just what you need to get up and running. For example, the introduction to the book has a handy table that demystifies the specific terminology used by the Drupal community. Later chapters describe how to get a Drupal installation working, in addition to explaining how pages are assembled by putting together content and views. There's even a brief section showing how to save time by quickly installing plugins and updating Drupal via the command line.
However, the great part about this book is that it really doesn't talk about Drupal for the first few chapters. Before diving into the details of templates and configuration files, Nordin steps back and offers a wealth of advice on the design process itself from the perspective of a small design shop. I have to admit I am impressed by the breadth of discussion about the business side of things: Readers get an overview of each step involved in the design process, from initial client interviews to prototyping and post-launch documentation. Having this process outlined goes a long way toward understanding the relationship between a design shop and its clients, and the role a CMS like Drupal plays in it. There is also ample advice on how to talk with clients and how to integrate user experience (UX) principles into each step. The Appendix even has sample proposal forms.
Overall, Drupal for Designers excels at fulfilling its mission of serving as a bridge between web development and design for people who have to fill both roles.
Note: I received this book through the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
The book helps anyone in their way to become an expert on Drupal, the OpenSource CMS that supports many web sites. The book covers Drupal 7, but some of the chapters can be applied to Drupal 6 if you are into the old version. I've found it a very enjoyable reading, I like Dani's writing since it seems personal and "real, not talking about things that seem "too niche". This might be just because we are talking here about a system that anyone can set up in their own desktop or laptop, even virtualized (there are many VMs around free to download to play with, for example: Quickstart or BitNami) or then download a proper DAMP (Acquia's or others) to avoid the virtualization blues. Dani covers the setup process with great detail on the book, anyway. On to the book then. I've found it very interesting, covering subjects that the reader will need to know about one moment or another. It is however a bit of a "mixed bag" of things, ranging from plain Drupal installation and setup tasks all the way through Project Proposal's recommendations. As such, it is a book I think I will keep close as reference since Dani's clear language helps understanding many different project's tasks. I missed a bit a complete step by step Drupal project description, however. Concepts such as Agile, Retrospective, Responsive Design, version control... tools like Drush, Less, Git... all "flavoured" with Drupal.
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend