Drupal 7: A Look at the New User Experience

Drupal has finally released its latest major update: Drupal 7! In this latest release, a main focus was enhancing the often clunky administration experience previous versions were known for. Highlights of the new, simplified user interface include a dashboard, overlay, and admin bar. These are certain to bring some relief to the experienced Drupal user and newcomers to the content management system alike.

Using the new dashboard, site owners and administrators can easily add a summary of the latest relevant site information. Other dashboard widgets can include analytics (who is viewing your site) and recent comments. No more deep digging into the Drupal admin console!

The new “Overlay” feature is sure to bring a smile to developers and content editors. Edit content, activate modules, change themes, and manage roles and permissions in a pop-over that never takes you away from your current screen.

Speaking of roles and permissions, the permissions screen now has great, helpful information that details what exactly the various permissions really mean. Anyone who has experienced the Drupal 6 permissions screen knows how useful this enhancement is!

Another great new feature is the enhanced Admin Bar located at the top of your screen. The Admin Bar actually allows each individual user to create their own set of quick links! This is handy for sites with users that only need to edit or create content. A quick link for creating a new page, for instance, can keep the basic user from getting lost in drop down menus.

Even beyond the new features, the entire administrative looks and feels much more elegant and modern. If Drupal’s complex administrative experience scared you away before, it may be time for a second look!