Improve the Edgeryders website


  • Edgeryders working on website tech collaborate through /t/edgeryders-dev-testing/331
  • Outstanding tasks are listed at
  • Longer-term plans (from LOTE2) are at /t/edgeryders-dev-testing/331/edgeryder-20-development-session -- maybe it is time to implement some of them

Contributors needed:

  • Developers (Drupal, PHP, HTML/CSS, JavaScript, sysadmin, etc etc)
  • Designers
  • Existing users of the site, to help identify what works well and what should be improved
  • Testers
  • Writers, to add and improve text on the website

Date: 2014-10-21 08:00:00 - 2014-10-22 16:00:00, Europe/Brussels Time.


High five to @danohu for initiating this track … I’ll definitely join for the hackathon days and (as the current webmaster of this site) do my best to get everyone else up to speed with understanding and developing for the Edgeryders website.

Just let me propose to do something rewarding (for participants) with the website during the hackathon :slight_smile: What exactly depends fully on what danohu etc. are up to. The most rewarding tasks in Drupal, in my opinion, are those about building data structures and queries on data structures (views), which is quite a RAD experience. Other natural candidates are redesigning and reworking a bigger part of website UI, like the menu system and navigation … also including better content for navigation, obviously … . But I’ll support any meaningful thing you’ll do, really. I have some (limited) experience with coding Drupal modules, so if somebody wants to try, say, OpenBadges integration or Makerfox integration … go ahead …

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Thanks, @Matthias; it’s great

Thanks, @matthias; it’s great to have you on-board!

I agree that people will be much more engaged if they can work on something big and visible. I saw some discussion about a CSS overhaul – do you think that would be too big a job for the hackathon?

Also, I’m trying to figure out how to involve less technical folks. Your suggestion of reworking menus/navigation might work well – the really hard bit is working out what should be included in the navigation, and that’s best solved by people talking it over in one time+place.

I’d also been thinking about:

  • user testing

    ask (ideally novice) users to carry out tasks on the website. Watch over their shoulder: observe where they get stuck, and then try to work out how to make it easier

  • requirements gathering: 

    clarify (in a semi-structured way) what we want various users to be able to do with the website. Then we can go back and optimize it for that purpose

    e.g. AS A [community manager] I WANT TO [see contributions from new members] IN ORDER TO [encourage them to contribute more]

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I like this

This way of thinking is really right for this hacktrack. I care deeply about including nontechnical people – perhaps because I am not a programmer myself! Here are some tasks we could include for them, off the top of my head:

  1. try to improve some page – for example, Nadia was unhappy about the user experience of the home page itself for unlogged-in users. We could build one or more alternative "important" pages (unlogged-in home, logged-in home, blog etc.) and then launch an A-B text using Google analytics Content Experiment. 
  2. geocode users. We have been wanting forever to install and configure Geofields and Leaflet to have proper geocoding of user location (see this discussion, as we prepared LOTE3); but once that's done, we need to manually geocode the user profiles that do include a "Home town" or similar field.  


I’m also in

Thanks for proposing this, @danohu I also like the way you are framing getting the UX experience better by having testers writing requirements in a format easy to understand and short. Last year at Lote4 we tried to start to improve ER web experience by creating user stories in small teams to learn the diverse ways people have of using the website… needless to say, that’s as far as we got, but perhaps we could re-purpose them now.

One thing to assess is how much of everything proposed here we can realistically do in 2 days? Of course, this may depend on how many people show up, but the last thing I’d want is to end up with another ToDo list piling up on Matthias’s desk :slight_smile:

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