Setting Sail with Drupal 8
The new allendatagraph.com is our first complete Drupal 8 site - a breath of fresh air for our developers who have been itching to get on the Drupal 8 train for months now. We’ve played around with much of its functionality and features before, but ADSI’s new site allowed us to get the groundwork down for our first big Drupal 8 unveil.
This site utilizes the Twig template engine, a robust theming tool designed to make PHP development less like bashing your head against a wall and more like diving into a refined and understandable workflow.
Thanks to Drupal 8’s component-based workflow, our developers were able to utilize a module actually built for Drupal 7 (but compatible with Drupal 8) to organize components consistently within the theme. Rather than forcing users to input all content on a single WYSIWYG editor, for example, users can choose from a range of predefined Paragraph Types, which can be anything from text blocks to images to complex elements like videos and slideshows. This makes editing content on-the-fly simpler for all users, and building pages simpler for our developers moving forward.
Plus, by seamlessly integrating ADSI’s existing online store into the website, we made it simple for ADSI customers to access their existing online inventory with one easy click, rather than having to dig through product pages individually.
Best of all, the custom theme we created for ADSI is anything but limited - instead, it does most of the hard work for us, giving us a ready-to-go theme that’s around 75 to 80 percent of the way there for translation into other projects. We even plan on using this new custom theme on several other projects coming up, and so we’re looking forward to having more time to get creative and less time spent physically piecing the theme together.
Designed With Ease-of-Use in Mind
Of course, a custom theme is only good if the client can use it. That’s why we made sure to make this new site as easy to use and simple to edit as possible, so that the pros at ADSI can go in and make changes, update info, and inform visitors of new offers as soon as they hit the table, without having to wait months for an admin to make changes.
In crafting a support ticket system directly on the ADSI site, we also helped make it easier for customers to reach out to ADSI’s experts for insight on products and services. Easy contact forms allow users to get in touch with ADSI directly or request a quote, and the simple support ticketing system makes those requests simple to process for the ADSI team upon entry.
In classic CTA-friendly form, we also took pains to remove some of those most-notable pain points for users, including offering drivers and software for ADSI tech directly on the website itself for easy, self-guided downloads.
With a focus on user experience, we revamped ADSI’s online look away from white, simple pages to engaging, image-rich landing pages where the next step is simple to find and even simpler to act on. A large, engaging video autoplay on the homepage gives users an immediate look into just how smoothly and simply the machines work, while large and visible calls-to-action help guide users exactly where they’re trying to go.
This, plus an intuitive content structure that breaks up machines into their related uses through header links and simple drop-down menus, makes navigation easy for even the newest of ADSI customers.
- Conor Snell
- Social Media & Content Strategist