Reviewing the backlog
Many moons ago we started a backlog - a prioritised list of all the requirements for our microsites. We thought it was time to review how well we were progressing with the tasks. A bit of colour coding and it suddenly looks like we’re making good headway.
Our real concern were the items marked “Not started” - as we get closer to the end of the funded development phase it’s important to ascertain which items will bring the most value. Some of these we are clear about, and others we’ll need more feedback from our Microsites Working Group and friends.
Directories, Events and News (Phase 1)
Stephen and Ekes made excellent headway bringing directories, events and news in to the project. All three have made it into microsites in their original state, with some slight modifications to extend them to work with groups.
Directory promo page
Allowing a “fancy” page to appear in the directory - with multi-column layouts and a range of paragraph types - for brochure-like pages that can still be kept in a directory. We see this as being particularly useful for directories of things that need to be showcased: gallery exhibits, market stalls (eg Blackburn market stall) , or even advice and information which needs to have multimedia (eg Wirral advice service) .
Events & News
These mainstays of the LocalGov Drupal project have joined microsites. They will be extended to allow for more rich content than they come with out-of-the-box. Updates soon!
Mark made great progress with a responsive, accessible dropdown menu. This will be available on all the menus, but only turned on for the “main” menu by default. Styling multi level menus is always painful, so we applaud his work.
Maria extended this with more UI fields in the now epic “Site Design” tab, to allow microsite admins to customise background colours and icons etc. We’re looking forward to seeing what "interesting" designs people come up with :)
The big Paragraph move!
LocalGov Drupal has been built to be very very modular. Meaning that you can pick and choose which bits you want and which you don’t. Keeping everything as modular as possible has therefore been a core underlying architectural principle.
While this is great for flexibility, it also gets quite tricky. When you are building a new feature you need to think about how it might be used in the future. When the subsites module was evolved from Brighton's campaigns, allowing for multimedia content in a limited part of the project, they had good reason to try to restrict these components. But now we want to use the same paragraphs on microsites and we don’t want to install subsites in order to do so.
For some time we’ve discussed breaking out the paragraphs used in subsites in to another module. Now it’s done, in such a way that it won't break current sites when they update. Thanks to the Merge Monday crew for getting that reviewed, merged and released.
The next step will be to break them out into logical submodules, but that’s an issue for another day.
Next time on LocalGov Sprint Notes
A little spoiler, we’re planning to run another round of user testing over August while the team is on a break. It will likely involve a few hours of self-guided testing of the product followed by an exit interview. We’ll make sure you know what to do before you start and be available for questions throughout - so don’t be scared!