Learn the story behind AMPLEXOR’s work on Geysir - a free open source Drupal module that aims to advance the work of marketers and content authors by enabling website building and editing straight from the front-end.
Drupal is one of the tools we use at AMPLEXOR to build customer experience solutions. After numerous years of experience working with our clients, we feel that it is a great tool for developers and site builders. However, Drupal does not always appeal that much to non-technical users like for example content authors and marketers. These users often experience Drupal lacking usability in key areas which impact ease of use and productivity. This phenomenon is mainly caused by the nature of the Drupal community which mostly attracts technical people, not so much as usability experts or functional analysts.
We started thinking about this issue and decided to start working on “Geysir”. Geysir is an off-the-shelf module for Drupal 8 aiming to enhance UX for authors by introducing an improved UI layer for their most critical tasks. Initially Geysir focuses on the content creation process, more specifically the task of page building. It introduces optimized user interface elements which support content authors in their daily workflow.
Traditionally in Drupal, content is managed through the backend interface. This backend is essentially a form-based representation of what the content looks like to visitors of the website. Constantly switching to the backend is not only time consuming, it also prevents authors to preview their work in an efficient way.
Geysir implements page management straight from the website frontend: the introduction of clear controls for every page component let the author edit and delete existing components. Next to these features, we also plan to implement a way for inserting new page components without switching to the backend among other features.
With these elements in place, it will become possible to build a full webpage in Drupal straight from the frontend. In this scenario, use of the Drupal backend is limited to management of page properties which are not visible in the frontend like metadata, menu management, tagging or version history.
Geysir builds on proven Drupal modules and API’s and strictly avoids custom ways of structuring or storing data.
As a Drupal expert and service provider and member of the Acquia Partner network, AMPLEXOR decided to make Geysir available as a free open source module, contributing to the Drupal user community.
Currently, Geysir is still in its early stages of development. There are still a few wrinkles which need to be ironed out before a first stable version can be released. Since Geysir was made available on Drupal’s website in the beginning of September, it has been downloaded 85 times and is already being tested out and contributed to by numerous people, at the time of writing this article.
We are very excited to continue our work on Geysir in the Drupal community!
Jan Lemmens is a DXM and ECM Consultant at AMPLEXOR, based in Belgium. As an enthusiast for platform-independent design and open source technology, Jan focuses in architecting and building innovative, cost-effective and user-friendly solutions for Enterprise customers. He has been responsible for several successful Drupal API and architecture projects.