Last week, I had a chance to meet with Inrupt, a startup founded by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who is best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web. Inrupt is based in Boston, so their team stopped by the Acquia office to talk about the new company.
Inrupt's mission is to give individuals control over their own data. Today, a handful of large platform companies (such as Facebook) control the media and flow of information for a majority of internet users. These companies have profited from centralizing the Open Web and lack transparent data privacy policies on top of that. Inrupt's goal is not only to improve privacy and data ownership, but to take back power from these large platform companies.
Inrupt will leverage Solid, an open source, decentralized web platform that Tim and others have been developing at MIT. Solid gives users a choice of where their personal data is stored, how specific people and groups can access select elements, and which applications can use it. Inrupt is building a commercial ecosystem around Solid to fuel its success. If Solid and/or Inrupt are widely adopted, it could radically change the way web sites and web applications work today.
As an advocate for the Open Web, I'm excited to see how Inrupt's mission continues to evolve. I've been writing about the importance of the Open Web for many years and even proposed a solution that mirrors Solid, which I called a Personal Information Broker. For me, this is an especially exciting and important mission, and I'll be rooting for Inrupt's success.My unsolicited advice: disrupt the digital marketing world
It was really interesting to have the Inrupt team visit the Acquia office, because we had the opportunity to discuss how their technology could be applied. I shared a suggestion to develop a killer application that surround "user-controlled personalization".
Understanding visitors' interests and preferences to deliver personalized experiences is a big business. Companies spend a lot of time and effort trying to scrape together information about its website's visitors. However, behavior-based personalization can be slow and inaccurate. Marketers have to guess a visitor's intentions by observing their behavior; it can take a long time to build an accurate profile.
By integrating with a "Personal Information Broker" (PIB), marketers could get instant user profiles that would be accurate. When a user visits a site, they could chose to programmatically share some personal information (using a standard protocol and standard data schema). After a simple confirmation screen, the PIB could programmatically share that information and the site would instantly be optimized for the user. Instead of getting "cold leads" and trying to learn what each visitor is after, marketers could effectively get more "qualified leads".
It's a win not only for marketers, but a win for the site visitor too. To understand how this could benefit site visitors, let's explore an example. I'm 6'5" tall, and using a commerce site to find a pair of pants that fit can be a cumbersome process. I wouldn't mind sharing some of my personal data (e.g. inseam, waist size, etc) with a commerce site if that meant I would instantly be recommended pants that fit based on my preferences. Or if the store has no pants that would fit, it could just tell me; Sorry, we currently have no pants long enough for you!. It would provide me a much better shopping experience, making it much more likely for me to come back and become a long-time customer.
It's a simple idea that provides a compelling win-win for both the consumer and retailer, and has the opportunity to disrupt the digital sales and marketing world. I've been thinking a lot about user-controlled personalization over the past few years. It's where I'd like to take Acquia Lift, Acquia's own personalization product.Inrupt's success will depend on good execution
I love what Solid and Inrupt are building because I see a lot of potential in it. Disrupting the digital marketing world is just one way the technology could be applied. Whatever they decide to focus on, I believe they are onto something important that could be a foundational component of the future web.
However, it takes a lot more than a good idea to build a successful company. For startups, it's all about good execution, and Inrupt has a lot of work to do. Right now, Inrupt has prototype technology that needs to be turned into real solutions. The main challenge is not building the technology, but to have it widely adopted.
For an idea this big, Inrupt will have to develop a protocol (something Tim Berners-Lee obviously has a lot of experience with), build out a leading Open Source reference implementation, and foster a thriving community of developers that can help build integrations with Drupal, WordPress and hundreds of other web applications. Last but not least, Inrupt needs to look for a sustainable business model by means of value-added services.
The good news is that by launching their company now, Inrupt has put themselves on the map. With Tim Berners-Lee's involvement, Inrupt should be able to attract top talent and funding for years to come.
Long story short, I like what Inrupt is doing and believe it has a lot of potential. I'm not sure what specific problem and market they'll go after, but I think they should consider going after "user-controlled personalization" and disrupt the digital marketing world. Regardless, I'll be paying close attention, will be cheering for their success and hopefully find a way to integrate it in Acquia Lift!
A website with a security hole could be a nightmare for your business, leaving regular users untrusted. The security breach is not just about the website resources, but it could be putting up the website reputation at stake and injecting harmful data in the server & executing them. There could be many ways to do that. One of them is an Automated script, which scans your website and looks up for the sensitive part and tries to bypass the web security with injected code.
I believe you might be thinking of your website now.
- Whether your website is fully secured or not?
- How to make sure everything ships on our website is generic? And how to protect them?
As a Drupal Developer, I’ve come across some of the contributed module available on Drupal.org that can help your site in dealing with security issues. Still, I can’t assure, by applying those modules, you can safeguard your website. But it’s always recommended to follow the set guideline & utilize the modules to minimize the security breaches.
Let’s take a look at those modules:Secure Pages
We all know that moving an application from HTTP to HTTPS gives an additional layer of security, which can be trusted by the end users. Unlike regular modules, you just don’t need to follow regular module installations instead your server should be SSL enabled.
Currently, it is available for Drupal 7 only.
Ref URL: https://www.Drupal.org/project/securepages
The Kit itself is a collection of multiple vulnerabilities such as Cross-site scripting, Cross-site Request Forgery, Clickjacking, SSL/TLS. With the help of security kit module, we can mitigate the common risk of vulnerabilities. Some of the vulnerabilities have already been taken care by Drupal core like clickjacking introduced in 7.50 version.
Currently, it’s available for both Drupal 7 and Drupal 8.
Ref URL: https://www.Drupal.org/project/seckit
This module is used to enforce users to follow certain rules while setting up the password. A web application with weaker security implementation, allow hackers to guess password easily. That’s the reason you get password policy instruction while setting up the password. It’s not just a fancy password, but secure & difficult to guess.
# Password should include 1 Capital letter
# Password should include 1 Numeric
# Password should include 1 Special Character
# Password should MIn & Max Character
This module is currently available for both Drupal 7 and Drupal 8.
Ref URL: https://www.Drupal.org/project/password_policy
This module looks for places in the user interface, where an end user can misuse the input area and block them. Few features that need to showcase here are:
# Disable permission "use PHP for block visibility".
# Disable creating “use the PHP” filter.
# Disable user #1 editing.
# Prevent risky permissions.
# Disable disabling this module.
Currently, it’s available for Drupal 7 and Drupal 8.
Ref URL: https://www.Drupal.org/project/paranoia
This module provides an Administrative UI to manage user based on UID & User-IP. There is configuration available to manage user restriction based on the nth number of the wrong hit by user ID/IP. We already know that Drupal core has a shield mechanism to protect their user with five unsuccessful logins hit, users get blocked for an hour/minute. With the help of the contributed module, we can dig it a bit.
Currently, it’s available for Drupal 7.
Ref URL: https://www.Drupal.org/project/flood_control
# Set timeout based on roles.
# Allow users to log in for a longer period of time.
# User has the ability to set their own time.
Currently, it’s available for Drupal 7 and Drupal 8.
Ref URL: https://www.Drupal.org/project/autologout
This module checks for basic mistakes that we do while setting up a Drupal website. Just untar the module & enable it. This will run an automated security check and produce a result. Remember this won’t fix the errors. You need to manually fix them. Let's take a look at some of the security features that need to be tested by the module:
# Avoid information disclosure
# File system permissions/Secure private files/Only safe upload extensions
# Database errors
# Brute-force attack/protecting against XSS
# Protecting against access misconfiguration/phishing attempts.
Currently, it’s available for Drupal 7.
Ref URL: https://www.Drupal.org/project/security_review
This tool helps developer avoid adding messy code directly to their contributed module, instead of applying patches or new release update. It works on a very simple logic. It scans all the modules & themes available on your site. Download them and compare it with an existing module to make sure modules/themes are on correct shape. The result will give you information on changed module/theme and the rest of the thing you are well aware of - what needs to be done?
Currently, it’s available for Drupal 7 and Drupal 8.
Ref URL: https://www.Drupal.org/project/hacked
All of the above modules are my recommendation that a Drupal website should have. Some contributed module will resolve your security issues by providing correct configuration and some of them are just an informer. They will let you know the issue. But you need to manually fix those issue.
Further, these contributed modules provide the atomic security based on the complexity of your site and types of user available. You can look up for the security module and protect your site against anonymous.
We, at Valuebound - a Drupal CMS development company, help enterprises with Drupal migration, Drupal support, third-party integration, performance tuning, managed services, and others. Get in touch with our Drupal experts to find out how you can enhance user experience and increase engagement on your site.xaiwant Tue, 10/09/2018 - 07:58
If you haven't heard yet, PHP 5 will reach the end of its security support (from the upstream project) in December of this year.
During DrupalCon Baltimore we announced that we'd be updating Drupal 6 to work with PHP 7.2, and, in September, we announced that we'd be making a big push to get that live with a couple of our customers.
Finally, we have something to show for it! :-)
So far, we've only tested with a few sites, so I'm sure there's some additional issues and bugs we haven't encountered yet. But we have an initial release of Drupal core and some selected contrib modules that work with PHP 7.2 in our testing.
And all our work so far has been released back to the community!
Read more for the details :-)
Big enterprises have been marching on towards the path of digital transformation. Disney, an entertainment giant, has advanced its digital transformation strategies by acquiring companies. By acquiring BAMTech, a media technology service provider, it can access the streaming technology instead of building it in-house. Spending billions of dollars on 21st Century Fox with the assets including famous characters from Marvel comics, it can connect directly with consumers instead of distributors and advertisers.
Social media, cloud computing, data analytics, and mobility are dramatically altering the way companies operate. On the one hand, their synergy has led to easy-to-use products and services for customers, on the other hand, it has resulted in richer dividends for companies. Witnessing a positive correlation between business performance and the emerging technologies, organisations are fast-forwarding to digital transformation.
Drupal, as one of the pioneering CMSs in powering digital innovation, can be highly fruitful for enterprises in their digital transformation endeavours. But before looking at Drupal’s prowess, how did the digital transformation of business models start coming into the picture?Global connectivity shifts and empowerment of customers
The emphasis and impact of the internet and global connectivity has shifted since the late 1990s to the 2010s. In the 1990s, only the enterprises in select industries like music, entertainment, and electronics were exploring digital products and services. Infrastructure providers led from the front in building out the information backbone for the efficaciousness and better productivity across finance, supply chain, and human resources.
In the late 1990s, the internet hype wounded up with a crash in 2000. But the evolution of consumer demand for digital products and services remained steadfast. As more customers were getting empowered with pervasive access to online information, along with a plethora of choices and channels, their expectations accentuated even more.
Now, the customers have become the primary force behind the digital transformation in all industries.Digital Transformation in the driver’s seat Source: Hellosign
Digital transformation is the process of integrating digital technology into different aspects of the business that needs fundamental technological changes, different approach towards culture, operational upgrade, and value delivery.Organisational change is the foundation of digital business transformation - Global Centre for Digital Business Transformation
For leveraging futuristic technologies and their increasing expansion into human activities, a reinvention of business is required by dramatically metamorphosing the entire business process and model.
Digital transformation demands a shift of focus to the edge of the enterprise and numerous agile data centres for supporting that edge. It also requires an enterprise to shed legacy technology that may be price-heavy to maintain thereby changing the company culture in order to support the push that acceleration that comes with the digital transformation.
Gartner’s IT Market Clocks for 2016: Digital Transformation Demands Rapid IT Modernisation states that 66% of the organisations doing digital transformation expect to generate more financial gains from their operations while 48% predict that more business will arrive through digital channels. Cited by 40%, it can empower employees with digital tools and 39% cited that it minimised business costs. To reap the rewards down the line, there is no better time to start upon your own digital transformation journey.
Major benefits of digital transformation for an organisation include:
- Improvement of processes: Newer technologies permits businesses to automate simpler processes and remove the intermediaries in more intricate processes.
- Finding newer revenue streams: Emerging technologies can open the doors for new profitable avenues that may not have been available for an organisation when they were first established.
- Building personalised customer experience: Customers expect businesses to meet their individual needs and evolution of technology has deemed it fit enough to fulfil this very purpose.
Leveraging the intelligent edge
The natural starting point in an effort to build executive alignment is to resolve tensions in the leadership group and distribute the ownership tasks in a planned manner.
Growing with the platform economy
The hottest thing in computing right now is ‘the edge’ also referred to as ‘the intelligent edge’. Think of it as a cluster of sensors deployed across industry and society. Vast amounts of sensor data have to be processed locally near the data source. The work must be done on-site if there is no time to send data to the cloud and wait for a response. That is why it is known as the intelligent edge.
Getting the intelligent edge in businesses can make the process more efficient and effective and create a more pleasing environment.
Platform economy has transformed the way businesses think about innovation. Organisations can take advantage of this phenomenon where online marketplaces are storming market after market, connecting buyers and sellers and taking the friction out of commerce.Signifying the security from the start
Reimagining your business right now
When undergoing a digital transforming process in your organisation, it is always better to engage security people from the very beginning. It saves a lot of pain and backtracking later on
Enabling digital tax transformation
In spite of the economic and political uncertainty, enterprises must seize the initiative and entirely reimagine themselves and the role technology plays for them. Such a need for constant change to be ahead of others in the business means the ‘digital transformation’ may give way to ‘digital evolution’.
Transforming a whole economy
Digital transformation can allow the tax professionals to rethink the way they work while offering exciting new opportunities. Digital technology in tax is quickly moving up the boardroom agenda as it affects enterprises both internally and externally. With more businesses going digital, governments and tax authorities can also adopt disruptive technology including advanced data-driven auditing techniques.
How is Drupal 8 enabling digital transformation?
Digital technology is not only automating finance functions but the potential to grow business using artificial intelligence. For instance, the potential of a digital economy in India, world’s second most populous country behind China, is gargantuan with benefits for business and citizens alike.
Drupal 8 has changed the web development landscape with its immense scope for enabling the digital transformation of an enterprise. Not only Drupal 8 does an astounding job to be a leading open source web content management system, but it is continuing to evolve with altering customer expectations.Drupal 8 is continuously evolving with customer expectations
Some of the highlights are mentioned below:Content creation
Drupal 8 authoring and theming systems are designed for ease-of-use and standards compliance. For instance, Drupal 8.6 adds support for remote media types thereby letting you to easily embed YouTube or Vimeo videos in your content. Moreover, the addition of Workspaces, experimental module, offers sophisticated content staging capabilities.Easy installation Source: Dries Buytaert's blog
Time taken for installing Drupal has been reduced considerably. You can install Drupal with the new Umami demo profile which exhibits some of Drupal’s powerful capabilities by providing an awesome website filled with content straight out of the box.
- Developers can upgrade a single-language Drupal 6 or Drupal 7 website to Drupal 8 with the built-in UI.
- Everything is fieldable in Drupal 8 thereby improving data modelling.
- Drupal 8’s core improvements and APIs make it easier to create custom functionality on the basis of bi-directional data connections to handle and exchange content.
- With mobile-first displays and responsive layouts, content can be deployed across platforms prepackaged for mobile devices.
- Drupal 8 backend can handle content and be de completely decoupled from the front end and web applications.
Drupal 8 has a top-of-the-line interoperability with adjacent technologies such as CRM, Digital asset management (DAM), web analytics, marketing resource management, and multichannel campaign management (MCCM).Security by design
Drupal is secure by design. The design of the Drupal is in such a way that it addresses all of the top 10 security risks of Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP).
With a proven record of being the most secure CMS, it beats the big players in the CMS market when it comes to being resilient to critical internet vulnerabilities. Drupal Security Team is steadfast in its objective of addressing security issues and offering timely fixes.
You can enable a secure access to your Drupal site as it has the in-built support for salting and repeatedly hashing account passwords when they are stored in the database. It helps in enforcing firm password policies, industry-standard authentication mechanisms, sessions limits, and single sign-on systems.
It offers granular user access control to give administrators full control over who can see and modify different parts of the site. You can even configure Drupal for strong database encryption in the top-notch security applications.
Its Form API makes sure that data validation is done which helps in preventing XSS, CSRF, and other malicious data entry. It also limits the number of times login attempts are performed from a single IP address to prevent brute-force password attacks. Its multi-layered cache architecture assists in mitigating Denial of Service (DoS) attacks.
Rightfully, a report from Sucuri shows that Drupal is best security-focussed CMS amongst the leading players in the CMS market.
Drupal stands tall in the age of platforms offering a suite of Drupal commerce modules which can be leveraged to build e-commerce websites and applications of all sizes. While e-commerce solutions, most often than not, are built with an application mindset, Drupal commerce was built with a framework mindset emphasising on what you can develop with it.Metamorphosis of the whole economy
Drupal can transform the whole economic landscape of a business. For instance, Drupal enabled digital transformation endeavours of TPG Capital which is one of the renowned enterprise-level fintech companies. Drupal turned out to be the best choice to tackle the financial industry’s stringent legal and regulatory requirements.
The story of Digital transformation with Drupal
Drupal Europe 2018 in Darmstadt (Germany) had a dedicated section for ‘Digital Transformation + Enterprise’. One of the presentations focussed on the digital revolution of the Chatham House.
Chatham House, which is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation, has been leading as a global independent policy institute. But its digital presence scrabbled to evolve quite so prosperously. It was an arduous task to access key reports and information.
Being a content-heavy site, it had a set of intricate requirements. Drupal was chosen for the editorial flexibility along with its open source ethos. It proved as the ideal springboard for success with seamless possibilities. And moving to Drupal was just the inception of their long-term digital transformation plans.
New strategy focussed on improving the reputation of Chatham House, prioritising outputs, putting more efforts in marketing, and leveraging insights from feedback. It was all to be underpinned by measuring success KPIs and reporting.
Then, full website redevelopment project was performed with a user-centric design utilising the powerful capabilities of Drupal.
The presentation delineated the significance of collaborative efforts. Combining strategic partnerships with strong internal relationships has ratcheted the monthly online users of Chatham House.
Organisational change involves a lot more than just adopting emerging technologies. There is a change in cultural setup, operational upgrades, and transformation of the whole value chain. And all these factors culminate to form the very essence of digital transformation.
Digital transformation has been vital for organisations to be relevant, keep churning out ways for tackling the changing needs of customers in the digital landscape and stay ahead of others.
Drupal, as an open source CMS, has an active community that has been working towards powering digital innovation. With such a community, Drupal has been able to evolve with altering needs and can be a great solution for building a marvellous web presence for the businesses.
Drupal experts at Opensense Labs have been continuously collaborating with partners to pursue the digital transformation endeavours with Drupal development.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to understand how can we digitally transform your business using Drupal.
Read our Roadmap to understand how this work falls into priorities set by the Drupal Association with direction and collaboration from the Board and community.Drupal.org Updates Thank you to the Drupal Europe team and attendees!
Members of the Drupal Association team joined the community to attend Drupal Europe in September. It was a fantastic event, and we had many great conversations with local community leaders, Supporting Partners, and others about the challenges and opportunities of the European market.
The Drupal.org Engineering Team also met with a number of contributors at Drupal Europe to move forward initiatives like improving Composer support for core, automatic updates, and more.Reminder: DrupalCon Seattle Early Bird Registration is open now
DrupalCon Seattle general registration is open now. The programming has been transformed to address the needs of Builders, Content and Digital Marketers, Agency Leaders, and Executives, while preserving that feeling of homecoming for the community that is central to every DrupalCon.
Have questions about the next evolution of DrupalCon? Head of Events Amanda Gonser was recently interviewed by Lullabot for their podcast and explains what's new and what's staying the same.A video prototype of our integration with GitLab
Are you as excited as we are about the upcoming migration to GitLab? Watch this video for a visual prototype of the integration we're planning.
We should be announcing a window for our Phase 1 migration shortly.Phase 1 of Improved Support for Composer begins
In September we moved forward with our multi-phase proposal for improving Drupal core's support for Composer workflows. There are still considerations under discussion, such as how to handle multi-site support, and the implementation details of the later phase. However, Phase 1 has now been broken into its own meta issue, with a goal of bringing these changes into Drupal as of release 8.7.Seeking a Technical Program Manager
The Drupal Association seeks a Technical Program Manager (TPM) to join our Engineering team and shepherd key programs for Drupal.org that empower our global community to collaborate and build the Drupal project. A TPM is expected to be technically fluent, have excellent project management skills, and excel in internal and external communication. The Drupal Association serves one of the largest global open source communities — Drupal has pioneered open source for 17 years. Join our incredible, mission-driven team and make an important impact by building the tools that help our community build Drupal.Join Promote Drupal
At Drupal Europe we kicked off the volunteer coordination for Promote Drupal. We've put together an introductory video that explains how to get your marketing teams involved.
Just go to the Promote Drupal landing page to sign up!Further improvements for inclusivity on Drupal.org
Thanks to the community contributed work of @justafish, among others, Drupal.org user profiles now include fields for pronouns, primary language, and location, to help give people cultural context as they interact with each other online. We’ll be adding options to show this information with comments throughout Drupal.org.
As always, we’d like to say thanks to all the volunteers who work with us, and to the Drupal Association Supporters, who make it possible for us to work on these projects. In particular we want to thank:
- SiteGround - Renewing Classic Hosting Supporter
- UniMity Solutions - Renewing Classic Supporting Partner
If you would like to support our work as an individual or an organization, consider becoming a member of the Drupal Association.
The latest Lullabot podcast features the Drupal Association’s Senior Events Manager, Amanda Gonser, speaking about DrupalCon Seattle 2019.
Amanda answered compelling questions from hosts Matt and Mike, who are both Drupal developers. The podcast serves as informative and fun insight about how the "new format better serves the community."
I recently ran into a series of weird issues on my Acquia production environment which I traced back to some code I deployed which depended on my site being served security using HTTPS.
Acquia Staging environments don’t use HTTPS by default and require you to install SSL certificates using a tedious manual process, which in my opinion is outdated, because competitors such as Platform.sh and Pantheon support lots of automation around HTTPS using Let’s Encrypt.
Anyhow, because staging did not have HTTPS, I could not test the code, which ended up costing me an evening debugging an outage on a production environment.
I found a great blog post which explains how to set up Let’s Encrypt on Acquia environments, Installing (FREE) Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificates on Acquia, by Chris at Redfin solutions, May 2, 2017. Although the process is very well documented, I made some tweaks:
- First, I prefer using Docker-based solutions rather than install softward on my computer. So, instead of install certbot on my Mac, I opted to use the Certbot Docker Image, this has two advantages for me: first, I don’t need to install certbot on every machine I use this script on; and second, I don’t need to worry about updating certbot, as the Docker image is updated automatically. Of course, this does require that you install Docker on your machine.
- Second, I automated everything I could. This result in this gist (a “gist” a basically a single file hosted on Github), a script which you can install locally.
When you put the script locally on your computer (I added it to my project code), at, say
./scripts/set-up-letsencrypt-acquia-stage.sh, and run it:
- the first time you run it, it will tell you where to put your environment information (in ./acquia-stage-letsencrypt-environments/environment-my-acquia-project-one.source, ./acquia-stage-letsencrypt-environments/environment-my-acquia-project-two.source, etc.), and what to put in those files.
- the next time you run it, it will automate what it can and tell you exactly what you need to do manually.
I tried this and it works for creating new certs, and should work for renewals as well!
I recently ran into a series of weird issues on my Acquia production environment which I traced back to some code I deployed which depended on my site being served security using HTTPS.
Acquia Developer Center Blog: Experience Express in Darmstadt: Celebrating Drupal 8's Most Important Release Yet
Though there was no DrupalCon Europe this year, the European Drupal community stepped up and organized their own conference, Drupal Europe, in Darmstadt, Germany last month. An incredibly successful gathering held in the Darmstadtium venue, a beautiful convention center in the center of this college town, Drupal Europe demonstrated the unique power that grassroots initiatives can have in our open-source community.Tags: acquia drupal planet
In this article will see how to use the Drupal migration framework to migrate custom sites to drupal 8.
Nearly 7 million people live in Massachusetts, and millions more visit the state each year. These people come from different backgrounds and interact with the Commonwealth for various reasons.Graphic showing more than 3 million visitors go to Mass.gov each month.
We need to write for everyone while empathizing with each individual. That’s why we write at a 6th grade reading level. Let’s dig into the reasons why.Education isn’t the main factor
The Commonwealth has a high literacy rate and a world-renowned education network. From elementary school to college and beyond, you can get a great education here.
We’re proud of our education environment, but it doesn’t affect our readability standards. Navigating the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program might be challenging for everyone.Complexity demands simplicity
People searching for nutrition services are doing so out of necessity. They’re probably frustrated, worried, and scared. That affects how people read and retain information.Learn about our content strategy. Read the 2017 content team review.
This is the case for many other scenarios. Government services can be complicated to navigate. Our job is to simplify language. We get rid of the white noise and focus on essential details.Time is not on our side
You don’t browse Mass.gov in your free time. It’s a resource you use when you have to. Think of it as a speedboat, not a cruise ship. They’ll both get you across the water, just at different speeds.Graphic showing desktop visitors to Mass.gov look at more pages and have longer sessions than mobile and tablet visitors.
Mass.gov visitors on mobile devices spend less time on the site and read fewer pages. The 44% share of mobile and tablet traffic will only increase over time. These visitors need information boiled down to essential details. Simplifying language is key here.Exception to the rule
A 6th-grade reading level doesn’t work all the time. We noticed this when we conducted power-user testing. Lawyers, accountants, and other groups who frequently use Mass.gov were involved in the tests.
These groups want jargon and industry language. It taught us that readability is relative.Where we are today
We use the Flesch-Kincaid model to determine reading level in our dashboards. It accounts for factors like sentence length and the number of syllables in words.
This is a good foundation to ensure we consistently hit the mark. However, time is the most important tool we have. The more content we write, the better we’ll get.
Writing is a skill refined over time, and adjusting writing styles isn’t simple. Even so, we’re making progress. In fact, this post is written at a 6th grade reading level.
Interested in a career in civic tech? Find job openings at Digital Services.
This is not going to be one of those blog posts.
Drupal gives you the ability to re-use fields. If you have an "Image" field, you could choose to use that same field on every content type on your site. However, it's not always clear whether re-using fields is a good idea. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't.
Here's an overview of the advantages and disadvantages to consider before re-using Drupal fields.
Now that we have automated our deployment, it wouldn't be too hard to wire it with our code management setup. In this post, we will hook the Ansible scripts with our Git hosting setup so that a deployment gets triggered when you do a "git push". The idea is, deployment shouldn't be a chore, so that developers don't even think of it and only focus on the business logic of their application.