How is it to create a new content type or edit an existing content type?
Note: The issues listed here are not added to the issue queue yet. The intent is to discuss them before we put it there
I recently conducted a usability study on content types. The most common tasks associated with them are creating a new type or to edit an existing one. To get a complete picture, I tested these scenarios in two different phases. In phase 1, I tested 7 participants with creating a new content type workflow whereas in phase 2, I tested 5 participants with the editing workflow.
Methodology and Demographics:
● This study was conducted in February-March 2011 using Drupal Gardens (offers the same workflow as Drupal for creating/ editing content types).
● 7 participants were asked to create a new content type “Vendor” such that it captures the vendor name, description and industry (with the following options: Manufacturing, Pharmaceuticals and Retail)
● Of the 7 participants, 4 were new to Drupal / Drupal Gardens and 3 had some experience with Drupal / Drupal Gardens - none of the participants had created a content type before
● All the participants were site-builders
● Each session lasted for 45 minutes
● This study was conducted at D4DBoston (Design for Drupal) conference in June 2011 using the latest version of Drupal 7
● 5 participants were asked to have a way to add a field that allows content creators to add attachments to “ Article” content type after being explained the concept.
● Given the time constraints and findings from the previous phase, the concept of content types was explained before the study
● None of the participants had ever created a content type before
● All the participants were site-builders
● Each session lasted for 15-20 minutes
Analysis (both phases including the summary and detailed findings)
The same set of issues occurred while creating and editing content types: The issues were:
1. Navigating to and discovering content types was not intuitive
2. Workflow was inefficient as it involved too many clicks/ options and time consuming to add one field at a time
3. Terminology confused participants
It is also important to note that almost all the participants required subtle or direct hints from the moderator to complete their tasks.
At the end of the study, participants were asked to summarize their experience.
Phase 1 participants had negative responses as they struggled to create a new content type (because of UI and difficulty in grasping the concept through the UI). Once the phase 1 participants created a new content type and added one field, they were able to add additional fields of the same type. However, when asked to create a radio button field, participants struggled significantly. Also, recall that most participants needed help completing the first field, and many fields remain untested. Further testing is needed to determine if participants succeed at adding multiple fields of different types. Whereas, participants from phase 2 had mixed reactions to their experience. Below is summary of their responses:
Phase 1: Creating a new content type
● "It is not as easy as it should be ... It's horribly frustrating.”
● “It should not let me mess up.”
● "I have to figure out if there is a problem, what is the problem and how to fix it... all on my own."
● "Process [of creating a custom content type] was painful. I did not know what I was doing."
Phase 2: Editing an existing content type
● “[I want] better terminology, better logic and how things relate”
● “Very Complicated”
● “I understand the power of Drupal but Wordpress is just too intuitive”
● “Once I knew where to go, it wasn’t bad”
● “It’s not too hard”
Difficulty in navigating to and discovering content types
Almost all participants (phase 1 and 2) struggled to find "Content type". They expected this information to be under "Content". The issue was compounded in phase 1, as they did not understand the "Custom type" terminology. Phase 2 participants rummaged the settings on the “Article” page. On not finding the information there, they were certain that this information would be under “Content”.
● "It is not obvious." (Phase 1 participant)
● “Content type should be under ‘Content’” (Phase 2 participant)
● “Knowing to go to ‘Structure’ and ‘Manage Fields’ is not intuitive” (Phase 2 participant)
● “I would have never known to go to ‘Structure’” (Phase 2 participant)
Workflow is inefficient
Almost all participants complained about there being too many steps - possibly due to the fact that all the information is prioritized in a flat manner. New users either skimmed or missed important information, or read everything resulting in very long task completion times.The problem was further compounded with unclear terminology and lack of managing expectations.
● "There is a lot of clicking ... A lot of steps to remember: I have to remember the path and what you are doing. You have to map everything." (Phase 1 participant)
● “There were so many steps that I don’t even remember” (Phase 2 participant)
● “All these are extra steps” (Phase 2 participant)
● “I do understand the power of Drupal but Wordpress is just intuitive. Power give the capacity to do more but that should not be given [all] at the same time.” (Phase 2 participant)
● “Am I at the end of it?” (Phase 2 participant)
● “Unnecessary back and forth between two distinct sections - content and structure” (Phase 2 participant)
Phase 1 participants who created content types with multiple fields complained about the inefficiency of adding one field at a time (the process of going through the settings and adding another field). They wanted a quicker way to add multiple fields.
It’s worth noting that the participants (phase 1) who were asked to create a radio button list of industry (Pharmaceuticals, Manufacturing and Retail) struggled significantly with “Allowed Valued Lists” and “Number of Values”. They expected “simpler” way to chose between radio button or check boxes. For “Allowed Valued Lists”, they expected an easier to use way to add options.
Confusing or unclear terminology
As in other tests, we found users struggling to understand Drupal’s terminology. What makes the matters worse, is that the lack of supporting information (like hover or help text). In some cases when the information is available, it is not relevant which adds to the user frustration and offering no assurance to the participants if they are on the right track.
Participants did not understand: “Title label fields”, “_fields”, “Add existing fields”, “and Allowed values list”, “Number of values” and “Widget”. Participants (from phase 1) complained the description under “Content types” was not helpful.
● “Nomenclature does not make sense” (Phase 2 participant)
● Number of values: “I don’t know what it means. I am just going to choose the maximum” (Phase 2 participant)
● Widget: “I don’t know what widget is doing… I want description” (Phase 2 participant)
● “I am not going to change what I don’t understand” (Phase 2 participants)
● “I only want ‘Edit’ and ‘Delete’. Edit / Manage Fields / Manage Display / Delete confused me” (Phase 2 participant)
● “Where should I go? ‘Edit’ or ‘Manage Fields’?” (Phase 2 participants)
● “I did not know there were deeper settings. Save was misleading” (Phase 2 participant)
|difficulty in navigating content types.png||260.75 KB|
|Too many steps - content types.png||267.02 KB|