Site builder landing page, step 1: Research

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We want to build audience specific landing pages on The first one is for site builders. These people are having a hard time getting started, finding the right modules, learning how to use them etc.

To find out what content is needed to provide a sensible starting point for site builders, we need to find out what site builder needs are. So lets research those goals and needs first.

Rough timebox: september 2013


  • Pragmatic persona: simple profiles of beginner, intermediate & advanced site builder
  • Main scenarios for each: what do they want to get done?
  • Content requirements: what content is needed to support those scenarios?
  • We could do a card sort to find out if "beginner/intermediate/advanced" is a useful distinction and learn which topics would have to be in each.
  • …?


  • Review existing persona work
  • Review site builder topics in
  • Run a card sort on these?
  • Review other CMS sites and other technology sites how they approach audience-specific starting pages
  • See if we can do some site builder interviews

Resources & prior art

Existing research

Audience: What is a site builder? What are their tasks, activities, goals?


  • Go through skillcompass site and collect the site builder labels in a spreadsheet as input for card sort
  • Compare with chapter 2 structure of the Using Drupal book: and other Drupal site builder books



  • Summarize key characteristics, goals, tasks, priorities in 2-4 light-weight sitebuilder persona
  • Decide what/how to research further (run an intercept questionnair on d.o. for example?


Best way to learn is to talk to a couple of site builders. But time consuming: recruiting, interviews, analysis. Is there existing material out there? Please add any useful links here.

Competitor review

Lets find out what the others are doing!


** Other technologies**

@todo: Analyse for content and page structure:

  • what is on these pages
  • how are they structured
  • what kind of media is used
  • how dense is the info, what is linked to?

Card sort

Goal: find meaningful categories/sections to structure the content on the landing page(s)
Tool: optimal workshop tools to perform online card sort

& lots more we could do but with some good-enough personas, main scenarios and a first grasp on what content is needed we should be in a good position to start creating/editing landing page content & work on designs for how to structure them.

If you want to help out, shout out in the comments or contact @yoroy


I'm part of your target audience...

dboeger's picture

And I would like to help. I'm a site builder with some theming ability, but I don't do custom modules or heavy development. I use distributions, contrib modules, site building tools and configuration almost exclusively.


dboeger's picture

I have some experience working with the BuildAModule Training as a mentor trainer. I think it would be a great idea to try and tap Chris Shattuck to see what information he might have for this effort from his experiences with site builders and Drupal newbies using his videos.


yoroy's picture

Thank you for stepping up and yes, that's a great suggestion. I'll be in touch.

UX hour: feedback

Bojhan's picture

Me and yoroy, discussed this during UX hour. We went through the goals, and established that one of the primary goals is really getting the content prioritisation and requirements. While getting more information on parts like the navigation would be interesting, its a secondary goal.

With that in mind doing interviews is great to inform what is most important, for that data to get out of the interviews I would suggest to do the following:

  • Get clear picture of motivations for going to d.o and this landing page (this will probably vary quite a bit)
  • Ask people to rank information items per importance (also ask what is missing)
  • Ask people to group information items (card sort, to get per topic/theme information)

Key is really focusing down on what would be important, its easy to get very generic feedback (e.g. people dislike our current documentation) rather than the key insights you need to build a good site building landing page. So its important for the script to clearly explain to users its focus, and what we are and aren't covering.

Other than doing these interviews, talking to experts in site builder education would be advisable (e.g a lullabot training developer).

Looking at all the other research activities, I would frankly keep it as simple as possible and focus on the qualitative methods like interviews. Doing card sorts is quite labor intensive, so I would go too all out on that and instead use it in combination with interviewing, or only on a small scale. Making personas and scenarios is advisable, but I am a little afraid that if you do that for every landing page you will end up with a bucket load.

A small additional note that we discussed, that current setup is a little too focused on beginner/intermediate/expert. Its likely most users don't identify them with that type of identification, and instead are more geared towards topics/themes. Having the research focused like that, will in the end give insights on those different experience levels.

That's all :) Looking forward to this.


yoroy's picture

Always good to review things with you :)
Yes, surfacing the content requirements is the primary objective. We'll have to work on a set of interview questions then.


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