D8 Design Initiative - Requirements and Process

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In response to Core theme selection and development process. The vision here is to outline the selection process and requirements for the next core theme which we hope will be added to Drupal 8.

During Drupal 7 cycle there were many issues surrounding the selection process and in D8 we would like the see the selection centered principally on the design and not the end built theme (as it was in D7).

Underlying Principles

  1. Choose the next theme based on the design (before the theme is built).
  2. The initial design selection process should be public.
  3. The final selection is made by the Theme team and the D8 maintainer/s.
  4. The initial theme development is carried out by the core Theme team.


  • Must include design elements for normal Drupal output such as nodes, blocks, forms, tables, menus and so on.
  • Must conform to WCAG 2.0 AA (or be close enough to tweak into place).
  • Must be in a layered format such as PSD, Fireworks PNG etc.
  • Must kick ass!

The Theme team

The proposal is to form a core Theme team to build the actual theme and prepare the initial core commit. There are certain skill areas we think this group needs to cover - these people are essentially requirement gate keepers + will do the hard core development of the new theme:

  • Core and contrib theme development.
  • Web design.
  • Accessibility.
  • Markup best practice.
  • UX and usability.


Selection Phase: includes public submissions with voting and comments. g.d.o may be a good place now we have voting (in a sub-section of D4D group), we could also speak to Infrastructure about the possibility of a d4dc.drupal.org site. Provisionally I would suggest we take the top 3 to 5 designs that meet the requirements and these become the candidate designs. The final decision would be made by the gate keepers and the core maintainer.

Development Phase: done by the theme team, in a core repo branch. This is not a closed process.


Enabling comments on this to

yoroy's picture

Enabling comments on this to give room for discussion. Thanks for starting it.

This needs to be thought about.

aaronpinero's picture

I think the selection process needs to be rethought, or else you're going to wind up with, basically, a design contest with low signal to noise ratio. How bout a selection process where you select those people who are interested and qualified, and have them work on one (or a few) designs that can then be posted for review and comment?

Also, the requirements listed here are the obligatory ones. That's like going on a dating site and asking to meet someone who's a nice person. Not a lot of detail there. A project of this type needs a design brief with a clear goal and list of requirements that goes well beyond the 4 points here.