What’s New in Drupal 8 for Clients and End Users?

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Post the feature freeze of the yet-to-be-launched Drupal 8, there has been a series of speculations. The web arena is abuzz with discussions about how this upgraded version of the Drupal CMS will prove worthwhile in easing up the work load of the developer fraternity.

Everyone is talking about the array of features that have been introduced in this version to make development a smooth sail for developers. Development features are hogging all the limelight. But there is one thing that everyone is missing out on. This is the impact of the advanced features of this CMS platform on the end users and clients. What lies ahead for the end users once Drupal 8 hits the marketplace? Will they be benefited? Will there be anything new found for them? Or will they get the same old school experience as rendered by Drupal 6 and Drupal 7. Well, let’s seek an answer.

Proposed Changes in Drupal 8 for Clients and End Users

With the 8th version of Drupal in place, the Drupal community is looking beyond just wooing the development fraternity. It is more focused towards making Drupal a user- oriented platform. Several changes have been proposed in order to enhance the usability of the CMS. Here’s an overview of two major propositions- content authoring and mobile device compatibility.

Content Authoring: Drupal has given a push to the usability of its content authoring system for the actual users of the site- the people who view the site long after developers have signed off their task and moved onto another project. The usability team at Drupal has put in a lot of analysis in this space and come up with a series of suggestions to revamp the content authoring system of the CMS. These include rendering users with the ability to save a post as draft separated from the published revision, real preview of content and facelift of the content creation page. Furthermore, Acquia has launched a project named Spark, which focuses on areas like responsive layout design tools, in-line editing, dashboards and a numerous other content-related improvisations.

Mobile Device Compatibility: In the coming three to five years, mobile devices will dramatically micrify the usage of desktops. Since this time frame coincides with the development life cycle of Drupal 8, it becomes imperative to make Drupal mobile-ready.

There are three major branch-outs of the mobile initiative, which are listed below:

Mobile-friendly Admin Tools: Default admin tools of the CMS function absolutely well on desktops and other big screens, but aren’t that effective on mobile devices. Drupal 8 comes with solutions prototyped for this problem.

Responsive Themes:The default themes will be rendered with responsiveness, making them ready to viewed across various devices including desktops, laptops, mobile phones, tablets, smart phones etc.

Front-end Performance: The back-end performance of a site demands rigorous efforts but technically 80% of a typical request is catered to by the front-end.

Mobile devices have a lower bandwidth and a less powerful processor. Thus, in order to generate quick responses, paying heed to front-end performance optimization becomes imperative.

Upgraded versions of CMS are not only targeted at refining the development process but also aim at redefining user experience. And same is applicable with Drupal 8. This version promises to have a lot in store for both end users and clients.

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