Creating Blueprints for Drupal Content
Published by Joel Steidl
In the past year, we've added a final step to our information architecture process that we call "Drupal Architecture". Call it what you will, but the outcome is a document that outlines the content types, fields, and taxonomies that we'll use to build the perspective site.
Creating the document takes a while, but it has some nice bonuses:
- It allows us to see all the places the same field is used and limit unnecessary duplication.
- It helps clear up where to use node/entity references and taxonomy references.
- It gives us something to review with the client before building a prototype (some clients do a great job giving feedback at this point, and others struggle with how abstract it can be).
- It speeds up prototype development. It's a breeze to quickly setup content types and create fields with our handy document. Rob has even experimented with using the Google Docs API to automatically create content types. This may work for fields as well, but the spreadsheet would need to be more strict. We would be interested to know if anyone else is programmatically creating content types and fields in a similar fashion.
Once the "Drupal Architecture" document has been created and reviewed with the client, we create the content types and fields in Drupal and go through things with the client one more time. For the client, seeing the spreadsheet converted to node entry forms really helps them connect the dots.
Fields will likely shift a bit as content entry begins, but hopefully your Drupal Architecture provided a good foundation.
In case you missed it above, check out a sample Aten Drupal Architecture document. Let us know if/how you use it!
What other ways do you plan your Drupal site's architecture?