What is Drupal?

Drupal is free, open source software that can be used by individuals or groups of users even those lacking technical skills to easily create and manage many types of Web sites. The application includes a content management platform and a development framework.

Drupal is content management software. It's used to make many of the websites and applications you use every day. Drupal has great standard features, like easy content authoring, reliable performance, and excellent security. But what sets it apart is its flexibility; modularity is one of its core principles.

Why Drupal was chosen:

The social media revolution has already changed modern communications, but mainly in our private lives. The decentralized nature of social software is a huge opportunity for organizations to reinvent the way they communicate and collaborate. However, organizations are presented with a problem: either they can choose existing social networks like Facebook, Google, etc., which operate outside the reach of your organization and may neglect user rights and data ownership. Or, organizations can choose one of a few closed-source alternatives like Jive, Sharepoint, and others. These proprietary products suffer from vendor lock-in and are not flexible to customize to unique organizational needs. In other words, one size must fit all. With Open Social, organizations get back the control over their software and data.

Describe the project

Goals
Open Social empowers people to effectively collaborate and organize. Replacing traditional intranets, it fuels efficiency and creativity. It supports organizations to innovate bottom-up instead of top-down. The Open Social distribution exists to lay a flexible groundwork to meet these goals. In order to do so the Open Social distribution must have: World-class ease of use (on all devices) Blazing fast (perceived) speed Flexible customization and configuration (branding, integrations etc.) We welcome and invite the (Drupal) open-source community to give feedback on the Open Social Manifesto. Hours spent From January to May 2016, GoalGorilla spent about 2,000 back-end development hours, 650 hours of interaction design, 500 hours graphical design, and 600 hours front-end development. We also invested a whole bunch of hours, sweat, and tears in the Scrum Master and Product Owner agile roles. Many people on our team are also working evenings and weekends on the platform.

Team process
We try to stay as agile as possible using the Scrum method. We use an internal Product Owner who acts like the client. Our marketing department acts as the Stakeholder. We have a Scrum Master who makes sure we follow all Scrum principles, meetings are attended, agendas are set, and impediments removed. This does not differ much from our normal client work, except in Open Social we have a bit more space to experiment. For example, we started with the design team (interaction, visual, and front-end) working on stories for the development team. But we noticed input from the back-end developers was important early on when making design decisions. So, in the current Sprints we include both designers and developers writing stories and tasks together.

Approach to the Design
Getting the interface right is a huge challenge. We want to make the distribution look really good out of the box and also have a theme that is customizable to an organization's brand. Also, to make Open Social's interface intuitively understandable for a wide range of users we use Google’s Material Design principles, and as a base theme we use Twitter’s Bootstrap. Open Social is built on Drupal 8 too, so we want to stay close to existing Drupal Core and Drupal modules usability patterns. But the users of Open Social are probably used to certain conventions from existing social software they already use. A small example is the Group icon that Google uses for 'Groups', in Facebook this same icon means 'Friends'. So, when testing with real users (which we do each Sprint) the users were confused and we had to redesign a new Group icon.

Tooling

Project Management Our most important project management tool is Atlassian Jira (with Tempo and X-Ray add-ons). For internal team communication, we use Slack, and Skype for video conferencing. For resource planning, the team uses Timewax. Google Docs is our favorite when it comes to writing down more extensive research.
Design We use Axure for low fidelity prototyping. For visual designs, we use Illustrator. The front-end is done from a components strategy, which means building a living style guide based on the atomic design principle. We use Gulp for automated front-end development tasks, and Jade for rapid, high fidelity prototyping.
Development Wow, tools and frameworks are really exploding these days :). Some of our favorites we used for this project are: Docker, Composer, GitHub, Behat, Drush, Drupal Console, PHP Code Sniffer, PhpStorm, and MailCatcher.


User Experience

Everyone expects to hire an excellent Drupal developer, but one should be able to identify a good Drupal front-end developer. Great skills and previous experiences will help in your switch to Drupal and your site will excel as a typical Drupal website. Drupal web development in India has become quite popular as it is dynamic and free, as well as open for changes.
Drupal lets site visitors log in as an authenticated user, as it is a multi-user system. They do not have to be an anonymous user and browse a website. The access levels can be controlled and “roles” for multiple permission levels can be assigned. Drupal hosts as well as promotes content. Drupal web development companies, enable the software to reach out beyond the website, to give you a presence on Facebook, Twitter and other social media venues. Drupal's built-in features provide search engines with what they want, naturally improving the website's impact.

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