Drupal - Standardizing Our Intranet Sites
Updated July 28, 2016
Drupal - Standardizing Our Intranet Sites
Score 7 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Drupal
Drupal was the software used to create many of our organization's intranet sites. It was used across the majority of the organization. Each operating unit used it to create sites that conveyed who they were, the work they did, and other basic information. We used it so the operating units' sites would be uniform in their look and feel. Consequently, information would be be found in predictable locations across the operating unit sites.
- You don't need to be a developer to use Drupal. You just need to learn its functions.
- We were able to train people with various non-computer backgrounds to use Drupal. It can be learned by a range of people who are not "technical".
- Drupal sites can include APIs, webforms, slideshows, parent and child pages, and more.
- The option to compare older site page versions with the current version could be easier to decipher from a visual standpoint.
- It would be great if the various customizable features included descriptions of how they function for the many non-technical users who work on Drupal.
- It can be tough for users to find previously added slides (in the slideshow carousel) to edit them.
- The various operating unit sites are now fairly uniform. When you go from one site to another it is fairly easy to find information.
- Employees who want fancier options with their intranet sites were disappointed with the Drupal user interface.
- Employees now know where to go to access predictable information regarding the different operating units.
- Google Sites
I was not a decision maker when it came to which software we would use. There are pros and cons to any software. I would have preferred to use Google Sites, especially since the organization uses Google Drive and its related products pretty heavily. I see great value in sticking with fewer systems and platforms to minimize employee confusion and frustration.
It is good for organizations like mine where standardization and clarity were the main goals. If you want a fancy and dynamic site then this may not be the solution. This is also a good option if non-technical people will be tasked with its regular maintenance. A little training can go a long way with Drupal.
Drupal Feature Ratings
Various operating units and departments use Drupal for a number of reasons. Human Resources uses it to provide HR related information and resources for employees agency-wide. Other operating units use it to provide articles with the latest information on their work and success stories. In general, it is used to provide information for employees about what each operating unit does, who their leadership is and how to contact each operating unit.
At the very least, some basic web design knowledge is helpful if someone is to truly support users of Drupal. More advanced knowledge of web design is more desirable, since our users had more in-depth questions about what they can and cannot do with their Drupal sites. They often wanted help implementing more advanced features.
- Inform employees about each operating unit.
- Uniform communication tool to present information about each operating unit.
- Tool for providing resources to help employees with their work.
- More features may be added / allowed in the future, but I'm not sure what they are at this point.
The time and money invested into this platform were too great to discontinue it at this point. I'm sure it will be in use for a while. We have also spent time training many employees how to use it. All of these things add up to quite an investment in the product. Lastly, it basically fulfills what we need our intranet site to do.
I was part of the team that conducted the training. Our training was fine, but we could have been better informed on Drupal before we started providing it. If we did not have answers to tough questions, we had more technical staff we could consult with. We did provide hands-on practice time for the learners, which I would always recommend. That is where the best learning occurred.
The on-line training was not as ideal as the face-to-face training. It was done remotely and only allowed for the trainers to present information to the learners and demonstrate the platform online. There was not a good way to allow for the learners to practice, ask questions and have them answered all in the same session.
If the learner was technically savvy and had a background in website development then the platform could be learned fairly easily. If the learners were not technically savvy, they needed training and continued support after their initial training session. We found that the non-technical learners often contacted us after their initial training with items that may or may not have been addressed in training.
Perhaps this is just because our organization limited the functions available to us. I'm not sure about all of the possibilities that exist with Drupal as a result. In our circumstance, it did provide the basics of what we needed (basic site pages, images, articles, webforms etc.), but we could not do anything "fancy".
Like to use
Easy to use
Feel confident using
- Adding a basic page.
- Adding a slide.
- Adding content in the rich text editor on a basic page.