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Five key lessons from CapitalCamp

As a flexible system, Drupal is constantly being adapted to a variety of situations. Regional Drupalcamps and user groups provide an interesting perspective on how Drupal easily takes on a unique local flavor. At the local Louisiana Drupal Users Group meetups, for example, we often discuss Drupal-powered restaurant sites. At CapitalCamp, held July 26-27 at George Washington University in Washington D.C., Drupal's powers and popularity in the public sector were on full display.

Here are five useful things I learned at CapitalCamp.

1. is a successful Drupal Case Study

Citing metrics such as 56 sites launching on-time and on-budget, and now performing at a 99.98% uptime over the past year, Nikhil Deshpande's keynote address set a positive tone for how Drupal can drive real results for the public sector. The State of Georgia partnered with Phase2, Mediacurrent and Acquia to migrate from Vignette to Drupal in 2012, winning awards and saving the state $4.7 million along the way.

2. Accessibility is best addressed at the start, and it helps your site's usability too

508 compliance is an important piece of building web sites, especially in the public sector. By making smart, simple decisions early in a project, the team can ensure more than just compliance but also a boost in site usability for everyone. Catharine McNally's five key points from her presentation are powerful in their simplicity:

  1. Image rotators are tough.
  2. Color contrast matters.
  3. Navigation can be really annoying.
  4. Accessible media helps everyone.
  5. Audio and visual captcha is a strain.

My personal favorite is No. 1: Image rotators are tough. This site says it all:

3. Lots of helpful tools exist for Responsive Design

Chaz Chumley explored the fundamentals of responsive site building (No, it's not sufficient to just install Omega and call your site Responsive…). In his session he pointed to several handy tools such as fitvids.js for video embeds and tinynav.js for navigation.

4. Coming soon: A new Features module

As Phase2's OpenPublic distribution approaches a stable 1.0 release, a promising new module is in the works as part of the effort. Features Items Template promises to allow the extension of content types from a Feature. When advised of this news from a BOF session at the camp, the Mediacurrent team was very excited to hear about this development.

5. Panelizer sounds handy for one-off landing pages

Keenan Holloway provided an informative session to better define Panels, Panelizer and Panopoly, and provided a good set of definitions within his slide deck available here. Panelizer's ability to provide the flexibility of Panels on an individual node sounds just right for sites seeking to create a variety of landing pages with slight layout variances.


Addtional Resources

Drupalcamp Atlanta - October 19, 2013

15 Cool Things You Can Do With Drupal

Webinar: Panelizer and Drupal 


Meet team member, Jeff Diecks

A veteran of the web publishing and sports media industries, Jeff draws on his extensive project management, business analysis, and site building experience to lead professional services and client delivery...

Learn more about Jeff >
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