Website Update: Try the New Edit Console

WARNING: This is an experimental site feature and probably still has a few bugs in it. We also may change the look-and-feel of this interface in the future. If you don’t want to be frustrated by things like that, you can keep using the Edit Console that’s been in place since the site launched. If you’d like to help us test this new feature of the site, continue reading to find out how.

Why a New Edit Console?

I’ve received some feedback that people would like to reduce the clutter on our Drupal editing user interface and make it easier to sign in to Drupal, edit or add some content, and not need to see hundreds of Edit and Delete links all over the place. I’ve also heard, repeatedly, that the labels in the Edit Console don’t make a lot of sense. The new Edit Console is an attempt to take the first step toward addressing these issues.

What has changed?

The top row shows a list of regions on the page, like “Right Sidebar” and “Carousel”. Clicking the checkbox to the left of each label will show or hide the Edit, Delete, Revisions, and other such links in that part of the page. These settings are stored in your user profile in Drupal and should stay the same every time you log in, on any computer, using any browser. So if you never, ever edit sidebars and you don’t want to see links there, uncheck the Right Sidebar option. But if you later decide that you need to edit a sidebar, you can still enable those links.

The second change is a re-organization of the links in the Edit Console into four sections. All of the options are shown across the top of the screen, so you don’t need to wait for the page to reload to switch between Settings and Contents any more. The new sections are broken out as follows:

  • Content: things you might want to do with individual pieces of content, like add a new one or change the order they appear.
  • Page: actions you can take that affect the current page, such as deleting it or moving it somewhere else in the site.
  • Sub-pages: settings that affect pages “below” the current page, including adding new sub-pages and changing the order they appear in the menu.
  • Help: documentation and a form to ask for help. These links open in a new window or browser tab.

One thing to note: when you’re editing a particular piece of content, or setting up a webform, the menu will work the same as it does with the other version of the Edit Console, though I did change the colors of the menu. This is because these menus are supplied by each Drupal module and I don’t want to overwrite the permissions and theming supplied by the module.

How do I enable this?

Click the “Try the new Edit Console” link in the Edit Console. You’ll be taken to your user settings page where you can enable this feature. If you decide that this is too much change for you right now, you can return to this page and switch back to the older version.

How do I report issues?

If something is not working, you can send me an email directly, or leave a comment on this blog post. I’ll try to correct the problem as soon as possible.

I’m also looking for suggestions on how this interface could be improved. What is confusing? Should we change some of the text? Are there missing options? Do you have a better idea for the layout? I’m open to any recommendations you have about this. This is just the first iteration of this feature and there are definitely more improvements we can make to our site’s usability. Thanks for your help in this process.

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