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ComputerMinds.co.uk: A New Years Resolution for maintaining your Drupal site

5 days 21 hours ago

So 2020 is in full swing, we are already midway through February and any new year’s resolutions you may have set yourself may have slipped … but why not set yourself a new resolution of keeping on top of your Drupal site maintenance? Even as a developer working with Drupal every day, sometimes you can forget some of the basics in regards to site maintenance, so I’ve detailed some of the most important aspects you should be mindful of below.

Security Core & Contrib updates

Without a doubt, one of the most important things (if not the single most important thing) you can do for your Drupal site security is keeping the site up to date with the latest Drupal Core and Contrib module security updates.

Drupal has a security release window of every Wednesday for Contrib modules and one Wednesday a month (usually the third of the month) for Core updates. It’s important to be aware of the Wednesday release window as more often than not multiple security updates for Contrib modules can be released at the same time, so you might have quite a few updates to apply to your site. For further information on the release window timing, read this article from Drupal.org.

Rather than checking manually, you can subscribe to the security update mailing list through your Drupal.org user account profile so you’ll get notified as soon as the updates are released. At ComputerMinds we have taken this notification process one step further by having tickets raised in our support system automatically based on which modules a site has that need updating.

We created a little module that we have on all our clients' sites, which notifies our issue tracking system which modules the site has enabled. We also have Zapier setup to pull in the updates from the security mail listing, and then tickets are created in our issue tracking system for each site that runs the module in question, so we never miss an update. Neat, eh?

User account audit / Permissions

In addition to security updates for modules and Drupal core, as a site administrator you may want to conduct a user account audit on your site. This could include running through a list of all the user accounts on the site that have administrative privileges, and double checking that all the accounts are still needed, and that there aren’t any users with an elevated administrative role that shouldn’t have one.

In addition to this, you may wish to conduct a review of permissions that each user role has on your site. Check the permissions administration page to see each role and it’s permissions - you’ll want to make sure that no user role has a permission that it shouldn’t have (be especially careful to check the Anonymous role, you don’t want any anonymous user to the site to be able do anything with administration!). Sometimes when a site has quite a few user roles in place and a lot of permissions from contributed modules, the permissions admin page can become hard to read with all roles and permissions displayed on the same page. In this instance it’s usually easier to load up the permissions page for each user role individually and check the permissions that way.

Performance Caching

I’ve briefly touched on some key points on how to boost site performance in a previous article but it is always an important topic to ensure your Drupal site is running smoothly as possible. You’ll want your pages to be served up to people quickly to ensure they have the best possible experience whilst using the site.

For quick wins on any Drupal site, double check that Drupal page caching is enabled and CSS & Javascript aggregation is also enabled. Drupal.org has lots of useful detailed documentation on site performance and what you can do to improve it, so be sure to check it out.

Server PHP Version

Checking what PHP version the web server is running your Drupal site from is important as you may be running an older (probably now unsupported!) version. Upgrading the version of PHP to a newer one is a great way of bringing speed improvements to your site. PHP > 7.0 provides great speed improvements over PHP 5.x and the newest supported version (currently 7.3.x) provides even more performance gains! When Drupal 7 was released it came with support for PHP 5.3.x but as of 1st December 2019, the minimum recommended version for your Drupal 7 site is now 7.2.x

This is because PHP versions prior to 7.2.x are now past EOL (End of Life) so upgrading the version of PHP on your server should be a top priority. Drupal 8 was released back in November 2015 (has it really been that long!?) with PHP 5.5.x support but now that version is not supported at all. At a minimum PHP 7.0.8 could be used but PHP 7.2.x is now the recommended version for any Drupal 8 site. If you can upgrade to PHP 7.3.x though, this will currently provide the best performance improvements.

Performance benchmarking PHP 5.6 - 7.4 - phpbenchmarks.com


Of course, you can’t just upgrade the version of PHP and assume your site will continue to work as it was. You should ensure your Drupal Core version is up to date and you will have to check all the contributed modules that you have enabled on your site for compatibility . Chances are, if you have been running an outdated version of a module, it may be using deprecated or even removed functions that the newer versions of PHP don’t support. 

If a module appears like it’s causing trouble with a newer PHP version, you’ll have to check if there is an update available for the module. Most popular contributed modules should have been updated already to support the recommended minimum PHP versions by Drupal. Apply the update in your development / test environment first, and test it thoroughly. If the module doesn’t have an update available or still isn't working quite correctly, there might be an open issue on the module’s page on Drupal.org with a patch ready that just hasn’t been committed yet. If that isn’t there, then you may need to to write a patch for the module in question to support the newer PHP version. Feel free to get in touch with us at ComputerMinds if you have any modules that need patches written to support newer PHP versions.

A bit of Housekeeping Status report page

An easy way to find out if there are any issues with your Drupal site installation is to check the status report page - /admin/reports/status. This page will give you an overview of your site’s parameters and show any problems that Drupal has detected with your installation. Problems may include: your Drupal Core version being out of date and insecure; file system permissions problems; insufficient PHP memory limit; cron not configured properly and a range of other things.

You should have a good read through of the messages on the status report page and action any errors as soon as possible. The warnings displayed here may or may not be an issue for your particular installation (depending on the warning message) so you’ll need to see if they are actually an issue for your site or not.

Status report page for a Drupal 8 site with an error showing that a security update is required for a contributed module / theme and a warning that Drupal core isn’t up to date with the latest minor version.

 

Module tidy up

As your Drupal site grows over time with more functionality, chances are the site will have quite a large amount of contributed modules enabled. It may be worth checking that you actually do still need all of them enabled, as requirements do change over time and you may have some modules left enabled that you don’t actually need any more. Every extra module that is enabled that doesn’t need to be has the potential to slow your site down, so be sure to have a thorough review of the module list and see if you can get away with disabling any that aren’t used anymore.

Content type tidy up

If your site is a number of years old, chances are it may also have some content types that were used at some point in time but may no longer be used or needed. If you are 100% sure that you can get away with deleting a content type because you don’t have any nodes in place that are built using it and no other functionality relies upon it, then you can delete it from the system. Any fields that were used exclusively by this content type will also be deleted from the database. However, before doing any permanent action such as this it would be a sensible idea to backup your site database first, check that your backup works and that you can actually restore the backup if need be.

Configuration changes

On a Drupal 7 site, you are probably using the Features module to manage configuration and to keep configuration consistent between environments. Over time additional changes may have been made directly on the live site environment without being exported back into code. If it’s not enabled already, the Diff module enables you to easily see what changes there have been in your features between the active configuration on the site and the exported configuration in code. If there are any changes that have been made on the live environment that should be kept, be sure to download the changed feature(s) from live and update the codebase with the changes.

On a Drupal 8 site, you’ll probably be using the lovely built in Drupal 8 configuration management in order to manage your configuration along with Configuration Split to have environment specific configuration in place. Again, the same principle applies here that your live site environment may have configuration changes that you may want to export to your codebase to maintain consistency.

For more information about importing configuration in Drupal 8 without losing changes, check out this excellent article by our very own James Williams.

 

Photo by Kateryna Babaieva

ADCI Solutions: Why is accessibility important?

6 days 9 hours ago

If you scroll Twitter, Medium or, at least, LinkedIn, you might know that accessibility is a big trend now. Well, we don’t like the word “trend” because web accessibility (a11y) is all about making your website or an app accessible to all groups of users. It doesn’t seem like something extra, right?

In this article, we mostly talk about accessibility in general and mention some of the Drupal accessibility features

Read on. Why is accessibility important?

 

Aram Boyajyan: Applying Drupal 8 patches in composer.json

6 days 12 hours ago
Applying Drupal 8 patches in composer.json

Sooner or later you will encounter an issue in Drupal core or contrib project that has been fixed but the update has not been included in an official release.

This article explains how to add patches to your composer.json so they get applied whenever you update or install the project from scratch.

superuser Wed, 19/02/2020 - 00:57

Specbee: Drupal Paragraphs Module in Drupal 8 - A Complete Tutorial

6 days 23 hours ago
Drupal Paragraphs Module in Drupal 8 - A Complete Tutorial suresh 18 Feb, 2020 Top 10 best practices for designing a perfect UX for your mobile app

Paragraphs is a new way of content creation. It allows the site builders to make things cleaner and can give more editing power to the end-users.
“Paragraphs” is a very popular module in drupal, used for handling content. It is similar to content fields and provides a wide range of options for designs, layout, and grouping of content as per the requirements.

Types of Drupal Paragraphs & Its Usage?

Paragraphs can be of different types. They can be anything from an image to a video, or a simple text to a configurable slideshow. 
Instead of putting all the data in one body field, we can create multiple Paragraphs Types with different structures. This allows the end user to choose between pre-defined Paragraphs Types. By using Paragraphs, we can create multiple featured Paragraphs, allowing the end users to pick the one most suitable for their needs. 
The Drupal Paragraphs module is easily manageable for non-technical users, while also offering Drupal developers the ability to control the appearance of the elements at the theme level.

How to use Drupal 8 Paragraphs module 1. Install and Enable Drupal Paragraphs module.
 

Drupal Paragraphs module requires Entity Reference Revision module. To work with drupal paragraph module, install and enable Entity Reference Revision module.
 


2. Create a new Paragraphs Type
  • To take the advantages of Drupal Paragraphs module, create at least one Paragraphs Types.
  • Navigate to Structure > Paragraphs types.
  • Click on “Add paragraph types”.
  • On the next page, there are three fields to be filled.  Label, Paragraph type icon and description. The Label field(mandatory), is the name given to the paragraph type created. If required, icon and the description of the paragraph can be given.
     
  • After editing, click on “save and manage fields”.
  • In manage fields, click on “Add field”.
  • Here you can add more fields as per the requirement. These fields include text fields, image fields, boolean etc.. This is similar to adding fields in content type.
  • After adding the field, click on “save and continue”.
  • On clicking “save and continue”, you will be guided to the “Field settings” tab. For any of these fields, there are settings such as, maximum length and allowed number of values. This is useful to allow more than one value for some fields when it is required. 
  • Click on “save field settings”.
  • In the next tab we can set the title for the field which is displayed when the new content is created.
  • Then click on “save settings”.
  • Now the field created can be seen inside Paragraphs Types.

3. Add Paragraphs to the content type:
  • Navigate to Structure > Content type. Choose the content type for which the created paragraph is required.
  • Go to “manage fields” of the content type and click “add field”.
  • To use Paragraphs, open the “Select a field type” dropdown list and select “Paragraph” under “Reference revisions”. After selecting “Paragraph” give a label name for the field which is used while creating the content. After labeling, click on “save and continue”.
  • On the next page, there are two settings “Type of item to reference” and “Allowed number of values”. “Type of item to reference” should be set to “Paragraph” and under “number of values”, it is better to set it to “Unlimited” so that we can value innumerable times. Click “Save field settings”.
  • Clicking “Save field settings” will take us to the next tab where there are options to choose the paragraphs type to be used in this content type. If we want a particular paragraph type to be used, check on the paragraph that is required. Else, click ”Save settings” without checking the paragraph types. This will give dropdown during the content creation and we can use any paragraphs that are created.
     
  • By clicking “Save settings” we can see the field with type entity reference revisions.

 

4. Adding contents to the content type having drupal paragraphs.
  • Go to Content > Add content, and choose the content type to which paragraph is added.
  • You will see a paragraph field with all the fields added to the paragraphs. There are two more options: They are “remove” and “Add (title of the field referred to the paragraph)”. To add multiple values of the same structure, click on add, and to remove paragraph, click on remove.

 

Features of Paragraphs module
  1. Allows the editor to create different structures on each page.
    If there are different structures on the same page or different pages, paragraphs can be used. For ex. There is an image with text on the top and slideshow on the bottom. We can use Paragraphs to make this less complicated.
  2. Allows the editor to change the order of the paragraphs.
    If there is a change in display, like there is an image on the top followed by title and description, and you want to change it to title to the top followed by image and description. Such changes can be done using paragraphs easily. 
    Go to “manage display” of the paragraphs used and change the order, which will change the display order of all the content wherever the paragraph is used.
  3. Paragraphs can be nested
    One paragraph field can be referred to in another paragraph field. While selecting field to paragraphs, select “Paragraph” under “Reference revisions” and select which paragraphs type you want to add.
     

The paragraph module is a very popular module which is used in most of the websites created using drupal. By using paragraphs, end users are asked only to add content as per their requirement and the developers can write the stylings using CSS for displaying the content. The styling and settings are done before adding the content. This makes the content creation easier for both the technical and non-technical users, allowing the content to appear in a consistent manner.  If you are looking to develop a custom module for Drupal or any other Drupal development services, contact us

 

Drupal Planet Shefali ShettyApr 05, 2017 Subscribe For Our Newsletter And Stay Updated Subscribe

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Aram Boyajyan: Drupal 8 add inline JavaScript to a page

1 week ago
Drupal 8 add inline JavaScript to a page

Separate JS files are good but in certain cases (e.g. tracking scripts) it might be useful to just add a piece of inline code to a specific page.

This can easily be achieved from a custom module by implementing hook_page_attachments(), checking the page you are on and adding the JS code to the HTML head.

superuser Tue, 18/02/2020 - 12:06

Tag1 Consulting: What you need to know about Drush 10 & what's coming next

1 week ago
What’s new in Drush 10 - Why Drush over Drupal Console? - The future of Drush: Drush in core? Conclusion In the first part of our two-part blog series on Drush 10, we covered the fascinating history of Drush and how it came to become one of the most successful projects in the Drupal ecosystem. After all, many of us know many of the most common Drush commands by heart, and it’s difficult to imagine a world without Drush when it comes to Drupal’s developer experience. Coming on the heels of Drupal 8.8, Drush 10 introduces a variety of new questions about the future of Drush, even as it extends Drush’s robustness many years into the future. Your correspondent ( Preston So , Editor in Chief at Tag1 and author of Decoupled Drupal in Practice ) had the unique opportunity to discuss Drush’s past, present, and future with Drush maintainer Moshe Weitzman (Senior Technical Architect at Tag1), Fabian Franz (Senior Technical Architect and Performance Lead at Tag1), and Michael Meyers (Managing Director at Tag1), as part of the Tag1 Team Talks series at Tag1 Consulting , our biweekly webinar and podcast series. In the conclusion to this two-part blog series,... Read more preston Mon, 02/17/2020 - 22:06

Promet Source: Yes. The PDFs on Your Website Need to Be Accessible

1 week ago
I was recently reading an interesting blog post concerning web accessibility. It seemed insightful and informative, until I came upon a link to “download a PDF …” for more information.  But wait. These PDFs were not accessible. I shouldn’t have been surprised. This kind of thing happens all the time. As the concept of web accessibility enters the mainstream as a “must-have,” the bigger picture is often getting missed.  

Spinning Code: SC DUG February 2020

1 week 2 days ago

This month for SC DUG I gave a talk on the importance of self-directed learning for professional development as a developer — or really any other modern career. It was an extension and revision of my December blog post on the same topic. The presentation runs a hair over 30 minutes, and parts of the discussion are included as well.

We frequently use these presentations to practice new presentations, try out heavily revised versions, and test out new ideas with a friendly audience. If you want to see a polished version checkout our group members’ talks at camps and cons. So if some of the content of these videos seems a bit rough please understand we are all learning all the time and we are open to constructive feedback.

If you would like to join us please check out our up coming events on MeetUp for meeting times, locations, and remote connection information.

Droptica: Sell Whatever You Want With Drupal Commerce – Product Attributes Configuration

1 week 4 days ago
When creating an e-commerce platform for a given industry, one needs to adapt the system to specific types of products. Every product type has different characteristics, e.g. size, colour, etc. Check out how easily you can customise Drupal Commerce to sell any type of product. We are happy to tell you how to easily add attributes to products for several selected industries. We are a Drupal agency and we deal with it every day. Attributes are the characteristics of given product types. For example, when you sell your own original T-shirts, thanks to the attributes you do not have to add separate products when you want to add another shirt size or colour. You create one product, add a size and colour attribute, and create other versions of the same product.

qed42.com: Automatic Updates: a Drupal 9 initiative

1 week 4 days ago
Automatic Updates: a Drupal 9 initiative Body

We can’t predict the Drupal core security update releases because security updates can arrive at any time and we need to keep our sites updated. People from other parts of the world stay awake during security updates.

Let’s look at the numerous sites built for small businesses today. If a site maintainer is present to manage these updates then there’s no problem at all. But what if there is no maintainer?

Many a time people have questions like:
  1. “Has anyone built the script which will download, backup, and install the updates?”
  2. “Why upgrade, with all security updates which pop up? It seems like I need to upgrade every month.”

New updates arrive frequently. It is a part of the software world be it open source or commercial. The Drupal security team is an awesome team that provides security releases as quickly as possible rather than leaving you with an insecure site. 

There have been talks since the past few years about automating the Drupal core updates, thus a Drupal core strategic initiative was formed “Automatic Updates”. If successful, it would secure a lot of vulnerable Drupal sites. 

Currently, the Automatic Update feature is being developed as a contributed module and eventually, it will be shipped into Drupal core as an experiment and finally if all goes well it could land as a new Drupal core feature. 

Since the work for Automatic Updates is so vast, tasks are being worked in phases. 

Currently, Automatic Updates is divided into the following two phases out of which, phase I is now stable.:

Objectives of Phase I
  • Providing a JSON feed of Drupal PSAs from Drupal.org

  • Displaying PSAs in the Drupal admin interface

  • Providing an extensible update readiness check system

  • Generating update packages from Drupal.org

  • Securing the update packages with a signing system

  • Applying the updates, manually or automatically, with roll-back

In this first phase, the Automatic Updates module includes the Public Service Announcement and Readiness Check features and can apply In-Place Updates manually or on cron. Updates that contain database updates will cause a rollback of the update.

Objectives of Phase II
  • Providing an A/B front-end controller for more robust testing/roll-back features

  • Supporting contributed module automatic updates

  • Supporting composer-based site installs

The goal is to implement a secure system for automatically installing updates in Drupal, lowering the total cost of ownership of maintaining a Drupal site, and improving the security of Drupal sites.

Public service announcements (PSAs)

Announcements for highly critical security releases for core and contrib modules are done infrequently. When a PSA is released, site owners should review their sites to verify if they are up-to-date with the latest releases and that the site is in a good shape to update quickly once the fixes are provided to the community.

Drupal.org provides a JSON feed of Drupal Public Security Announcements to be consumed by the automatic updates module.

That feed includes values for the following: 

  • Project type (core, module, theme, etc) 

  • Project: the short name of the project the PSA is for

  • Title: The title of the PSA

  • Is_psa: The flag which indicates that the post is a PSA (and not another kind of Security Advisory) 

  • Link: The link to the full PSA on drupal.org

  • Insecure: Metadata about what versions of the affected project are known insecure

  • pubDate: The date the PSA was published

Update Checklist

List all checklists which are checked whether a site is ready for an upgrade or not. 

Eg: pending hook updates, changes made in drupal core files. Etc

Demonstrating Automatic Updates Step 1: First, check if the update is available or not

Step 2: Configuring Automatic Updates

Step 3: Now examine the PSAs and Readiness checks in the configurations

Click on ‘Manually run the readiness checks link’ under READINESS CHECKS.

Step 4: Under Errors found of the status report page, you can see the checks failed message with reasons

 

Wish to contribute to Automatic Updates? Rangaswini Khandare Fri, 02/14/2020 - 12:25

Cheeky Monkey Media: Migration; More Than Monarchs

1 week 4 days ago
Migration; More Than Monarchs kodie Thu, 02/13/2020 - 19:13

Hi. Please read the next paragraph in your best David Attenborough voice.

When the majestic monarch takes flight on its marathon migration to Mexico, it’s easy to be moved by their mission. Each year hundreds of thousands of the small, winged creatures take to the sky with a common goal: survival and prosperity. No single butterfly completes the trip by itself, but as a group, they complete one of the most remarkable journeys in the world.

Okay, back to your normal voice now.

Tag1 Consulting: Tag1 Quo - the enterprise security monitoring service

1 week 4 days ago
One of the challenges of securing any Drupal site is the often wide range of modules to track, security advisories to follow, and updates to implement. When it comes to Drupal security, particularly older versions of Drupal such as Drupal 6 and Drupal 7, even a slight delay in patching security vulnerabilities can jeopardize mission-critical sites. Now that Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 are fast approaching their end of life (EOL) in November 2021 (Drupal 6 reached end of life on February 24, 2016), the time is now to prepare your Drupal sites for a secure future, regardless of what version you are using.Read more preston Thu, 02/13/2020 - 18:13

Drudesk: Replace media files with respect to SEO: Media Entity File Replace Drupal module!

1 week 5 days ago

If your website has plenty of media files (PDF presentations, price-lists, product images, etc.), you know how cumbersome it may be to replace them. Special attention in file replacement needs to be paid to SEO — because, as every SEO expert knows, every detail matters there.

Luckily, your Drupal 8 website offers more and more ways of easy media management that will also allow you to stay in line with the best practices of SEO.

Tag1 Consulting: Claro - the new Drupal Admin UI - Tag1 TeamTalk #010

1 week 5 days ago
An effective administrative interface is table stakes for any content management system that wishes to make a mark with users. Claro is a new administration theme now available in Drupal 8 core thanks to the Admin UI Modernization initiative. Intended to serve as a logical next step for Drupal's administration interface and the Seven theme, Claro was developed with a keen eye for modern design patterns, accessibility best practices, and careful analysis of usability studies and surveys conducted in the Drupal community.Read more preston Wed, 02/12/2020 - 05:18

Third & Grove: From a Drupal 9 Architect: When Will Drupal 9 Really be Ready?

1 week 6 days ago

This article is from our resident Drupal 8 core maintainer Nathaniel Catchpole (@catch) who is helping to build Drupal 9.

Drupal 9 will be the first major core release to have a continuous upgrade path meaning that Drupal 8 contributed modules and themes, and actual Drupal 8 sites, should be able to upgrade smoothly from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9, with only slightly more disruption than a Drupal 8 minor release. Since this is the first time that Drupal has ever attempted to provide a smooth upgrade path between major releases, we understand it can be hard to imagine what it will be like. 

The best way to feel confident will be to actually understand the changes that will be landing in Drupal 9 over the next few months, and when you should try to test it, use it to build new sites and to update existing sites.
 

Palantir: HonorHealth

1 week 6 days ago
honorhealth.com Making healthcare simple and personal with a consumer-centric approach On Highlights
  • Point One
  • Point Two
  • Point Three

HonorHealth is well-known as a community health system drawing from a strong legacy of care for those in their community for more than 100 years in Phoenix, AZ. HonorHealth provides critical, life-saving services; they focus their energy on providing first-in-class medical services, training, and humanitarian assistance. HonorHealth needed a content management platform to help them communicate not only their services, but also their innovations in treatments, technology, and clinical research in a way that is comprehensible and effective for their audiences.

The Challenge

The previous honorhealth.com was a Drupal 7 site that offered inconsistent search interfaces, a splintered “make an appointment” experience, and an overall menu and content structure that was based on internal organizational needs. With a renewed focus on their customers, HonorHealth wanted to build a new website that would improve the crucial “find care” experience for their users.

More specifically, they wanted to make it seamless for patients to:

  • Find and receive the right care
  • Get access to their health information
  • Manage their care easily
  • Maintain their health or cope with a condition

HonorHealth engaged Palantir.net to create an easy-to-administer, modernized Drupal 8 platform. The new consumer-centric honorhealth.com:

  • Builds and fosters trust through design and good usability
  • Makes it easy for users to find care and locations
  • Features a site structure driven by actual user priorities
  • Is WCAG 2.0 AA compliant
How We Did It

With an eye on the future, Palantir focused work on creating a platform that will be easily extendable as HonorHealth expands the services they provide to their community over time. Palantir knew it was essential to create a strong platform in order to enable HonorHealth to integrate more technologies in the future as part of their continuum of care.

Collaborative Discovery Phase

The project began with an in-person workshop that joined together the Palantir team with a large group of client stakeholders (15+), each with varied levels of project context, technical knowledge, and ongoing involvement in the overall project. As Palantir interviewed the organizational stakeholders, it became clear that putting patients and prospective patients first and foremost was going to be critical to the success of the project. Palantir worked with their partners at HonorHealth to make sure the team was answering every challenge through the lens of “does this first serve patients and prospective patients?”

Inception focused heavily on user testing of HonorHealth’s existing personas, which were validated through abbreviated top task research in order to get data on the specific priorities of the primary audiences. The results of this work were incorporated into the page designs and informed the Information Architecture (IA) hypothesis, which was tested further using a tree test. The tree test helped us determine which tasks users could easily complete on the site and which tasks were especially difficult to complete.

Defining Features

Palantir used a series of “sketch sessions”–workshops where the team and client stakeholders collaboratively define key user flows and experiences. The outcome is low-fidelity, annotated wireframes that can initiate conversations around the build and move the project forward.

Both the UX and development team at Palantir participated in these sessions, which enabled them to overlap design work with development work much longer, creating a more integrated approach to developing the HonorHealth site. This innovative approach enabled Palantir to show the site–with real content–in it much sooner than traditionally possible, which meant HonorHealth could provide incremental feedback on the site. This process of migrating data early and evolving it in-place also made it easier to showcase data integrations as they lived alongside CMS-controlled content.

Building a Valuable IA

Using data from the top tasks research, Palantir developed a framework of “most valuable experiences” for HonorHealth’s audiences. The site’s information architecture and hierarchy, calls-to-action, navigation, and layout are all anchored around these experiences – always surfacing the information users need in the most contextually relevant places and laying the groundwork for personalization opportunities in the future.

The most notable highlights of the new site include:

  • A consolidated appointment flow (universal button, main landing page) that helps users decide how to proceed
  • A straightforward, consistent search experience for finding doctors, locations, clinical trials, articles and events
Flexible Components

With the previous site, content design elements were created mostly inline on individual pages by a web manager with HTML knowledge. This limited who on the team could make changes to the site and slowed down the process of updating the site with critical content. With the new honorhealth.com, the editorial team has a set of dynamic, flexible, field-based content components that enables content editors to craft compelling narrative content pages, without needing to know HTML.

Modern Design

The new honorhealth.com cleverly incorporates their existing brand elements while modernizing the design. Simple and straightforward, the updated design is easy to use and connects and resonates with key audiences.

Integrating With Key Systems

One of the overall goals when embarking on this redesign was to create an experience that mimicked the streamlined usability of an ecommerce site. HonorHealth wanted to create a place where patients could easily make choices about their care and schedule appointments with minimal effort. In order to provide this experience, it was imperative that the new platform could play well with HonorHealth’s external services and created a firm foundation to integrate more self-service tools in the future.

In particular, Palantir integrated with three services as part of the build: SymphonyRM, Docscores, and Clockwise.

  • SymphonyRM offers a rich set of data served by a dynamic API. HonorHealth leverages SymphonyRM’s Provider Operations services to hold its practice location and physician data. Palantir worked closely with Symphony to help define the data structure. Through this work, HonorHealth was able to reduce the number of steps and people required to maintain their provider and location data. By leveraging the strategy work done and the technical consultation of Palantir’s Technical Architecture Owner, HonorHealth was able to keep focused on the most valuable content to their users throughout all of their integrated systems.
  • Docscores provides a platform for gathering high-quality ratings and review data on healthcare practitioners and locations. Palantir integrated this data directly with the physician and location data provided from SymphonyRM to create a research and discovery tool for HonorHealth users. On the new HonorHealth website, users can find physicians near a specific location and read about other patients’ experiences with them.
  • Clockwise provides real-time wait estimates for people looking for Urgent Care services in their area. Each of these individual “under the hood” integrations don’t represent a significant shift for website users, but when all of these changes are coupled with the intense focus on putting the user experience of the site first, the result speaks for itself: a beautiful website that works well and empowers people to engage in their ongoing healthcare in meaningful ways.

Each of these individual “under the hood” integrations don’t represent a significant shift for website users, but when all of these changes are coupled with the intense focus on putting the user experience of the site first, the result speaks for itself: a beautiful website that works well and empowers people to engage in their ongoing healthcare in meaningful ways.

At risk of sounding trite and cliche, the term ‘best in class’ legitimately does apply.

Jake Kelly

Web Specialist, HonorHealth

Key Results

Each and every page of the new Drupal 8 site fits neatly in a hierarchy of user-centric top-tasks. Each page is outcome- or action-oriented and centers on the question: “What are our users trying to accomplish when they come to this page?” The new site surfaces valuable, decision-influencing information like Emergency Department wait times and easy appointment request forms in key places to help users get the services they need and want, quickly and efficiently.

The new HonorHealth site has taken a strong step forward in effectiveness for not only patients, but the internal team as well. By taking a strategic approach to how their data is managed across all of their vendors and integrations, Palantir was able to find efficiencies and make that process easier, so that HonorHealth can focus on what they do best – providing top-notch care to the communities that they serve.

Building a modernized Drupal 8 site structure prioritized by user priorities