"Headless" Authoring UX sprint

Let’s face it, we have a problem. It doesn’t matter how powerful what you build is if no one wants to use it. How can the modern CMS hope to compete with simple drag and drop, one-click authoring services that can produce the majority of websites people want to build? Do you really think the answer to this can still be found on Drupal’s edit form or with the panels ecosystem? Will open source CMSs fade from popularity because we continue to ask human beings to design content with a WYSIWYG? Well, we aren’t waiting to find out…

CKEditor in core is not going to be enough to make authorship shine in D8 and beyond. We need to focus on the thing that everyone seems to work on last, and that’s the authoring experience. Members of the Penn State Drupal community are organizing a sprint at DrupalCamp NJ which will focus on a radical overhaul of the “page” authoring experience in Drupal. If you have ideas, you should seriously consider joining us in this endeavor.

Our starting point can be seen in this InvisionApp prototype. We are searching for that sweet spot between simplicity and flexibility, and we think we might be close.


  • Create an authoring experience that rivals the “web-site-tonight” platforms

  • Build against JSON endpoints from a nearly static HTML interface; making it “headless”

  • Create a flexible yet simple data model via Drupal entity’s

  • As part of the push towards “headless” development, we want to be able to support Drupal 7, 8, Backdrop and theoretically anything that would supply the IA and RESTful endpoints

  • Not be locked into any specific modules for production (though we will support RESTWS first)

  • Build upon the ideas of panels and omega (3.x) while sticking to responsive design principles inline with Zurb, bootstrap and other popular frameworks

It is a moonshot born out of a three + hour, wall-wide, white-board jam session between me, Michael Collins (@_mike_collins), and Michael Potter (@hey__mp).  We are spearheading the development of a prototype built in either AngularJS or ReactJS talking to custom D7 “element” entities exposed via RestWS endpoints.

This is the kick off development sprint and we hope to see you there with your feedback, ideas and code :)