DrupalCon 2012 – Day 3

The third and final day of DrupalCon kicked off with a funny and informative keynote from Luke Wroblewski. Luke’s focus was on mobile, a major theme at the conference. The presentation emphasized how much mobile is growing and how it forces prioritization. Also, people aren’t just using mobile devices on the go but they are using them at home. Luke included eye opening statistics such as 371K babies are born each day while 378K iPhones are sold each day. More iPhones than babies per day! Wow. How does this affect us as web developers? In a nutshell, we need to pay attention to mobile – it’s very likely the future of computing.

As Travis and Braeden discussed in their posts from Days 1 and 2, the way users are accessing content is changing and will continue to change as devices continue to evolve. The main takeaways I had from DrupalCon addressing how we can best serve a variety of devices are: content is king, speed is huge, prioritize and know your users. While these concepts are oversimplified, they are always applicable and can’t be emphasized enough.

On another note, one of my favorite sessions was about building multilingual Drupal websites, “Don’t get lost in translation.” The topic is really interesting to me as I’ve recently been working on a multilingual site, Castello Di Casole, for the past 8 months. The speakers used different modules than we used and I’m excited to check them out: Locale, i18n, Entity and Content Translation. They also had experience with the same challenges we encountered and they discussed ways to plan for them. For example some languages take up more room than others and thus affect the design and theming of the site. We’re experiencing this exact issue with needing to look at alternative translations to our main navigation in German. Other example questions to ask early and plan for include: Are you translating everything or just parts?  What about the admin UI?  What type of text are you translating?  Who is handling the transitions?  Overall, there is a lot to plan for when doing a multilingual site! For Castello di Casole, we launched the English version of the site last September, the Italian version a few weeks ago (yay!). Next up is German and finally, French.

Overall, DrupalCon was a great learning experience. We attended a lot of sessions and and absorbed a ton of useful information. Now, we’re excited to bring our newfound knowlege home and put it to use for the benefit of our amazing clients!

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