Home Projects

I recently moved into a new home after living for nearly six years in another. In those six years I got everything fixed and had a plan for what to do next. I hope to document the fixes in this new house and share the progress as I learn some new skills. This house is much older though has been lovingly maintained and updated over the decades.

I like small maintenance fixes like these. I haven’t glazed a window in a long time, probably with my Dad when I last did it. Time to start my own collection of glazier points.

The co-ax cable jumble will be solved using this nifty tool. The tone tester is going to be useful so that I can label which cord goes to which room. For an old house, it seems to have a co-ax cable in nearly every room.

The outlet box hopefully just needs a little caulking and the screws securing it to the wall moved a little bit.

Since starting this draft, some small fixes/upgrades have been made. A little sink stopper was dropped in place in the middle floor bathroom and a dud light bulb was replaced. Just small stuff but it is moving forward. I also mowed the front yard and raked the flower beds for the first time.

A banjo player standing in front of an orange tinged sunset

For Folks’ Sake

My family and I have been attending the Juan De Fuca Festival of the Arts (JFFA) in Port Angeles, WA for many years. Due to COVID-19 it was suspended for this year. We decided to fill our home with folk/Americana/Celtic music purchased at JFFA from artists over the years and share our favorites here.

While one of the best parts of JFFA is finding new favorites, we hope this list lets you find a new favorite yourself. Share your favorites in the comments.

Rosie & the Riveters


We saw them live at JFFA last year and loved the mix of music and political commentary in the lyrics. Buy their album and they will invest 20% of the profits into women’s projects and businesses. Just remember to Ms Behave

Laura Love


Laura has been touring for what seems like a long time. We have seen her perform a few times and each time is special. The folk songs she weaves are worth the listen.

Scott Cook


Personally my favorite act I have ever discovered at JFFA. He has been back one more and we were thrilled when he stopped on tour through Bellingham. In each setting his music has been authentic and easy to connect to. It also makes you think. His new album is coming out soon, pre-order it now. Order One More Time Around as well to listen to my favorite song of his, https://scottcook.net/track/1813645/pass-it-along.

Derina Harvey Band


What a wonderful show and powerful music. Derina Harvey Band was a blast to listen to. The recordings are much like the live performance. They have a new single out, Northern Lights of Labrador. The song in the video is one we enjoyed live.

Jim Page


Technically, we saw Jim at the Oregon Country Fair several years ago, but it fits right into the JFFA vibe so I am going to pretend he would have been there this year. We listened to Seattle Songs this weekend. He has what seems to be an unrivaled catalog, check out the songs/albums and support Jim.

Brook Adams


Another, non-JFFA music favorite, that should be at JFFA. I met Brook through my boss at the time and his original music is entertaining, makes one think, and is darn fun. Go buy some music.

Moira Smiley

A lyrical voice and the coolest rhythms. We have only seen Moira once but it was memorable. She has a lot of albums, but this is the one that got us hooked. https://moirasmiley.com/?download=circle-square-diamond-flag-cd



So. Much. Fun. Polecat is always a blast with cool instrumentals and being on the front of the beat. They have a deal right now, four albums for $25. This is something great to do while social distancing, have a personal dance party with Polecat!



Fiddle. Celtic. Rock. If you have not heard of the PaperBoys, well, that is ok. Do yourself a favor and buy their album Calithump. We have seen them at JFFA, Bellingham, and even at a local arts place in Lynden, WA. A joy to listen too.

Dustbowl Revival


This was a great surprise. We were at a stage just getting some food and Dustbowl Revival started their set. We danced away the whole set. They also appear to be doing virtual music festivals over the summer. Tune in for great music.

The Sam Chase and the Untraditional


Really fun music. Lots of instruments. I believe they have made it to JFFA more than once. I believe they are from the San Francisco area, they certainly have a more relaxed approach to folk music. They have a new album out that they describe as a Faustian spaghetti western rock opera. I can’t wait to hear it.

Lindsay Lou


While I have not had a chance to listen to Lindsay’s new music, we were hooked when she showed up and played as Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellies. The album Ionia is fantastic. The song “The River Jordan,” is my second favorite from all of the music listed here only to Scott Cook’s “Pass it along.” I am excited to purchase and listen to her newer works.

Driver Seat Rebuild + Heated Seat

KK-Louise’s front seats have been in need of some help for quite some time. I had some nice seat covers I purchased probably when I first came into possession of KK, some fifteen years ago helping me ignore the need. However, as my daily driver the seat I sat in really needed some attention as I could no longer get comfortable. I ordered a set of horsehair pads from Wolfsburg West and some new oatmeal seat covering as the originals lasted nearly fifty years. I have heard the injected mold pads might be a bit more comfortable but were hard to get the covers over. As I was at this project I figured I would try to add some heated seat elements to the back and bottom as well. I found a set on ebay that sound good and installed those as well.

A '71 VW Van seat with a torn corner and pretty much no more padding on the seat.
This is my original driver seat with the back laying on a pair of sawhorses.

Since so much of the seat was gone it was easy to deconstruct. The hog rings that held the cover to the frame were few and far between and came apart with some pliers. The pads went into the garbage but I hung onto the original covers. I am thinking of making some sort of center console and covering it with these remnants. Something will need to hold the heated seat switches.

The frame was in good order. I thought something would be broken as it had been so uncomfortable the past several months but it was just that the pads were mostly gone. I put some seat felt over the bottom (also ordered from Wolfsburg West), the new pad, and then some more felt which I sprayed with adhesive to stick to the pad. I wrapped it with a few bungees to secure it and let it dry. While that was happening I cut the bottom seat heater to size and placed it making sure the wire would run under the seat and out towards the passenger seat as I plan to run the wires up the center of the floor.

The bottom pad in place with felt over it. Bungee cords strung around the outside to hold it all in place.
The bottom pad with felt over it ready for the seat heater element.
The seat heater in place within the middle of the seat. It is white ceramic.
Seat heater pad in place.

The new seat cover itself went on pretty easily. There was a little tugging and pulling but I was able to secure it with some new hog rings and make it feel tight. I had set the seat out on the roof of the bus in the sun to soften up a bit while I was working on the pad. I was worried that the felt would get rolled up while putting the cover on but the glue did what it was supposed to do and kept it all in place.

The back of the seat was much the same as the bottom. The driver side seat has a back covering the frame, the passenger side does not. Getting the cover to go over the frame squarely was the most challenging task. Once I get to the passenger side, it doesn’t have a a cover on the back so I expect it to be easier.

Back pad installed with felt over it and heater pad positioned.
The back pad, felt, and heater pad in place.
Newly reupholstered seat installed back in the van, looking at it from the side.
Installed back in KK-Louise.
The seat in the bus looking at it through the front windshield. Mostly square.

The seat reupholster project went really well. The seat in once again comfortable and warm. I will write-up the heated seat wiring soon. I look forward to completing the passenger seat as currently it pitches passengers forward making longer rides a bit uncomfortable.

HighEdWeb 2018

HighEdWeb 2018 was fantastic. I had a markedly different experience than my first HighEdWebin 2017. The lineup of discussions this year were more forward thinking and highly relevant. The conference team did a great job putting together an exciting lineup and great activities.

This year the conference was on the west coast in the beautiful city of Sacramento in California. The pace of sessions, breaks, and time outside of the conference center was well balanced. I was fortunate enough to again be selected to speak to attendees. I presented this year on protecting and promoting your brand by leveraging design systems. I am grateful for the positive response and feedback shared by attendees.

Following are my personal notes from the sessions I attended.

Putting Atom Design to work

  • Lean on your pattern library, it will get stronger the more you do.
  • An actual plug for Adobe XD from a user. Another plug for Sketch too.
  • https://fractal.build/ is a newer player in the atomic design world

Give Content Contributors the AX

  • AX = the relationship your content authors have with their authoring tools
  • We take personnel problems, systems problems, and make them a training issue.
  • You can innovate by making unicorns.
  • Kurzweil – test websites with this too – https://www.kurzweiledu.com/default.html
  • The AX should prevent authors from making inaccessible content or at least guide them into making it accessible.
  • Resource:
    • https://github.com/LRNWebComponents/hax-body
    • oerschema.org
    • bit.ly/haxplaylist
    • haxtheweb.org
    • elmsln.org

Diversity on websites

  • Information architecture as a tool of oppression
  • Put Diversity at a high level on the global nav
  • Often there is a microsite with its own URL (it needs to be found and in other high level navs, say admissions)
  • Landing page is another strategy (link to from top level)
  • Look at pages and be critical of objectification. Make sure silencing does not occur.
  • Stats page should not show male/female. Instead talk about pronouns, make sure imagery does not bucket females with skirts for example.
  • Diversity as interest convergence.
  • You have to be all about balance.
  • Research shows limited content addressing black interests of concern, no messaging around Ferguson, Charlottesville
  • The best of the research
    • University of San Francisco
    • Loyola Chicago
  • Top Tips
    • Build a diversity landing page
    • Link to the page across your sites and make it near the top level
    • Balance authentic and aspirational diversity content, acknowledge shortcomings, be careful of the word “Strive”, a bit spineless
    • Create a small number of high quality pages, then expand
    • Tell real stories and real Information
  •   Short term
    • Images, candids and profile photos with captions and names
    • unify, elevate, promote content
    • do a focus group with non-majority groups and have web team participate

A hat of many hats – becoming the web product owner

  • Product Stewardship – not just product management.
  • “Focus on continuous delivery of valuable … user experience …”
  • Sometimes the product owner is termed Business Analyst
  • The Questions
    • What problem are we solving?
    • Who are we solving it for?
    • How are we going to measure success?
  • I like the idea of a website roadmap.
  • Ithaca.edu is a new Drupal higher ed site.
  • Change our homepage meeting to web product team meeting.
  • Trying to be a project manager and a product owner means being terrible at both.

Beautifully Accessible

  • figma is a design tool for the web
  • Change thinking from user experience to human experience
  • In 2016 census 12.5% of all americans reported living with a permanent disability, 40 million people
  • Mentioned :focus-visible, a handy newer pseudo property
  • https://modalzmodalzmodalz.com/ shows issues with modals



Gettin’ Griddy With It – CSS Grids

  • flex is a straight line, row or column, if it looks like a grid, then flexwrap has been enabled
  • There is a flex cross axis which determines where content is lined up
  • flex: 0 0 auto makes things stay the size they are, no growing or shrinking
  • grid-gap: #px; This is cool, it lets the grid determine the spacing between each grid box automatically
  • To position items within the grid you can use grid-column and grid-row shorthand properties.
  • grid-column and -row also support span (e.g. grid-column 2 /span 2);
  • grid-row(1/-1); will make content span the entire height of the grid.
  • grid just continues to be awesome
  • grid template areas allow you to build out named grids to plop elements into which is great for easily seeing what is going on later. It also allows very rapid prototyping.
  • minmax value is versatile way to ensure responsive grids. You can do something like repeat:(auto-fill, minmax(200px, 1fr);

We developed an online CMS training and look what happened

  • Staff don’t have to travel to train.
  • Drupal Training is then how we can tie in accessibility training too
  • Training videos, request access to sandbox, reviewed by staff, then access to live website. Takes about 1.5 hours of time.
  • Average about ~100 new users a year
  • Quality of help ticket requests are vastly improved since starting training
  • Know your primary audience
  • Break your training into small series, 5 minutes or less.
  • Make it like a conversation in the video.
  • We should use some improved equipment as well, not just built-in system stuff.
  • Another plug for hemingwayapp.com
  • In the documentation to go with your video use screenshots as needed, provide the steps needed assuming the user did not watch the video
  • Could we have students build this out?
  • Beta test the videos a lot and listen to the feedback, look for patterns of things consistently missed
  • We could include a page about how to request help and what a good support request looks like
  • Maybe add an optional module on “writing for the web”

Don’t call it an intranet

  • Internal communications was not a focus at the school, hence email overuse, paper flyers, and external websites. Tons of paper is not a sustainable practice.
  • Refocus external sites for external audiences, reduce email overload to students
  • Helps build an intentional community culture
  • Evaluated packaged intranet solutions, met with campus stakeholders
  • Make the case: articulate the benefits of building on top of a system you already understand, develop a design, build a prototype
  • Plan the project: scope out needs vs. wants, do a content audit, IA development.
  • Big effort to collect all of the external content that really should have been in the intranet
  • Overcoming the perceptions of the existing intranet
  •  ** Name it something that does not include intranet
  • The login greets by their name, shows date and time, and shows the weather in their location
  • The landing page sort of personalizes for the role you have
  • Identify power users (those that send lots of emails or make lots of posters), and train them on how to use the system. Also tried to align with new internal communication strategy.
  • Measured success in increased traffic and pageviews. It has reduced email use and refocused external sites to be for prospective students.
  • Search behavior has changed on external sites, they were able to retire and consolidate legacy sites, got rid of internal use forms from external sites
  • Have created a place where institutional knowledge can reside rather than only in people
  • Search has been a pitfall, users still search for external resources inside of the intranet and the other way around. Need an elegant way to show separate resources.
  • They have 3 people doing this, definitely a product owner exists whose main goal is to increase internal communication practices and nurture the intranet
  • Continue to review the data and use it to support adoption of moving content into the intranet

How do we know how we are doing? – Analytics strategy

  • Understand your user goals and needs – set up interviews with as many stakeholders as possible.
  • Keep conversations high level, you don’t have to focus on Analytics
  • Are there key events throughout the year that they work toward every year
  • Ask students how they use the site
  • Talk to your own team
  • Content plan and strategy also drives analytics
  • Questions they wanted to answer
    • Demographics
    • Audience breakdown
    • popular content, most shared content, normal top pages, sessions, etc…
    • Downloads
    • nav patterns
    • top screen sizes and devices
    • sources

Google behavior report gives a lot of great starting data

  • Behavior flow is a good starting point to see other entry pages into your site
  • She sets up individual segments based on what pages people view – gives more personal data
  • Coordinated campaign UTM tags between alumni and marcomm so we can see what campaigns are driving content to websites
  • Hojar is used by Stanford Law as well
  • They craft custom analytics measurements based on the campaigns they choose to run
  • Match your content calendar with analytics visits to see if people click on the content when it is distributed
  • https://law.stanford.edu/analytics-recipe-book

Can you do it in the dark? Making your social media more accessible.

  • The unemployment and underemployment for disability is something like 70%, I want to look into that
  • Twitter and FB have pretty good support. For instagram, put in alt description in the caption unless the caption clarifies it. Example: [Image Description: …]
  • Facebook supports SRT file uploads
  • Instagram/Twitter – you need to burn the captions into the video
  • Add audio description for videos and broadcasts – social media currently does not support audio description
  • Avoid jargon and technical talk where possible
  • Be clear, concise, make it stick
  • Champion accessibility through the entire content creation process
  • Social media is now embedded into the website content, we need to be clear to make that link and keep our content accessible
  • There is a facebook accessibility team to follow on facebook and twitter accessibility twitter account
  • Involve people with disabilities.
  • Look for a guide on accessible snaps (SnapChat)
  • Use camel case in your hashtags
  • Buffer is a great accessible platform, it is part of their culture
  • Hootsuite has it on their roadmap and they believe are close to tieing in accessible posts
  • Build in accessible content creation time into the editorial calendar


DrupalCon Nashville – A summary that is late, but better than never

DrupalCon is hands down the best Drupal summit/camp/conference that exists. The other formats may be more intimate, it is much easier to have quiet time for those of us who identify as introverts, but the energy and enthusiasm at DrupalCon is always infectious.

My last DrupalCon was 2015 in LosAngeles, and while Nashville lacked Palm Trees the weather was great and the music was everywhere. It was wonderful to connect in real life with those I generally only talk to via the Drupal issue queue, IRC, or Slack. I certainly walked away with more than I gave and have been spending the time since DrupalCon putting a lot of the ideas into practice.

I was honored to be a speaker on the accessibility panel at the higher education summit that happens the day before the full conference. We tended to talk about accessibility in general terms and the feedback received was that at a Drupal conference they want specifics on Drupal. Luckily, there were many great sessions on just that topic throughout the week so I hope everyone was able to attend or watch the videos afterwards.

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the sprints at the end of the week, it is one of my favorite parts. I will be sure to stay while in Seattle next year. I was able to make significant progress on https://www.drupal.org/project/drupal/issues/2770835 though it is still not in core. As core gets bigger, these types of fixes are going to take longer to get approved as lots of modules now can be affected by small changes.

The following are my raw notes from the conference.


Style Guide stuff:


Migrating 10,000 great books to Drupal 8 – Princeton University Press

@dergachev – Alex Dergachev

  • 10,000 books and 18,000 static pages to migrate.
  • They chose Drupal 8 for the community, empowerment of content editors, integrated & extensible platform for search, e-commerce, SEO, APIs, and the ability to customize the information architecture.
  • To handle the migration from SQL, they had a PowerShell script that ran nightly to run sql queries that generated CSV files. Those CSV files then were imported into D8. That is a pretty slick way to decouple from SQL.
  • Used context, context_active_trail, entity_reference_revisions modules
  • Checkout blackfire.io as an xhprof alternative and it is focused on performance
  • Also, this github project, https://github.com/dergachev/sitediff
  • evolvingweb.ca/training for D8 – 5 day in person

Pre-Note & DriesNote

  • The total eclipse website is built with Drupal
  • 40% of speakers at DrupalCon are from under-represented populations
  • Drupal 8 migrate, api-first, media, and site management is in 8.5.
  • New Balance website mobile app is powered by Drupal
  • React VR headless drupal application for tours – freaking cool, nothing custom done to Drupal, just uses core
  • It takes 41 clicks and many many minutes (30+) to get Drupal installed compared to other PHP frameworks. Drupal is working on getting this fixed.
  • The UI for content creators will be refreshed and over time improved patterns will emerge
  • We should not compare ourselves to Drupal 6 or 7 but competitors like squarespace
  • Drag and drop media management is on the way. Really need more contributors to the media initiative to make this happen faster.
  • Contextual configuration management is something that is going to be built into core soon
  • https://drupal.org/promotedrupal
  • Use the “simplify drupal” tag in the issue queue for efforts related to all of the above
  • Drupal Values
    • Prioritize Impact
    • Better together
    • Strive for excellence
    • Enjoy what you do
    • Treat others with dignity & respect
  • Find more in-depth discussion at https://drupal.org/principles

Building Banging Websites with Bricks, Paragraphs, & Modifiers


  • https://www.drupal.org/project/bricks
    • Combines layouts and entities into one page
    • Works in tandem with paragraphs, you can expose your paragraphs by putting them in a layout bundle
    • Bricks have different view modes
    • Easy drag and drop
    • Now supports dynamic entity references module
  • https://www.drupal.org/project/modifiers
    • Inspired by the M in BEM
    • Looks really cool.
    • Extends bricks.
    • No more making classy paragraph derivatives
    • Can even hook into it or plugin
    • They have the drupal module modifiers_pack as a great starting point
    • Really saves time as all is reusable. Spend more time with customer. Less time building same thing over and over.
  • Paragraphs are scoped to content while blocks are global
  • Also, checkout the “look” module, https://www.drupal.org/project/look which allows sets of modifiers to be applied
  • The bricks and modifiers are all pretty new but it seems like a super recipe

Nurturing a Productive Lifestyle

https://events.drupal.org/nashville2018/sessions/nurturing-productive-lifestyle Check this session out… I caught the tail end and it seemed good



  • Use Google Charts or High Charts

Journey to the Drupal Heart – Symfony 3  basics and a bit beyond


  • Symfony is a set of reusable PHP components and Drupal uses a set of these. It is really a MVC framework.
  • Symfony has its own server, we don’t use that in Drupal but handy for other stuff
  • It has a built in debugger that appears at the bottom of the web page that loads
  • Every page needs a route, controller, content, and
  • Each class is namespaced to be unique to avoid conflicts. It follows the folder structure\name
  • You can use @annotations or yml files for route specification
  • You do dynamic routes with parameters
  • Parameters and variables should match
  • $php bin/console debug router spits out all routes for you to see and you can add more specifics to router to narrow down the results
  • Services are useful objects – provide reusable functionality
    • To access services you need to get them through Container
    • Container object is provided by Symfony Controller
    • $php bin/console debug::container to see a list of them all that you can use before adding your own
  • Templates are the V in MVC
    • They use TWIG
    • {{ }} means say something
    • {% %} means do something

Maintain and improve team health and productivity


  • Kind of a neat thinking paradigm, be like water, respond to a request with the appropriate response of ripples to the level of the request
  • Everything is a lesson learned
  • A problem when managing multiple projects is that you are not able to give each team your undivided attention
  • Not everything is priority 1, you have to set boundaries. Pause and reflect and help the client figure out what is most important for your end-user.
  • Another reminder to time box effectively and to stick to your calendar
  • Get a 3rd person to weigh in on an issue if the issue continues to recur
  • Create a capacity calendar for ourselves

Maintaining Design Consistency Across Every Channel


  • Lightning, MailChimp, and Carbon style guides were dissected and highlighted
  • Sketch and Zeppelin are two products that can help with developing the guides

Integration of Drupal Coding standards with Git hooks


Think Your Website is GDPR Compliant? Think Again!


  • The spirit of the law is to put the data power back in the hands of the people
  • WWU is certainly at risk for non-compliance
  • The GDPR is not just an IT discussion.
  • There are several roles that need to be doled out
    • Supervisory authority (This seems to be only an EU requirement)
    • Controller
    • Processor
      • All 3rd party services that touch the data need to be GDPR compliant ~ that will take work with purchasing to confirm
    • Data Protection Officer
      • Should not someone with conflicts of interest
  • Rights
  • One a breach occurs you have 72 hours to notify
    • There are some ways to avoid that but you have to be transparent
  • Users have a right to have access to all their data, how it was obtained, and how it is used
  • Right to erasure (to be forgotten)
  • Data portability – they have the right to move their data to other systems
  • Privacy by design
    • We need to reach out to everyone on campus that collects data, EE, advancement/alumni, admissions, departments, etc…
    • Only collect exactly what you need
  • Privacy Experience (PX)
    • Always be transparent
    • Use easy to understand language / no “lawyer speak”
    • Users opt-in to how the data is used, not opt-out
  • No longer should developers and engineers have access to production data. We should anonymize it.
  • Privacy by design
    • Limit attack surface (remove modules from prod when not in use)
    • Keep solutions simple
    • Encrypt PII
    • Know your regulatory requirements FERPA, HIPAA, GDPR, PCI, CAN SPAM
    • Write policies and procedures and then follow them
    • Automate auditing and compliance processes
    • Log events and transactions
      • Keep the logs clean, get rid of PHP notice and warnings in WatchDog by fixing the issue
  • One encryption key per user – a concept to look at  https://info.townsendsecurity.com/gdpr-right-erasure-encryption-key-management
  • Marketing Advantages of Privacy
    • Make trust your competitive advantage
    • 94% of customers are more likely to be loyal to transparent brands
    • Trust enablers
      • Deliver value
      • Embrace education marketing
      • High Quality
      • Empower the individual
  • Consent for one campaign doesn’t mean consent for all anymore
  • Be able to prove you have consent – even on past opt-ins
  • Talk with marketing automation and CRM platforms to see if they offer tools
  • Creating an action plan
    • PX takes a team, we all need to come together on creating the positive PX experience
  • Data collection
    • What are we collecting and why
    • Active vs. Passive
    • Storage and Encryption
    • Integration Points
  • Messaging and Consent
    • Opt-in language
    • Privacy policy and legal documents
      • In plain language, not legal language
    • Internal messaging around value of a great PX GDPR experience and marketing impact
  • User Control
    • Data portability
    • Revoking consent
    • Data erasure
  • Next steps
    • Legal should assess risk
    • Create/Update security and privacy policies
    • Technology teams prioritize remediations
    • Implement remediations
    • Document remediations and next steps
    • Rinse and repeat

A New Help System for Drupal


D.O issues to take a look at:

  • 102254
  • 2516902
  • 2701289
  • 2587469

The goal is to provide inline help for the entire system, not just modules. You want to keep the structure that exists, but make it more flexible and easier to update and find for the end-user.

Customizable workflow help should be able to be created.

HigherEd BOF

Hard to take notes, standing room only

  • Automated site-owner emails that if not responded too, then they are shut down. Would be a great way to handle all of the dead WP sites.
    • Can CampusPress help with that?
  • Reiteration that compliance is a good tool for shepherding
    • Policies at the top are helpful to reference
  • This could be a good tool for us, https://www.drupal.org/project/profile_module_manager. It looks like it would replace “profiles,” not really sure about D8 support.

A smarter Way to Test Accessibility – a comparison of top tools (Lighthouse, Tenon.io and WAVE API)


Gaps in automated testing really do exist. Manual testing is needed, examples:

  • Image has alt text, but does it make sense in the context
  • Identify form field labels, but is the label clear and easy to understand
  • Has headings, but is the hierarchy correct
  • A menu is proper HTML, but does it work with keyboards opening a dropdown?

LightHouse is an open source tool developed by Google and is built upon the open source rule set AXE.

Tenon.io and WAVE have costs associated with them.

All of these have command line tools.

LightHouse – https://github.com/GoogleChrome/lighthouse

  • You can output this as json and then parse as a gulp task to have a nice report
  • Then have the gulp task run on save or git-commit (very neat)
  • You can use this service offline! That means you can run these tests against a local dev URL

Checkout git guppy that lets you run gulp commands on pre-commit hooks.


You can extend that concept to Jenkins to find ways to automate some of this checking on prod or prior to merges. Maybe some of these could be done as a suite against a set of archetypal pages.

More predictions on machine learning improving automatic captions and alt text on images.

From Feedback to Finish: How to Leverage User Focus Groups for Website Design


Chicago Park District – Serving all of Chicago

  • Migrated from a heavily customized older website/system
  • Had lots of data to work from with analytics, user surveys, and benchmark/comparison analysis

A focus group series was created to identify why people were accessing or ignoring the data, the need for external validation. The end goal is to find out how people really use the website.

One specific approach – http://cutgroupbook.org/

Where to start

  • Develop questions
  • Scheduling
    • You need to be available, have an appropriate physical space, and some equipment.
    • Do it in a timely fashion so that the results matter to the project
  • Get volunteers to proctor
    • People that manage the content
    • People that develop the systems
  • Review how the test will run
    • Outline how it will all work
    • Run through the test with each other (the proctors)
    • Procedure for people coming in through the post-test proctor questionnaire
      • Get feedback from testers and proctors
  • It ends up being really hard to not “help” testers, but you need to let it play out
  • Test on a variety of devices, not every tester needs to use all devices, have some use a phone, some use a desktop, others use a tablet, etc…


  • Cleaner homepage
  • A clear focus on mobile usage
  • Streamlined searching
  • Highlight mapping options

Take a look at the linked slides as there is a good slide at the end titled Practical Magic


One click upgrade to Drupal 8 – why, when and how


  • Quick overview of default out of the box migrate using the upgrade button
    • Field Collections are not yet support
  • Custom updates with Drush
    • Drupal upgrade, migrate tools, migrate plus, and migrate manifest
    • Supports roll back migrations and exposes it to the front-end
    • Also allows you to stop and reset messed up migrations

Feeds, https://www.drupal.org/project/feeds, may have a stable D8 release this week

Provision 4 – Aegir BOF


Try converting drush commands into pro commands

It is ready for testing

It is based on Robo, https://robo.li and Symfony Console

Follow this issue to see when it will drop, https://www.drupal.org/project/provision/issues/2912579. Supposedly soon.

Lots of talk of moving Aegir to host the websites in a docker container, but one container for all sites, unless you want a stack per site.

Drupal Console has a set of docker commands as well

Drush.inc files may not yet be supported. We want to test that for sure if this actually goes forward.

Webcomponents, Polymer and HAX: decoupling authoring for Drupal and beyond


Headless Authoring Experience (HAX)

  • Perils of ignoring content authors
    • Panic Mode calls coming in from authors
    • Content gets stale as no one wants to make updates because it is hard/confusing
  • Lots of attempts at making it easier over the years
    • Tokens
    • Short codes
    • Snippet templates
    • And more, paragraphs, bricks, Divi in WP
  • Try it at https://haxtheweb.org
    • Full on de-coupled authoring for not only Drupal but for everything
    • Everything is a new web component
    • It looks really awesome
    • One edit tool to rule across all platforms
    • That is really cool.
  • WebComponents power it all
  • Already can do tables via CSV import, tables via CSV import
  • An a11y compatible video player
  • Playing on working element queries
  • 147 components available now at https://www.webcomponents.org/author/LRNWebComponents
  • HAX is pluggable so any of the 15,000+ web components that exist can be brought into HAX
  • HAX objects follow JSON Schema – http://json-schema.org/
  • Allows us to turn off tons of wysiwyg and media modules 🙂
  • Polymer which is kind of like jQuery for web components and it can generate help documentation per component
  • A question was raised about the migration to Polymer 3?

Once Upon A Time: Telling Stories For Better Engagement


  • We can spot stories
  • Story structure – the Hero’s Journey – the protagonist
  • Contrasted Star Wars versus Mean Girls and pointed out they are pretty much the same story
  • Story elements
    • Ordinary world
    • Call to adventure or inciting incident
    • Refusal of the call
    • Meeting the mentor
    • Cross the threshold – start the journey into the special world
    • Tests, allies, enemies
    • Ordeal
    • Reward
    • The road back – beginning to move back to the ordinary world
    • The resurrection
    • Return with the elixir – the knowledge, the object, …
  • We remember story!
  • Effective advertisements that stick in your mind generally leverage story
  • Boring > Cheesy but other options do exist
  • The long game is important, build trust, don’t push
  • Add value with each touch, don’t just push reminders with no extra value added
    • What would that look like in higher-ed
  • You are not the hero in the story, the customer is the hero and you play the mentor role
  • No one is average, don’t design for the average. Specificity is what draws us to characters and engage with stories. UX persona’s can help. He shared a picture of the coke advertising “share a coke with NAME”
  • Celebrate the win – their success is your success.
  • Purchase is not the finish line. Once students are accepted and attending, keep mentoring, keep celebrating their successes
  • http://johnrhea.com/once

Entities 301 – Entities Elsewhere

  • Watch this