Last night, I was up until after midnight studying the submitted bids for the Drupal.org redesign. This morning I continued my evaluation at 6:00am. Why? Because tonight the Drupal Association will select the design firm that will be responsible for a redesign of Drupal.org.
Originally launched in 2001, and last redesigned in 2005, we have outgrown the current Drupal.org website. Based on the results of last year's State of Drupal survey (see also Drupal.org wishlist), the Drupal Association has made the Drupal.org redesign one of its top priorities. The goal of the redesign is to better serve the existing Drupal community, but also to better communicate Drupal's strengths and benefits for users that are new to Drupal. By improving the navigation, the design and the organization of the site, we hope to further expand Drupal's reach and to provide us better tools to communicate and collaborate.
Tiffany Farriss of Palantir, a Drupal shop in Chicago, did an excellent job leading the RFP process on behalf of the Drupal Association. She posted the RFP on drupal.org and reached out to world-class design firms, evaluated all bids based on 9 evaluation criteria, connected with some of the design firms by phone, reference checked portfolio clients, wrote a 7 page report for the Drupal Association, and more.
Tonight, the Drupal Association's Board of Directors will meet and Tiffany will present a summary and analysis of the proposals with a recommendation. If all goes well, a vendor will be selected and we can kick of the next phase of the Drupal.org redesign. The winning design firm will be invited to present their (preliminary) plans at Drupalcon Szeged. Attending DrupalCon Szeged will allow them to interview Drupal.org users and to get additional insight in our community.
Hopefully, we can also start making rapid progress with the Drupal.org upgrade to Drupal 6. That upgrade is currently blocked by modules such as the project module, used to power the bug and patch tracking functionality on Drupal.org. As a community we need to step in to help fix that problem or the Drupal.org upgrade will soon be in the critical path of the Drupal.org redesign. Not good. Nothing should stand in the way of a Drupal.org upgrade at this point. (Yes, I made the mistake to release Drupal 6 before Drupal.org was upgraded.)
Once we upgraded Drupal.org to Drupal 6, we should also start work on the Drupal.org wishlist items that are not covered by the Drupal.org redesign. Personally, I'm really excited about the idea of having a new and improved Drupal.org. Hopefully enough people step up to help -- either by offering their technical skills or by donating money to the Drupal Association. Just help!