Coherence prides itself on being the beta testing and lead implementation agency for the Cohesion DX8 Drupal Productivity Tool . What’s that, I hear you say, and why should I care?
Well, DX8 allows us to create drag-and-droppable design patterns in Drupal, so we can design and build websites in the browser. It means that instead of spending fruitless hours in building Drupal front end themes, our designers concentrate on content, messaging and user experience. It also means that when the site is built, our clients typically continue evolving layout, messaging hierarchies, building their own campaign pages, A/B testing messaging variants and a whole bunch of other cool stuff - all in their own office and without ongoing dev time.
We talk more about design patterns and Drupal elsewhere, but this article is about the cool stuff coming on the DX8 Roadmap. Version V5.5 is here, and we are psyched.
So here are our top 5 new features.
- DX8 Sync Package Manager. A catchy title. This allows DX8 configurations to be exported from one DX8 install to another. This helps us manage web estates with multiple domains all sharing a single design system. We can build the configuration in a master site, and export it to the child sites - taking design patterns, styles and configs with them. Essential for managing multi-site design systems.
- DX8 package sync lock. One of the headaches in managing multi-site design systems is creating pattern modifications in child sites that should not be overwritten by changes in the master. Sync lock tells DX8 not to overwrite local modifications - giving us the power to manage pattern divergence in a graceful manner
- Component and template builder live visual preview. DX8’s evolution as an in-browser design tool takes a step forward with this very cool feature. Designers can now build components and see them render and evolve as they work. Makes component design faster, more seamless and intuitive.
- Manageable component categories. We are /very/ excited about this. DX8 editors will be used to seeing the library of available components pop-out from the side in the Drupal CMS admin area. Categories allow us to group components into meaningful segments - helping editors to find and understand the intended use of components
- Components within components (atomic design). Previous versions of DX8 allowed us to build components from images, buttons, rich text areas and so on. Now we can support atomic design by nesting components and building composite components from multiple elements.
Ok that’s enough excitement for today. I now need to sit in a darkened room with some camomile tea. However, if you want to read about the other cool stuff coming, like lazy loading, accessibility improvements, helpers, improved Google Analytics support and much more, PLUS a sneak peak at 5.6, check out the roadmap. Onwards and upwards.