| Drupal

Drupal 8I started writing this blog post with a different title in mind. I intended to write a list of the things that would actually surprise new users of Drupal 8, but I ended up with a very short list.

Everyone talks about Drupal 8 as being an enormous change from Drupal 7. Yes, it does bring a radical overhaul codebase. And yes, there are some visual changes such as a new admin toolbar and a new content creation screen. We've covered those changes in previous posts.

However, I'm going to argue for ordinary users, the most surprising thing about Drupal 8 is how little has changed.

Drupal 7 users are going to be able to adjust to Drupal 8 much more easily than Drupal 6 users were able to adjust to Drupal 7.

Let's take you on a brief tour of Drupal 8 and you'll see how similar it looks to Drupal 7.

A tour of Drupal 8

The initial installation screens are currently unchanged from Drupal 7 (although as noted in the comments, a redesign is on the way):


After installation, you'll see the same theme as with Drupal 7. Drupal 8 ships with Bartik, the default theme from Drupal 7:


Drupal 8 also ships with the same Seven administration theme. With the exception of some text, this screenshot below could have been take from either Drupal 7 or 8:


Browse to the content types page and again there's a screenshot that, minor details aside, could have been taken from Drupal 7:


There are some new field options available in Drupal 8 such as Date, Email, Entity Reference, LInk and Telephone. However, only the Date module is enabled by default:


It is true that there are some new features such as Views in core, but even Views almost entirely retains it's Drupal 7 interface:


Almost everywhere you go in the Drupal 8 interface, there's an enormous sense of familiarity for Drupal 7 users.

So has anything changed for end-users?

The Drupal 8 changes are mostly about clean-up

Yes, there are some changes in Drupal 8. Most of them are subtle and involve a clean-up of the interface.

For example, compare the Block module area on the Drupal 7 modules page ...


... to the same area in Drupal 8. Most the details have been moved under a slider.


And compare the buttons on content types in Drupal 7 ...


... to the same area in Drupal 8. The buttons have been combined.


There are also some small usability improvements such as a search box for the module screen:



End-users will hear a lot of talk about how different Drupal 8 is and how much work has gone into improvements. That's true for developers, but for end-users the changes are very subtle.

My guess is that 95% of Drupal 7 users will be able to pick up Drupal 8 within a few minutes of use. End-users will probably experience a much quicker transition than they did from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7.

For most people, the surprising thing about Drupal 8 will be how unsurprising it is.

About the author

Steve is the founder of OSTraining. Originally from the UK, he now lives in Sarasota in the USA. Steve's work straddles the line between teaching and web development.