Historically, the IA Summit, like most conferences, produced their websites each and every year. Every year, we would recreate the taxonomy, structural layout, visual design and code to reflect that year’s “look and feel.” Every year, the website was unique, fresh and completely inefficient way of delivering the same content year-by-year. In 2015, the co-chairs set out to create something different. A scalable, reusable architecture and content management system.
My journey with the 2015 IA Summit started off in the mid-way point. IA had already been defined by Mike Atherton. Steve Fisher created a simple and beautiful style guide, along with “interactive wireframes.” And the previous team had been well into the integration phase of the front-end and back-end code within the Drupal 8 beta-release. Drupal 8, a road less traveled at the time, even for the most seasoned Drupal developers.
As with most any volunteer project, I noticed team members weren’t prone to getting things done in a timely manner. And how could they, there was no task board, or to-do list created to follow upcoming work. There was no standup meetings to talk through what was getting done, by whom and any road blocks in front of them. Also, the coded wireframes Steve crafted for the team, once integrated with Drupal, were a bit disjointed. The inheritance within the CSS was all over the board and selectors meant for a static coded wireframe, were getting demolished by all of the extra HTML provided by Drupal. There were even selectors that inherited previous styles in the wireframe version, but were moved to a proceeding area within the stylesheet rendering that inheritance obsolete.
The team was running out of time and needed help not only for the front-end code but to manage the team as well.