#2: Lighter Workflow
Critics have long derided Drupal for being hard to administer, with important admin functions spread over dozens of screens. The Drupal community responded by making usability the central focus of Drupal 7 development. That's been expressed in three big ways (shown in Figure 2):
- The administrative functions are in a friendlier and more logical structure. Drupal 6's main administration screen (at /admin) separated functions into groups that weren't always clear; I personally confused the "Site building" and "Content management" groups fairly often. Drupal 7's structure is the result of long online discussions; even though many of the changes are jarring to Drupal 6 administrators, they've at least been seen (and vetted) by many people.
- The Toolbar and customizable Shortcut bar put administrative tools at the top of the screen when you're logged in as the administrator. One thing that makes the Shortcut bar particularly nice is the addition of a little "Add to Shortcuts" button on administrative pages, so keeping important functions nearby takes no more than a finger's twitch.
- The administrative overlay, which floats controls in front of the screen they affect, reduces the feeling that you're navigating through a maze of screens. (This feature isn't quite ready as I write this, but work thus far looks promising.)
Figure 2 Drupal 7's new Toolbar, Shortcut bar, and "Add to Shortcuts" button.