Page layout with Drupal 7

  • From: Jamal Mazrui <empower@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: blindwebbers@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, programmingblind <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 09 Mar 2011 08:10:39 -0500

I am learning Drupal 7 partly by building a site. Core or contributed modules often create blocks of information that need to be assigned to a region of the page in order to become visible to vistors. One problem I am encountering is deciding what regions to use for blocks that are not automatically assigned to a region. Right now, I am just using the default Drupal 7 theme. Can anyone give tips on where to place things? Are there conventions, or usability factors to consider, depending on the nature of the block? Are there guidelines for when a block should only appear on the front page, or be associated only with a particular content type?

Other layout-related questions are as follows? Conceptually, what are the distinct purposes of different menus, e.g., the main menu and navigation menus Since the main menu and other menus can include aspects that seem related to navigation to me, I do not understand what is supposed to be different about the navigation menu, main menu, or other menus.

I am also curious if anyone has tips on using the views and panels modules with a screen reader. Are there canned layouts that are easy to implement? If so, where should I start? Is panels really necessary for a site that is not highly sophisticated?

I think content management systems like Drupal, WordPress, and Jumla! hold much potential for blind web developers because they can automatically handle a lot of the layout decisions. If we can only master the mechanisms for creating layouts with the available designers, we can go a long way toward developing visually acceptable and highly functional sites.

Feel free to point me to web articles that explain some of this in a conceptual rather than visual manner. I have done a lot of web searching and reading of Drupal books, but am always open to learning of other resources online.


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