Western Digital

Developer Documentation Portal

Seeking to build a modern, robust new standard for its Developer Platform, Western Digital teamed up with Evolving Web.

wester digital developer portal screenshot

An agile design and development process was chosen to comply with a short initial deadline to present its latest My Cloud Home product at CES 2018 in January. The design process was realized in cooperation with Western Digital’s internal design team, to align with their existing style guides, while Evolving Web provided content design directions, interface design and bespoke illustrations.

Evolving Web developed an automated content migration process for API documentation pages, together with a Drupal 8 back-end for easy-to-use content management of all other information within the Developer Portal, in combination with a single sign-on solution with Auth0.

Goals:

Evolving Web was given product branding and a list of URLs from an HTML site as the starting point. Working with the My Cloud Home team, the project was broken down into the following areas of work: 

  • Design and build the landing pages. This included:
    • User experience tasks to determine the overall information architecture, 
    • Design landing page layouts and elements, 
    • Determine navigation, image and text requirements, 
    • Create mockups and wireframes
  • Create functionality for developer and app registration, documentation display and the ability for developers and site administrators to make updates as needed
  • Provide content migration into Drupal from their legacy site which was mainly plain HTML
  • Build single sign-on solution functionality that works with the portals for WD’s other web products
  • Configure a solution that allows for a workflow solution, and that provides content moderation
  • Create capabilities to import developer API docs from a non-standard data source, requiring us to create a custom migration plugin

Solution:

  • Designed landing pages, made up of engaging and visual content components that content editors can easily update
  • Streamlined editing of landing pages for site admins using the Paragraphs module
  • Created a solution that provides a dynamic “Table of Contents” for documentation pages
  • Built a single sign-on solution using Auth0 to allow developers to connect with a unique identifier, from the internal Active Directory
  • Integrated basic search features with the Drupal Search API module
  • Built webforms for developer feedback, and to allow developers to apply to register their intelligent apps
  • Produced a solution that performs automatic content migration for API documentation pages
  • Established easy content management of developer portal information through the Drupal 8 back-end
  • Built an optimized, responsive site for all types of devices (computer, tablet, mobile)
  • Selected and launched using Drupal with Pantheon hosting, allowing for quick deployment and launch

Results:

The My Cloud Home Developer Portal has been built so that site administrators can easily edit content. It uses a custom responsive theme to adapt the site to desktops, tablets and mobile devices. The design integrates the existing corporate branding and uses custom illustrations, simple imagery and intelligent messaging. 

By using and extending the brand design throughout the site, WD and the My Cloud Home team can promote the website and their products to developers. Developer “buy-in” is crucial to the success of this product.

Prototyping of migration and single sign-on functionality was performed during the initial user experience and design phase to accommodate the tight development timeline. The solution uses Auth0 and provides a better and more comfortable experience for developers.

Drupal provided My Cloud Home with the robust capabilities needed to realize their technical demands, and future increased capabilities and functionality for developers. By using Drupal to manage the content, instead of static HTML pages, updates are easy and quick to perform.

The relationship with Western Digital and the work on this project continues for Evolving Web. Additional features and functionality have been added post-launch.

Why Drupal?

  • With WD’s intention to build a future app store for their My Cloud ecosystem, Drupal’s scalability provides third-party app integration that the web portal needed
  • Drupal is a single platform that can handle different functionalities, integrating multiple technologies 
  • New features for the web portal can be created as needed
  • Drupal has robust content migration and synchronization frameworks that were essential for the success of the project
  • Drupal 8’s workflow system allows users to systematically and efficiently add approved content to the website
  • The platform is stable, secure, and maintainable

Technical Challenges

With a tight, 6-week development window, and issues cropping up as the discovery phase of the project turned into programming and implementation, many technical challenges surfaced for Evolving Web to solve.

The technical challenges focused on the following:

  • Landing pages Besides ensuring that the landing pages focused on providing an optimal user experience, they were also configured to work with the Content Moderation module. Since the Drupal module was experimental at the time, Evolving Web applied patches to it, ensuring the content moderation performed as needed and expected.
  • Legacy content migration Evolving Web migrated legacy data from an HTML website. With a list of the URLs, custom migrations were written to import the data into the new Drupal 8 site.
  • Auto-updating of APIs and documentation Evolving Web worked collaboratively to create a single command to auto-update developer APIs and documentation, migrating the data into Drupal from a non-standard data source.