Heather Wozniak

Heather Wozniak

Product Owner at OpenScholar

Seattle, Washington, United States


Heather has been developing websites since the late 1990s and is a longtime Drupal enthusiast. She has led many Drupal site builds, redesigns, and migrations. She is also one of the organizers of the Seattle Drupal Users’ Group.

As a Product Owner at OpenScholar, she is responsible for defining and prioritizing product features based on customer needs and business goals and for helping the development team maximize their efficiency and productivity. OpenScholar is a Drupal-based platform that lets researchers and higher ed institutions create beautiful websites to showcase their work, gain visibility, and increase their impact.

Area of Expertise

  • Information & Communications Technology


  • Drupal
  • Product Manager
  • Scrum & Agile
  • Accessibility
  • User Experience

Using Layout Builder: Practical Advice from the Field

Layout Builder has been included in Drupal core as a stable module since 2019, yet many site builders and developers still struggle to set it up effectively. They might be fresh off a Drupal 7 migration, completely new to Drupal, accustomed to a Paragraphs-based architecture, or feeling like it just isn't usable enough.

With the right planning and configuration, the Layout Builder experience can rival or surpass what’s available in other commercial site building platforms. This panel will demystify Layout Builder for anyone wanting to improve their understanding of its capabilities and limitations.

Heather Wozniak (OpenScholar) will facilitate a conversation with panelists Monica “Nikki” Flores (Lullabot), Rick Hawkins (Slalom), and Andrew Morton (freelance). They have incorporated Layout Builder into sites for healthcare, nonprofits, government, and businesses from small to enterprise. Questions may include:

* What kinds of projects and organizations do you recommend Layout Builder for?
* What are the must-have add-on modules to improve the LB experience?
* What kinds of features require custom code?
* What are the drawbacks of using LB?
* How does using LB change the way you approach design, content strategy, and site architecture?

Attendees will learn the pros and cons of adopting Layout Builder to help them consider whether it is the right solution for their project. And they’ll learn concrete tips for setting up and customizing the authoring experience.

Slides available at https://www.heatherwozniak.com/sites/default/files/drupalcon2024-layout-builder-panel.pdf

Get Going with Google Analytics 4

If you haven’t switched from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 (GA4), then now is the time to do it! Universal Analytics properties will stop processing data on July 1, 2023. So you’ll have to start using GA4 if you want to continue gaining insight into your user’s activities through a free Google tool.

I’ve found that the best way to manage Google Analytics tracking on a Drupal site is with the Google Tag Manager module. The module makes it easy to manage the conditions under which activity is tracked and for non-developers to add additional tags for custom events, or even other tracking platforms.

In this session we’ll review how to set up a GA4 property and create a tag for it in a Google Tag Manager container. Then we’ll walk through the steps of installing the Google Tag Manager module, configuring it, and adding conditions so that it only tracks the users you want to track. We’ll take a look at the user activities that GA4 tracks by default, including enhanced event parameters. And then we’ll see how to add tracking for a custom event, like clicking on a specific call to action button or footer link. If time allows, we’ll also look at an example of a Google Data Studio report to see how it can provide a more user-friendly experience for viewing the data than what the GA4 native dashboard offers.

What is technical strategy and why do you need it?

There are two significant changes in the past decade that should prompt us to think differently about tech leadership in web projects:

* Websites can now live forever (enabled by Drupal 8, proven by Drupal 9)
* We now do a lot more upfront strategy when building a website (organizational strategy, content strategy, UX strategy, etc.)

Most web projects have a “Tech Lead”. Historically, that role has had two main responsibilities: Turn ideas (from designers, UX, etc.) into a technical plan, and then lead the development team in creating it. This has worked well in the Drupal community for “the big builds”, but once a project transitions down to a lower level of ongoing changes, it becomes insufficient. At its worst, website “support” is a purely reactive enterprise: client puts in a request, developers make it happen. But in that arrangement all of the up-front strategy can easily be lost. If the website lives on for years in this state, there will be a growing frustration that the website is not able to keep up as the organization evolves. The website will end up being torn down, and the cycle started afresh.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Let’s think about how we can reenvision technical leadership to counteract this phenomenon. We'll explain how we approach technical strategy at Four Kitchens and how this has improved the effectiveness of our clients' websites and the experience of their users.

Heather Wozniak

Product Owner at OpenScholar

Seattle, Washington, United States


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