Home Page: Phases of Change

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Have you noticed a few changes to the Community home page? If not, let me point them out and tell you more about what changes we have planned next!

What changed?

  • The large central search bar is gone. This thing was huge; it took up almost one quarter of the home page, and the search results were inferior to the top right (spotlight) search. It was time to retire it to make more room, and focus on the best search experience.
  • The content feeds are gone. Content feeds listed 5-10 recent questions, discussions, and blogs, but our community has so many more than 5-10 new items posted in each of these content types each day; anyone checking these feeds could potentially miss a lot. It also cluttered the page with a lot of text. The clutter was removed and we’re doing more to encourage community users to explore the News option, where they can build custom feeds and find more.

Why the change?

In May we asked community members to complete a community check-in survey and received over 1,500 responses! The survey results told us that most users want a simpler home page with more clear navigation, better search, and curated or recommended content. It’s also been 3 years since we changed our general design, so it’s time.

What’s next?

We made a few changes, and we have a few more phases planned.

  • Phase 1 was to clean up some immediate clutter and improve the search experience. ✓ 
  • Phase 2 is seeking to improve the navigation experience. We’re currently researching how to best design and organize top level navigation menus.
  • Phase 3 we expect to clean up the Find Answers page to better focus Q&A.
  • Phase 4 we expect to tear down the 3 column structure of the home page and shake things up!

Can I help?

Great question! The answer is always yes! As we begin phase 2 we have a bit of research ahead of us, but we’ll be wanting some input when we have a draft design. This will most likely be the case for phase 3 and 4 as well. So if you’re passionate about making this community more awesome, please follow this blog for opportunities to weigh in.

Learner II

Thanks for getting the ball rolling with this Team Canvas. 

The first time experience in the Community is an important one. 

Learner II

I agree with bobby.pedersen@education.tas.gov.au , a more welcoming Community will encourage further engagement!

Thanks for the update, rcarney@instructure.com‌!



Thanks for the information and for working hard to make the Community site the best and most user-friendly it can be!


So, did any of you notice the new drop-downs on the top level navigation?  What are your thoughts there?  Are we missing some items, or are some unclear?


LOVE this for the guides! Have already used it a LOT!!

Learner II

I like this comment ALOT

Learner II

I find I now use the drop-down to access News ALOT

Learner II

Well it's like this, rcarney@instructure.com ...............

You know how every time a panda baby is born in a USA zoo, they have a naming contest for it? I think the drop-down menus deserve a name!

Image result for Panda love icons

Learner II

Me too! It's fab.