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!
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.
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.