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The Alteryx Community is a magical place, and it's all thanks to our wonderful members. We wanted to do something special to show our appreciation, so we took our ideas to the Inspire conference in Nashville and asked our Community members to tell us what they'd like to see. We hope you enjoy what we cooked up, with your help.
Usability testing in the Music City
Nashville was the biggest and funnest Inspire yet. Check out my personal recollection (in photo-journal form) if you're curious.
The Community team was right there in the thick of it... and we brought cool swag.
And who got the most swag? The wonderful customers that came over to help us brainstorm a redesign of Community of course!
Dan, our Manager of Community Operations, discusses Community design while wearing a rather large hat.
We had three stations set up with some ideas we've been tinkering with, and wanted to hear what people thought. So (in return for a tote full of goodies) we had folks test these ideas out and complete a survey.
By the time the conference was over, we had collected 160 responses and clocked up something like 26 hoursof user testing time. For the data geek in me, this was a treasure trove.
We're so grateful for everyone that came out to help us test these ideas! When we got back we really wanted to do something special for our next release with all the feedback we got. So without further ado, let me tell you a little bit about what our Community version 19.6 is bringing your way.
Our fresh new look
The first thing we showed our Inspire testers was a more stripped down home page. The results were very encouraging. Here is a word cloud of the words people used to describe it.
Uhm the word 'overwhelming' had the word 'less' in front of it! Just gotta trust me on that one.
We've heard that our home page can be a little intimidating, especially when someone is new to Alteryx and the Community, so we brought a version of a slimmed down home page to Inspire. People liked it, but we went through and tried to really address any of the more neutral or critical feedback. Here's what we ended up with.
We wanted to streamline a few things, so we're trying out a new single lane home page, starting with a nice big header at the top with an equally nice and big search bar.
We've also added a button at the top - Ask a Question, that lets you post right into a product discussion board from the home page.
Underneath this are the Designer, Server, Connect, and Promote product hubs. We have product hubs in the current design and people really seem to like them, so they're here to stay in the new layout as well.
Glad you asked. We now have a new What's New carousal with all the latest and greatest featured content, so you never miss a thing.
This carousal will bring content up from across the entire Community, and give you a teaser of what it's about. We designed this with new Community members in mind - the icons and links should help to understand what kind of content the Community has, as well as where to go to find it.
Right under the What's New carousal we have another new addition, a newsfeed-style feed of What's Happening on the Community right now.
This will allow you to explore all the latest posts, unanswered posts, latest solutions, and the most popular posts across the Community. And if you want even more content, you can just click "Load More" or "View All" at the bottom of the screen.
At the bottom of the home page, we've kept some of our most popular home page components - Users Online, Top Authors, Latest Photos, and Bookmarks.
Finding your way around
Navigation is one of our eternal challenges here on the Alteryx Community team, but it's a good challenge to have. We have so much content and activity on the Community, we always have to ask ourselves how we can make it easier for new members to get the lay of the land and find what they need to find.
To that end, we've slightly restructured the Community so it's easier for folks to find what they're looking for.
To pin, or not to pin
The first thing you'll notice is that we've collapsed the menu! Gasp.
At Inspire, most of our testers were happy about this. However, we didn't want to make things difficult for the folks that prefer their navigation to stick around.
So, we introduced a neat little pin in the menu that allows you to keep it open all the time.
Fun fact: this was inspired by the pin that Alteryx Designer users will recognize in the corner of all the windows in Designer.
Another change in this release is that we've shifted to a structure that shows what kind of content we have available rather than what product it is associated with. Now you'll see that we have "Discussions", "Knowledge", and "Ideas" in the navigation, and all the products are listed in the flyout menu.
We had a few reasons for making this change:
1. The menu was starting to get a bit crowded. We wanted to make sure we make it nice and easy to jump in, and that the entire menu could be visible on the screen.
2. We also have been hearing that "Connect" and "Promote" are confusing for new Community members. Does it mean "Connect to my data" or "Connect with Alteryx"? We're hoping that the content-centric structure will make it a bit more clear for new folks that Alteryx Connect and Alteryx Promote are products.
Heads up! One thing we had to do with the restructure is to remove the links from the top-level navigation tiles. For example, If you click on "Discussions", the flyout will open up, but you will not be redirected to a "Discussions" page. This was necessary because we still wanted to bucket things by content type, but it didn't really make sense for us to create pages for just "Discussions" or "Ideas" that are nothing but a bunch of links to the product-specific boards for these things.
Promotions are in order
We love to see how our Community members engage with the cool programs we put together. That's why this release features a few additions to the navigation.
The Use Case section has been bursting at the seams with stories from customers doing incredible things using Alteryx. The User Groups have also been scaling incredibly, now with 64 user groups across the world and 5 Industry/Departmental user groups! And the Dev Space is more active than ever, with our extended community of hackers and builders extending Alteryx in exciting new directions.
That about covers it for this release. We have a bunch of other things that we've touched and fixed up, so check out the Version History for the release notes.
Thanks again to all of the folks that helped us figure this redesign and restructure out, including our Inspire testers and all of the Community members that provide feedback in our value analytics survey that pops up on the Community every once and a while.