Sneak Peek at the New

Derek Harmon / Tuesday, March 15, 2011

In our March newsletter, we gave you a sneak peek at the new user experience we're planning to launch this spring.  The new website will seamlessly integrate all of our community, forums, blogs, streaming media, samples, downloads and product information into one consistent experience.  We've targeted several personas like first-time visitors and returning customers searching for guidance in designing this around your user experience, whether it comes to shopping or getting support.

Learning About Infragistics Products and Services

Whether you like to learn through code, how-to instructions, videos or experimenting with our samples, we think the online product experience and progressive level-of-detail information architecture will cater to whichever mode of learning is best for you. This was a significant investment by our interaction design team who are experts in the field of human factors design and research, and our content management and product guidance teams who have been restructuring a lot of the content that we have to make it more easily discoverable and usable for you.  We've leveraged a lot of the user-centered design practices that our engineers instill into our own products, and it shows (in fact, there are many examples around the site where you will see how we are showcasing our controls live and in-action!)

Faster and Easier Solutions

All of this was to make the new more usable for you, enabling you to easily discover the answers to your questions from our many resources (like forums, blogs, videos, online help, samples, code snippets, whitepapers and more).  Faceted search allows you to make your searchs as wide or as narrow as you like.  We've also integrated our developer support system into the forums so that we can instantly associate your support cases to forum threads, enabling us to deliver to you a better and more holistic support experience through the forums.  You'll have an easier time finding solutions: if you want to buy, try, renew, it's all right there for you. 

A Lap Around the New

Normally you'd have to be invited to a special NDA presentation to get a glimpse of what I'm about to show you, but because we're all friends here I think it's alright if I share with you a sneak peek of our new website design, right?  In fact, we want to hear what you think of it!  But this is just going to be a taste, you have to imagine these static screengrabs as a dynamic, immersive website that surrounds this blog post, and all of the you know today.  Ready?

  1. Of course, you see our new logo branding on every page.  We have more on the logo in our March newslette. (If you don't already receive our newsletter e-mails make sure you update your profile to opt-in to them, they carry cool news and announcements every month.)
  2. Our search box lets you find anything across the entire site, integrating online help, community blogs, articles, forum posts and everything.  We support a faceted search that lets you narrow your search down to get the most relevant matches for whatever it is you need.
  3. For this product, NetAdvantage® for ASP.NET, you can see all of its controls categorized by their major use, and roomily spaced apart so that they are clear to see and can easily be scrolled left-or-right (revealing even more of the ASP.NET controls in this product!)
  4. We list our application showcase samples right alongside the product's controls so you can instantly launch them, experiencing what these controls can do in a real-world reference application.
  5. Every control page has a set of key features that brief you on some of the most important capabilities that control can perform for you in your applications.
  6. In addition, each control page has a tabbed feature list in the Outlook-style navigation bar along the left gutter that contains tabs (for Architecture, Interaction and Visual-type features) and one or more hierarchical groups that organize features based on whether they are Performance-related or Data-related (as examples).  If you're looking for information on Performance features, there they are right where you would expect them to be!
  7. Each feature is written up and includes either a screenshot or a working sample that you can interact with right then and there! For technical reasons, we couldn't embed a Windows Forms sample on our Web pages so you could interact with them inside your browser, but you will find embedded samples for WPF, Silverlight, ASP.NET and jQuery that demonstrate that feature.
  8. We have a separate group for links to the application showcase samples that include this control so you can see it used in real-world application scenarios.
  9. Being in software marketing, I know that sometimes a working sample, or even a screenshot of a working sample, isn't always enough to sell the feature, so we have source code to accompany the feature and it's sample!  If you're learning to use the feature, there's nothing better than to have the source code and a working sample right there for you in our product pages.
  10. Further down on each control page, you will find the Additional Resources section that ties into other examples using this control that exist on the forums, blogs, videos, downloadable samples, ideas or online documentation.  Today, these may have required you to visit each control's Help Center, or go to the Community site, but on the new these examples will be integrated in one place for you.
  11. A number of Related Links may optionally appear alongside the right gutter, you can look for these on many kinds of pages on the new website design, not merely in our product section.
  12. At the bottom of all pages is the site map to reach almost anywhere on our site with as few link clicks as possible, quick and easy.
  13. Did you like this page? Tell your friends about it with our convenient social media sharing buttons for Facebook, Linked In, RSS and Twitter.
  14. On top of every page of the website is going to be one of these black box overviews that summarizes the page content.
  15. This was the hardest part, because we love all of our controls, even the Windows Forms status bar, but when we forced ourselves to think of the handful of blockbuster controls that everyone wants to see, we got boiled down our hundreds of controls to these featured controls to highlight with each product.  These were the controls we've noticed were most popular and in-demand based largely on your forum posts.
  16. Did I tell you yet that we have application showcase samples demonstrating this product and its controls in numerous real-world application scenarios?  Well, now I have.

I Want This Now

Our current plan is to rollout the new for you to experience this spring, alongside NetAdvantage Ultimate 2011 Volume 1 because we've basically built this site to use those controls and their great new features (they're looking great, by the way!)  For now, you can go on using the forums, blogs, comments, feedback, videos, My Infragistics, and other features we have for you today confident knowing that all of that information will be brought over into this new website. Your user experience will only keep getting better with Infragistics.