Today we are releasing the first in a series of updates to the Microsoft Tech community designed to help connect you to the topics that interest you the most as quickly as possible.
Over the last few years, the membership of the Microsoft Tech Community has more than tripled, and over the same time the number of topics we support has grown by much more than that.
Listening to your feedback we recognized that there were a few key areas you were looking for us to make some improvements:
Personalization of the experience
Discoverability of new content
Speed of the platform overall
Over the next few months, we are working with our partners, engineers, and community insiders on each of these areas.
Today we have just released our first three changes, aimed at starting this journey.
Simplification of the community structure
During our recent surveys it became clear that many users were confused on the difference between Products & Services and Solutions. For this reason, we have renamed these areas:
Products: contains all communities that directly connect to a Microsoft Product or service
Special Topics: Communities that are of special interest, speak to a specific audience or sector
We had a discussed breaking them down into smaller groups, but decided, based on feedback, that smaller groups would only add an extra click and potentially further confuse.
Community Hubs Menu
The old communities navigation entry has been rebranded “Community Hubs” which, when expanded, will give you access to communities you’re a member of and a list of the most active communities in both Products & Special Topics. We have also created new featured communities. We will use these areas to promote new communities or communities which we feel users might be looking for.
As we continue the roll out of changes you will see more use of the term “hubs” to denote the top level of a specific area of the community, more to follow on that in due course.
Many of you have told us that the related conversations, that are in the side bar of each thread, are not that useful and frequently not actually relevant to the topic you are currently reading.
In this release we have focused on the related conversations component and expanded it. We are now building a query of related content based upon the subject of the post you are currently viewing.
Of course that means it will only ever be as good as the subject heading the original author has chosen.We would like to remind you to think about your fellow community members and make sure your posts subject headings are as relevant as they can be.
We have also added “Related Blog posts” and “Related Videos”. This will help you discover blogs about or relating to the message you are currently reading, while the related videos section will surface the first video from any session in our events that maybe related to the same post.
Over the next few weeks are going to undertake a review of some features that we know are slowing pages down and look to see what we can do to speed them up or replace them and we have more things to do to help you personalize your experiences here in the community, I will share more on them as we get closer to releasing them.
Please do tell us what you think about the new features below and if there is anything you would like to see us add please submit it to our Community Ideas.