Thursday, February 21, 2008

Community Search Update

We had a small release last night fixing a couple minor annoyances and a small but important change to the Community Search results page.

Previously the only navigation option available on the results page was the Join Now! button. This was intentional and designed to streamline the sign up process.

Given the wide range of technical ability of our user base, we continually strive for maximum simplicity throughout Unless we absolutely have to provide multiple choices and/or navigation paths we choose not to in order to provide a more simple and intuitive interface.

For this reason we made the decision not to provide a link to the community website on the search results page. We feared that members of our communities that are less technically adept might be thrown off by this and have difficulty completing the registration process.

With that said, we have had a surprising number of requests to allow users to preview their community website before registering so we changed the name of the community into a link to their website. This link opens in a new browser window so that users can easily complete the signup process when finished with the preview. A screenshot of the change is provided below.

This change will also allow users already registered that have forgotten or lost the web address to their community to easily view their community website without signing in.

We strove to provide a balance between simplicity/intuitiveness and usability. I think we succeeded and hope you agree. Let us know what you think and keep the feedback coming – we are listening!

Thanks and we will see you ‘round the neighborhood!

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