On August 3rd we went live with a revamped content Web site at www.microsoft.com/exchange/assistance, which is the first step in improving our Exchange customers’ online content experience. Our goal is to reduce the sea of content that customers have to wade through to get to the information they really want or need. And who better to tell us about that than Exchange developers and administrators themselves! That’s why we decided to launch Exchange Online in several phases, which will allow us to collect feedback and continue to make changes to the way we present content on the Web, with ongoing improvements to navigation, feedback and search.

 

During this initial phase, we want to validate the site structure and way we have categorized and organized content from the portal page. For now, the site may not look very different to what you’ve already seen up on TechNet. But there are some key underlying changes:

 

  • Our feature articles are based on known top support issues, with the focus on best practices, troubleshooting tips and important checklists.
  • We’ve added RSS feeds for Top Downloads and Recent KBs - both consistently the most popular type of content featured on Microsoft Web sites, and so we have given them prominence on the portal page.
  • We’ve allocated technical documentation into category pages - an easy click from the portal page takes customers to key resources, with category pages further divided into technical content, related tools and top KB articles for each area, plus additional resources.

It’s being designed as a one-stop shop to connect you with the most useful content. We’re planning to update the site monthly with new feature articles that are determined by top support issues. There’ll be more information that is scenario-oriented, including technical engineering case studies and cross-product content. Category areas, such as deployment and operations, will also be updated with the most up-to-date top KB articles, and other content that is written in response to customer suggestions or requests.

 

Our main objective over the next six months is to develop a Web site that all Exchange implementers can go to for Exchange technical content that is relevant and responsive to their technical needs. We want to develop Exchange Online to provide a content experience that:

 

  • Increases Exchange content availability and discoverability.
  • Is responsive to customer content needs by providing continuous content updates driven by feedback, support issues, usability and other customer indicators.   
  • Offers an interactive content platform with features like timely notifications, feedback channels, and customer stories.
  • Helps customers connect with peers and MVP experts in the community space, while also linking to Microsoft’s technical support content.
  • Covers the customers’ content-consumption cycle with content that addresses learning, implementing, and troubleshooting activities.

We're just getting started, and your feedback can make all the difference. Help us by telling us about your content experience. Can you find the content you’re looking for? If you find it, is it useful to you? If it isn’t useful, are we giving you enough options to do something about that, and to direct your search? By shaping the Exchange online experience, you’ll help us to consolidate and streamline the Exchange content sites that exist within Microsoft today, and drive requirements in the development of feedback and search functionality. Post your comments here or send mail to exchdocs AT microsoft DOT com.  

 

Expect to see many more improvements as we drive your suggested changes into improving navigation, search, feedback and content delivery over the next six months - getting the right content to customers in the right format and right time, giving them a more rewarding, responsive and interactive content experience.

- Janine de Nysschen