Home     |     US Partner News Online     |     WPC 2014

Improving the Partner Online Experience – Proposed Home Page Design

  • Comments 12
  • Likes
As the managing editor of the Microsoft U.S. partner portal, one of my responsibilities is understanding how partners use the site and how we can improve the experience with it. Each month, I look at several data points and read between 200-300 comments from partners who agree to take our Foresee pop-up survey, use the Feedback link at the bottom of every portal page, or e-mail/Tweet/Facebook me and share information about their online experience.
In general, the most common portal feedback is that it’s frustrating to try to navigate the site and find the information you need and then take the right action to accomplish what you came to the site to do. While we are working to make portal content more succinct and actionable, and are using blogs, newsletters, and social media to help take you directly to the right content, there is a fundamental online element we also need to get right—the home page.

As part of the November 1 Microsoft Partner Network launch, my counterparts in the Worldwide Partner Group (which manages the portal’s architecture) built and published a home page prototype they are proposing to replace the current home page. We’re inviting partners to compare the current with the proposed and give feedback on them throughout the month of November. While you are welcome to simply vote for your favorite, I encourage you to take a couple of extra minutes to tell us what you like or don’t like about each—think of these as a point of departure, not as the final product. The opportunity for us is to use your input to create a home page that truly delivers a great experience, and I am working with the Worldwide Partner Group to help ensure your voice is heard.

A – The Incumbent B – The Challenger
See it at https://partner.microsoft.com/US See it at https://partner.microsoft.com/global
The U.S. portal home page is built on the existing template, in use since July 2009. Content is organized into Quick Links in the upper right-hand corner (comprising content partners ask for and use the most) and Featured Highlights, including our list of Recommendations, that are updated monthly.

The top tabs remain the same, as does the availability of the site search bar.
The global portal home page reflects the proposed redesign. Content is organized into a hero graphic that links to related information, with additional links on the right (which may or may not be related to the main graphic). Across the bottom are new tabs that contain top items partners ask for and use the most.

The top tabs remain the same, as does the availability of the site search bar.

image

image

Note: To ensure you are on the U.S. site, the upper left-hand corner of your screen should say United States. Note: After evaluating the Global page, be sure to confirm your default portal location is United States so you will see the U.S.-specific site with local resources and information.

How to Give Your Feedback

  1. Select the “Feedback” link from the bottom of either the U.S. or the Global home page.
  2. Leave a comment on, or send an e-mail to me through, this blog.
  3. Send an e-mail to me at partnerQ@microsoft.com.
  4. Vote for your favorite in our online poll.

Cheers,

Diane Golshan
Sr. Marketing Manager, U.S. Partner Team
Learn more about what I do at Microsoft.

Join our new U.S. Partner Community on Facebook and LinkedIn, and follow @msuspartner on Twitter.




Comments
  • Speaking from a perspective of one who has used and seen both (since I am in the UK, and use the global page now), I prefer the new global page.  It actually doesn't feel too different to the old one if truth be told but provides more navigation options and is quicker to move around.

  • Hi Kelvin - Thanks for weighing in! Appreciate the vote and for explaining your choice.

    Cheers,

    Diane

  • I find the many areas that change and get updated sometimes useful in that I see the changes and click on more available links that are exposed in the current design. The new design is pretty but I tend not to dwell on rollover menus, let alone read or see changes there. I suppose I might look for things if they are buried and finding them again would be easier so I can adapt to change but I kinda like the current mess since I am used to it like a well used cluttered desk.

  • I like the new page.  I hate having to scroll down a page alot.  I like having everything there and upfront and "discoverable" through menus, mouseovers etc.

  • Robert - Thank you for the feedback, although I'm not sure that "cluttered desk" was what we were going for with the current version of the home page :). I do get your point, though, about being able to see that the content of the page, as opposed to just the graphic, has changed. Helpful to hear how you use the current page.

    Diane

  • Michael - Thank you for leaving your feedback here about what you like about the proposed home page. Always helpful to hear how partners like to navigate a page like this.

    Cheers,

    Diane

  • The new page isn't really iPad friendly at all.   I have to click on each item.   It's pretty, but not that useful at all if everything is hidden inside roll over menu.   There literally is no useful content without clicking on anything.   Nice advertisement page..., but usefulness wise, not so much.   Looking nice will only be good for the first few times, but after that, I don't think I will have any incentive to come back to this main page.

  • The new page isn't really iPad friendly at all.   I have to click on each item.   It's pretty, but not that useful at all if everything is hidden inside roll over menu.   There literally is no useful content without clicking on anything.   Nice advertisement page..., but usefulness wise, not so much.   Looking nice will only be good for the first few times, but after that, I don't think I will have any incentive to come back to this main page.

  • How about this it works great with my droid and my Microsoft office Programs work great  in the clouds.

    Drop down and rollover not a problem!

  • Why do I have to look for the CSAT page everytime I login to the Partner Website? I would like to see the CSAT  link upfront which has now been changed and hidden somewhere.

  • @John - Thank you for your feedback; the description about your experience and the experience you'd like to have is very helpful, and I will share it with my worldwide counterparts.

    @Brian - Thank you for your feedback about accessing and using the proposed home page through your phone. Another great perspective to have for the follow-up with worldwide.

    Diane

  • Hi Ali - On the current U.S. home page at partner.microsoft.com/us, we publish the CSAT link in the Membership quick links in the upper right hand corner for partners who have a gold competency (or previously held the Gold Certified Partner program level). It requires Sign In with Live ID to see this particular link. WIthout signing in, if you do a site search for the term "csat," the link to the CSAT Index page is returned as the second result (after the CSAT FAQ).

    Cheers,

    Diane

Your comment has been posted.   Close
Thank you, your comment requires moderation so it may take a while to appear.   Close
Leave a Comment