Somewhere between the physical and the virtual
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Every once in a while, you get a chance to push the proverbial envelope, and try to innovate and make a substantive change that has the user’s needs, as best you understand them, front and center. The organizational appetite for change reaches a critical mass, the planets and resources align, and the required budget materializes to make it all happen. But change doesn’t come without a price: what has been, for companies and their customers alike, comfortable and familiar is overturned in favor of something strange and disorienting. This can be upsetting, and can require patience and perseverance to assimilate and accept.
“That’s all very fine,” you may be saying right about now. “But what is the point of all these generalities?”
“Oh, is that all?”
Yep. But this is a big deal for us, at any rate—and we expect that, for many, the change may come as a bit of a shock. We’ve rethought the site’s design patterns and structures, in some areas fundamentally, and it may take some serious getting used to. But we hope that you’ll agree in the end (as the tests we did prior to releasing the new site apparently confirmed) that the change is a welcome one.
The key objectives we undertook with our redesign are three:
After 9 months of research, planning, design, migration, production, and review, we came up with the solution (or set of solutions) you see here. You’ll note the following:
To help you understand these changes better, we’ve put together a little video with a site demo in it, which I invite you to take a look at:
The first thing is to put the new site through its paces and get to all the little issues (content, structural, or functional) that we needed to put off until after we launched. As part of this, we would like to invite your feedback in the comments section on this blog post or via our Twitter or Facebook presences. Tell us what you think—and if you have any trouble finding things, let us know, and we’ll track them down for you—we had to move a lot of stuff around and it’s possible that we overlooked an item or two, despite our best double-checking efforts.
After that, we want to continue to iterate on the site with your input for we hope the next few years until changes in the business or the evolution of customer needs mandate another overhaul. Hard to think about that now, but in this online business, one thing you can be sure of is that if your website doesn’t keep evolving, its fate will be like that of the Neanderthal.
- dave //
Comments in this blog are open and monitored for each post for a period of one week after the posting date. If you have a specific question about a blog post that is older than one week, please submit your question via our Twitter handle @System_Center