What could be better than cleanly formatted, well organized knowledge articles ?

Written By: Peter Case
  • CAD
  • 8/22/2017

.. Even cleaner, more organized articles, with an improved toolset to accomplish your tasks.

For this release of the Article Viewer, we've got forensic with the feedback you've shared with us, and for good reason. Our knowledge base attracts more than 2 million views a year, so anything we do to improve that experience scales well. What's more, we've been helped along by a new web content platform which enabled us to develop neat features quickly.

So how is the new Viewer different?

The improvements we've made fall into two broad categories: overall look'n'feel, and the new "green bar" with related actions.

New Look'n'Feel

Most likely the first thing you'll notice will be the shift from boxes to headed sections, so that it reads more like an article. Perhaps also the different colours and fonts, and the smarter use of space so that overall reading is easier on the eye:

 

overview

 

You'll find that text and images wrap and resize smoothly when you change the size of your window, and embedded videos have a larger initial size with the aim of allowing you to watch without switching to full window size.

We've reduced scrolling to a bare minimum, and added a "navigate back to top" button, once you've read past the fold on longer articles:

 top button

At the top, you'll see a new "Last Seen" date next to the Modified date, to help you decide if it's worth a re-read: 

last seen

Lastly, we've opted for a more sophisticated approach than flags to change language when other variants are available, as apparently flags in a web experience hark back to a time before some of us were born.

New "Green Bar"

In the previous Viewer you had to scroll and search in 3 or 4 different locations to interact with the article. We've moved all interaction to the same spot with an unobtrusive floating toolbar, top left. We've aimed for recognisable icons to reduce trial and error, and smooth expansion on mouseover:

 sidebar

Some of the tools themselves were also upgraded:

  • You told us you wanted to share feedback in one step, so your YES/ NO vote now invites comments in the same window
  • When you subscribe to changes, you'll see that the "Subscribe" action switches to "Unsubscribe"
  • You can share a printer-friendly version of the article with colleagues, which you told us would be helpful in secure areas
  • Related information such as SPRs and associated cases opened by your company are easy to access and navigate, so you can stay informed of status, and plan accordingly

 

 

 

 

 

This is the first of our apps we've reworked for our new web platform, and we're excited to bring you more changes in the coming months to increase further your productivity.

Thank you to all those who gave valuable inputs to inform the design. We'd love to hear more from all who use the new Viewer about what you liked, and what you think we could still improve. Please use this Community Thread to share your thoughts with us.

 

Tags:
  • CAD

About the Author

Peter Case