Welcome to the IBM Community Developers' Blog, where we share the tasks, tools, practices and plans our development team is using to grow and improve the IBM Community platform for our users.
On Friday, we'll finally begin to roll out a couple of much-anticipated updates to the site navigation and UX in IBM Community:
In the masthead--in that uppermost section we refer to as the "L0", we are expanding the simple "Community" drop-down menu into a real megamenu.
We're also updating the templates for site landing pages to put the topic groups right at the top in what we call a "group navigator".
Our deployment plan starts Friday with previews to select production sites, such as Public Cloud, and concludes Monday with the updating of every site with these key new UX features. Deployment will include some updates to where and how user groups are organized in some sites--this is in order to normalize that part of the navigation for better processing and consistency.
- Both of these features are at "V1". They can and may be reverted, if necessary, and they will certainly evolve as we get input from and our other key stakehodlers. You can see a live preview of these two features in our production test site, https://community.ibm.com/community/user/msctest4/home
IBM Community Megamenu
As you can see in the preview image below, all of the community sites will still be listed of course, but now in addition the mega-menu will:
Organize community sites into portfolios for easier scanning
Provide a content area to the right that includes the topic groups and resources from each site
Be built so that users can navigate and access a site's key assets with a single click
Be compliant and more consistent with IBM digital standards
Better interoperate with IBM services such as login and authentication
Continues to provide responsive designs for smaller screens and mobile devices, even with its larger footprint
The site navigation below the L0, called the "L1", will remain. But we really think this expansion of the overall navigation will improve the user experience, align us better with other parts of the IBM digital ecosystem, and even improve SEO for our communities by making it easier for search engines to see the structure of our network
Another, complementary feature we'll begin to roll out on Friday is the "group navigation", which puts the topic groups within a site right at the top so that users can engage with the active, functional parts of any site, which are its topic groups.
As this preview shows, the feature areas are still a key part of the community sites, but the various product and technical groups, such as App Connect, are where we really think users want to discuss, to create, to share, to blog, and to engage. And so we've made this the first thing you see on the site, and we've even put the "Join" links right next to the groups, so users can dive in.
As with the megamenu, this is a feature we think helps our users new and experienced, and helps make the whole network of sites and groups at IBM Community more legible.