Sneak Preview – New CodePlex UI


We have been busy the last several months working to improve the overall experience for the CodePlex community. We have been working through some of the top requested items, such as our big announcement last week enabling Git. Something that is not explicitly on the feature request list are requests to update the web site look and user experience.  As Brian Harry mentioned, the Future of CodePlex is Bright, so it is time to start brightening up the place.

Goals

As with any sizeable change you need to decide the scope of changes you want to tackle. We decided that we would optimize on incremental improvements versus taking months to get a completely new experience released. Our goals with this user experience work is to refresh the look and feel of the site, introduce new visual elements and set up the site for future structural changes. So this is not the end, just the beginning.

Early Views

I want to set a few expectations first, these screen shots are not final, and we are still working through the content and final element placement. Feedback is always welcome, just take that in mind as you review the images.

New CodePlex Home

The navigation changed a good bit on the home page and we have moved the search to a more consistent location across the site.

Home 

User Profile

UserProfile

Users Home Page

The goal was to make it easier to find and take action on common tasks such as creating projects.

UserLogin

Project Home

ProjectHome

Issue Tracker

IssueTracker

 

This should give you a taste of where we are going with the new user experience.    

As always we love the feedback, either comment below, find us on Twitter @codeplex or @mgroves84, or create or vote up suggestions.


Comments (20)

  1. Nikos Baxevanis says:

    Very nice! :) One suggestion, you can include just a little bit more green color in the new theme.

  2. cranberry says:

    Revamping the UI is definitely a big step in the right direction and long overdue. The new design looks more lightweight and modern and has subtler colors.

    The search bar in the header looks a bit tall and "search all projects" would look IMO better if on the same height as "Home", "Project Directory" and "Tags". Also, I hope you make the site ready for IE9 as it currently still relies on IE7 emulation mode.

    Other than that, I very much like what I have seen so far.

  3. Adam Toth says:

    Can you make it a responsive design so it looks fairly nice on a variety or screen sizes?

  4. jontsao says:

    @Nixos: Thanks! We're still tweaking what we want the color scheme to be.

    @cranberry: Thanks for the feedback! We'll definitely be looking carefully at alignment throughout the new design. We're getting rid of the forcing of IE7 emulation as well.

    @Adam: For our first round of UI changes in the near term, responsive design isn't in scope, but we definitely want to address this at some point. I didn't see this being tracked in our public issue tracker, so I created one for you and the community to discuss/vote on: codeplex.codeplex.com/…/26130.

  5. Dan Diplo says:

    I like it – nice clean lines and it looks less cramped. Only thing I'd question is whether, on the home page, that "search projects" should have more emphasis than "create project" since I'm sure more people consume rather than create.

    Oh, and I like the purple better than the green :)

  6. Paul says:

    This is good, where is the button to enable the new look?

  7. Hassan Selim says:

    Nice Metro look :)

  8. Rafal Chmiel says:

    Really, really nice work with the theme! I can't wait!

  9. Chris Marisic says:

    Fantastic start, with a site that looks this good you will hopefully start gaining traction against Github!

  10. BorderRuffian says:

    Metro all the things!!!

  11. Marc says:

    Does **everything** have to look Metro these days?!?!? I don't like the look, I don't see any benefit / improvement over what we have

  12. Mike says:

    You might want to vertically align all text and icons in the top bar, especially the "search projects" looks wrong.

    I think the green downloads header is way to big. I also don't see an actual [Download] link on the project home. Having the default download right there would be good.

    I like the new menu, but I think with the redesign you can introduce a smaller project logo requirement. Because I'd like to have all content slide up just a little bit.

    And maybe tweak the RSS link? Move it to the project menu, or next to the project search?

    And why should we choose between project search and global search? Couldn't the site be smarter about that? Just one search bar, and when I'm 'in' a project when I start the search, the results should combine global and local results, with a clear indicator of which is which.

    Lastly, try turning around the vote number and button colors. I feel that button should be emphasized more, we want votes on issues!

    Great stuff!

  13. alaasoft says:

    Nikos Baxevanis i agree with you ,you can include just a little bit more green color in the new theme

  14. alaasoft says:

    wonderful :)

    Microsoft when develop new thing like Metro style it use it in all products or any thing own it .That is very nice :)

  15. Lovin' the Metro. +1 for preserving the CodePlex green. I would also like to see the CodePlex hexagon(s) incorporated, if possible.

  16. Maciej Klemarczyk says:

    Very nice! Maybe you deploy codeplex app for metro? 😉

    I would like to have live tile on my desktop.

    You do very good work. Thank you for it.

  17. Paw Jershauge says:

    Looks nice Mark, but I think this version has the same flaw, as its predecessor. The front page/ start page, is too static, because some projects are to high, on the ranks and therefor the site will always look the same.

    I Propose instead of the 3 categories (Most Downloaded, Popular Releases and Top Followed Project) theres should be something like: Latest Projects added, Top 10 this Month and Most Followed this month.

    Because total top ranks are so last year…

    You could always make at subsite, with all the top placement projects.

  18. Justin Chase says:

    I love it! Getting rid of the horrible green is a big improvement :)

  19. Ronny says:

    I've chosen codeplex because of the extraordinary design with strong elements giving a clear view…

    now it looks like all the other project-hosting sites!

    since design doesn't matter anymore it's time for me to switch to a project-host where svn works correctly

  20. Don Reba says:

    There are some positive aspects in the new UI, but who decided ALL CAPS could possibly be a good idea in menus? That person is metrolling us all.