A new look for MSDN and TechNet



For over ten years now, both the Microsoft Developers Network (MSDN) and TechNet (Microsoft’s online home for IT Professionals) have served their respective technical audiences with rich, deep and extensive technical guidance on using Microsoft platform and tools products.


 


Today, we released a new (updated) set of Tech & Dev Centers on MSDN & TechNet.  This is the next step forward in enabling MSDN and TechNet to be a destination of choice for the community and by the community.  With the new site redesign, the MSDN and TechNet Web sites will make it easier to discover and participate in these online communities and showcase the insights of the community experts as well as active technical professionals throughout the world.


 


One feature that you will find useful is that on our Developer and Technology Centers, you’ll increasingly see content from Microsoft experts as well as the community highlighted right on the home page of each Center.  You’ll also see a greater emphasis on Forums which use a new Forums platform with recognition for Top Answers and easier ways to see thread previews, which questions have code associated with them, and which questions already have answers.


 


This refresh covered 18 Tech and Dev centers and both of the MSDN and TechNet home pages in seven different languages.


 


Namaste!


 

Comments (35)

  1. Adam Pedley says:

    Great job on the redevelopment of MSDN. Its now easily read. The central content is dynamic and lets you know of current information. The left hand side nicely seperates the technology sections.

    While I had to scroll down to see it, its switched the  categorization model to now show what you should be looking from a different perspective.

    Overall I think many people will be able to effectively get the information they need.

    One suggestion, if it could even be done, is like most other developers I know, its become increasing difficult to keep up to date with all the technologies coming out, especially with .NET. A page showing the latest technologies, such as entity framework, synchronization framework, with just a brief description, maybe categorized in various ways such as ADO, ASP.NET, Visual Studio etc, will let developers know whats coming out and if the technology is right for them.

    Currently I stumble across these new technologies, having to read many blogs, mix sessions and newsletters.

    While I daily come to MSDN, I believe I will get much more out of it now.

    Thanks

    Adam

  2. Somasegar says:

    Adam,

    Thx for the feedback.  I will pass on your suggestion to the MSDN team.

    -somasegar

  3. Ben Lamb says:

    Great, frontpage looks beautiful with localised content for the UK. When I click on a link for Visual C# I get Japanese content! (No I have not configured IE for anything Japanese).

    Please can you fix the abomination that is the revamped MSDN Subscriptions download site. Trying to choose things from the 3 levels deep Javascript menu is frustratingly difficult. Showing things that cannot be downloaded by the current subscription level is also highly irritating.

  4. Ben Lamb says:

    Beg your pardon, it’s Chinese and the problem happens in both IE7 and Firefox 3.0RC1.

  5. Come annunciato da Somasegar, sono stati da poco rilasciate due nuove versioni dei rispettivi portali

  6. Krish Somasundaram says:

    I like the overall redesign but IMO the the new navigation control on the subscriber downloads site is really difficult to use and taking up too much real estate. If you move the mouse little bit while navigating it jumps around too much.

    I liked the old tree control navigation.

    Thanks,

    Krish

  7. dantr says:

    Ben,

    The language issue was corrected this morning.  It was an issue of a TOC fragment delayed in our publishing process.  Apologies for the issue it caused.  

    If you still are having problems please feel free to contact me directly at dantr@microsoft.com.

    Thanks,

    Dan

    MSDN, TechNet and Expression Team

  8. Larryj says:

    Krish,

    Thanks for the feedback on Downloads control and yes we are working to re-vamp the UX navigation of the benefits for the subscription offering and get a cleaner UX in place for that.

    In the meantime we put in an interim navigation option to provide a simple A-Z list.

    From this page…

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/subscriptions/downloads/default.aspx

    Look to the lower left side and click the link “A-Z Product Family List”

    That will bring up a easy to navigate page to all your download benefits.

    Apologies for the issue and feel free to contact me to discuss or provide input. Look for a new UX control very soon.

    Larry W Jordan Jr – Product Unit Manager for the MSDN and TechNet Infrastructure and Services Team

  9. David Arno says:

    The new look is nice. I especially like the localised info that we see here in the UK. I was somewhat worrying earlier today IUK time) when redirection links to the MSDN forums stopped working, but it all appears to back to normal now.

  10. Robert Wray says:

    Soma,

    I’d like to second Adam Pedleys suggestion for a more "coherent" way of tracking all the new technologies and other goodies that you guys are pumping out. It’s great that there’s so much coming out to make my life easier, but keeping up to date, even by regularly perusing blogs.msdn.com and weblogs.asp.net is proving to be a bit of a challenge! 🙂

  11. Stefan Rosenthal says:

    Great job!

    I agree with Adam that an overview page explaining the new technologies would be very useful – especially if some links ("read more") about "main technologies" like Entity Framework, Silverlight would be there … pointing to tutorials like Joe Stebners "data tutorials" (the most outstanding part on MSDN I’ve ever seen – since 1991).

    This would give us the knowledge we need to get most out of the great technologies using best practices and cool new ideas.

    Keep on!

  12. Stefan Rosenthal says:

    Great job!

    I agree with Adam that an overview page explaining the new technologies would be very useful – especially if some links ("read more") about "main technologies" like Entity Framework, Silverlight would be there … pointing to tutorials like Joe Stebners "data tutorials" (the most outstanding part on MSDN I’ve ever seen – since 1991).

    This would give us the knowledge we need to get most out of the great technologies using best practices and cool new ideas.

    Keep on!

  13. mike says:

    Looks great.

    Now only to come up with a better alternative for the immense tree. Maybe it should not just contains everything in the toc, but it could dynamically be created to contain relevant sections? Anyway, I usually hide the toc because there’s just too much. The frontpage and dev centers are way better to get to info quick.

    How many documents are on MSDN? 100.000? More?

  14. Mike says:

    Also, another request, hope you can send it along:

    The breadcrumb control has a dropdown for each item, I find the animation (slowly grows in size) to be unnecessary, I’d prefer it would open directly.

  15. Mike says:

    Also, another request, hope you can send it along:

    The breadcrumb control has a dropdown for each item, I find the animation (slowly grows in size) to be unnecessary, I’d prefer it would open directly. And they could maybe bring back the hover styles for the links inside the dropdown?

    Thanks!!

  16. Somasegar says:

    Hi Mike,

    The MSDN team is looking at all the feedback and suggestions here and will keep that in mind as we continue evolving this.

    -somasegar

  17. Abhishek Jain says:

    Layout in firefox is getting disturbed when you search for anything in msdn. e.g i searched  for Array.Find but when  results screen presented half of the page is coverred with MSDN Title Bar

  18. dantr says:

    Abhishek,

    I believe this issue was resolved with an upgrade that was completed yesterday.  We can not reproduce it in any of our test environments. If you continue to experience the problem, please email me at dantr@microsoft.com so that we can work with you to take care of it.

    Thanks,

    Dan

    General manager – MSDN, TechNet, and Expression Online

  19. RichB says:

    It’s way better than the abomination that was MSDN2 which seemed like it was built by a team that had never written a website before.

    That’s not to say this new version is perfect. For example, why doesn’t the language filter list have a "deselect all" option? I have no interest in any other language than C# – and it’s a painful user experience to have to deselect 5 or 6 individual checkboxes just to see the example code I want.

    There’s also some strange colorizer formatting for VB Usage when it says "You do not need to declare an instance of a static class in order to access its members." Here’s an example:

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.configuration.configurationmanager.aspx

  20. Hank Fay says:

    I’m glad to see a little more integration with Dynamics; but, for example, the Dynamics downloads are still not integrated with the rest of MSDN materials.  And when I go to the Dynamics developer site, my existing login doesn’t work: a separate profile is required.  I’d love to integrate our ISV product with a couple of their products, but it seems they really don’t want to be part of the MS developer community.  Sure, I’ll jump through the hoops: but I figure it’s your job to remove the hoops. 🙂  When I search on the site for "Dynamics POS Customization" I ought to get some results, don’t you think?  I can think of bureaucratic reasons why not, just can’t think of any relevant ones.

    Overall, though, nice changes, and in the right direction.

  21. Greg says:

    I’m hoping to see improved content both on the MSDN web site as well as the MSDN DVD.

    Please do not remove MSDN content from the DVD because we’re unable to access the MSDN web site from our development machine.

  22. Greg says:

    I’m hoping to see improved content both on the MSDN web site as well as the MSDN DVD.

    Please do not remove MSDN content from the DVD because we’re unable to access the MSDN web site from our development machine.

  23. Microsoft Developer Network ( MSDN ) and Technet have been redesigned to make it easier to discover and

  24. Mike says:

    Yeah, I agree with RichB, it should be a radio button group for selecting the language. And XAML does not make for a logical language choice in about 95% of the MSDN documentation.

  25. Rajiv says:

    I would like MSDN to be the single destination for all knowledge on MS products. The incorporation of community content is a welcome step. However, we would need to ensure that the material is always layered from simple to in-depth. To get a novice up to speed needs webcasts and how to dos, but for an expert the internals/hacks are top priority.

    Unless we provide a unified glide path from the beginning it’s very hard for us developers to assimilate and apply the knowledge to work in real-time.

    ASP.Net is one area I like a lot in terms of adequeate bootstrap samples for the beginner as well as hacks for the geeks.

    Booting on a new technology is the greatest pain. When content comes from a whole lot places and a thousands of formats, just putting in 1000 links in a single place is not gonna help.

    Let me know if you want more inputs.

  26. GajaK says:

    New site looks great, but I guess as of today, not all the topics are migrated?  correct?  I use Architecture topic a lot, it still comes with old interface…

    One suggestion I had is to create a favourite for all the topics that I am interested similar to myThreads, but for topics (myTopics).  I often use Architecture, WPF, WCF, WF, but not most of the other topics.  So I go to home page and either page down or find my topic and click that topic instead of having one button click to reach there…  I dont know if this is of any use to others…

    Gaja

  27. [原文发表地址]: A new look for MSDN and TechNet [原文发表时间]: Thursday, May 22, 2008 3:56 PM Microsoft Developers

  28. Tom West says:

    Its great that TechNet/MSDN look similar, however there’s a bigger flaw now…

    However, it seems that prime real estate is now focused on 3 blogs.  While its cool to have your blog listed there (and scott’s).  It might be cooler to have the key spots that people look at first showcasing what’s new on MSDN (I started writing a comment about not seeing where it was, but then I realized it was down underneath how to become a member).

    So look alone at the amount of real estate your picture, title and link to your blog, the date of your last entry (which was more than two days ago) takes up on the first page anyone sees (in the US at least).  There’s gotta be a better way.  Its even worse with the fact that Scott’s blog was over a week ago.  So now the number 2 spot is with content over a week ago.

    I used to use MSDN home page to find out whats the newest thing out there for MSDN Developers (and then I could dive into a dev center to get more information) … and now I don’t.

    It used to be that the first thing you’d see was headlines accross the various products/new downloads/… now you don’t unless you scroll down and look to the right.

    I just think it used to be better and serve me as a developer better  with attempting to have a high level view of what’s new all-up.

  29. dantr says:

    Hi Tom. I manage TechNet/MSDN Online. Thanks for taking the time to provide feedback. We will look into better ways to make the news/headlines more visible.  We consciously moved the news from the top center part of the page to where it is now because the clickthru rate for that content has historically been approximately 1-2% of the total page traffic.

    We moved the blogs up as they get a much higher clickthru.  So far that change has been overall positive with customers. We left those specific blog links the same through TechEd. However, our plan is to start rotating that feed with other high traffic blogs so that you always see new content.  

    Again – very much appreciate the feedback.  While we are trying to optimize for traffic – it is not our intention to make it more difficult to get to the latest news on MSDN.

    Thanks,

    Dan

    General Manager

    TechNet, MSDN, Expression and CodePlex

    DanTr@Microsoft.com

  30. dantr says:

    Hi Gaja,

    Have you tried using our new Social Bookmarking preview app to bookmark your favorite topics?  You can find that application at. http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/bookmarks/en-US/GettingStarted/.  If you do that you can then go to your "My Profile" link and you will see everything you tagged or bookmarked (MyThreads, MyBookmarks…) in a single place as your starting point.

    Send me a mail if this is useful or if you have more feedback on it after trying it.

    Thanks,

    Dan

    General Manager

    TechNet, MSDN, Expression and CodePlex

    DanTr@Microsoft.com

  31. The social bookmarking preview got a lot of attention. So did the site redesign for MSDN and TechNet.

  32. Seshagiri says:

    I like the links to different MS groups/ dev blogs from the main MSDN page. The new layout is quite readable. Great job.

    One thing though is some 3 blogs are repeated over and again in the first page. This is bad.

  33. Tom West says:

    Thanks Dan for your follow-up.  Its just an interesting perspective, becuase of your clear statement that you’re optimizing for traffic … and not necessarily for getting the latest information out there.

    the question I guess goes to what’s the purpose of MSDN’s home page.  Is it an ever-so-often go there and then you really don’t ever need to go there again?  should it be developer’s home page (clearly its not that if you’re intentionally keeping old content up, as of June 37th, the first link on the page is Soma’s blog and has been the same for nearly the last two weeks).

    I used to check MSDN, News.com, slashdot, and a few others every single day as I started my work day.  I would always have new headlines, if there was a new download, event, series, article, … it was clearly front and center (for example there has to be something new than a blog entry from two weeks ago).

    This just isn’t the case any more.  It has moved to a page where its truly just a navigation for the rest of the site  (with a couple random MVP blogs, althought I’ve seen Keith Brown more times than I can count), if that’s the goal then it was successful.

  34. dantr says:

    Hi Tom,  

    I believe the thing you are keying into is that the blog links (Soma and Scott) did not change from our original release of the new HP through TechEd.  If you look at the site again, as of this week we have started rotating the blogs in that spot, and our goal is to rotate those so that we show blogs with the latest posts that are most relevant.

    In reality Blogs are one of the most effective ways of getting the latest news "out there".  At the same time we want to make sure that other relevant news and information is easily discoverable.

    Your feedback that you had a challenge finding the news when we moved it is something that we are looking at. It isn’t our goals to change the purpose of the homepage.  It is to bring in other very valuable and fresh content.  Where we place it is driven largely by customer interest based upon traffic and ratings.

    I appreciate the feedback.

    Thanks,

    Dan

    General Manager

    TechNet, MSDN, Expression and CodePlex

    DanTr@Microsoft.com

  35. MSDN: Microsoft Developer Network Microsoft TechNet IT 전문가를 위한 리소스 개발자를 위한 정보 창고인 MSDN과 IT Pro를 위한 TechNet의