Jill Ross

Recent Changes to the HDS Community Navigation and User Experience - What You Need to Know

Blog Post created by Jill Ross Employee on Nov 10, 2015

Hello HDS Community Members!


We're excited to announce that on Monday, November 23rd, we launched an updated navigation menu to improve your experience here on the HDS Community. After gathering your feedback earlier this year through our HDS Community Member Survey, we addressed many of your key user experience challenges and worked with UX designers to incorporate your feedback into the updated navigation menu. Please take a few minutes to review what has changed, and feel free to leave a comment on this blog post with any questions, concerns, or general feedback.



Preview of the new HDS Community home page

(click image above to enlarge)



Simplified, Scalable Main Navigation Menu

The most impactful change you will see is the main navigation menu. As our community has expanded over the past two years, we have "grown out" of our current navigation scheme and needed to make room for more communities that our members need quick and easy access to on a regular basis. To make people, places, and content easier to find, and to allow space for more links to be added to the main navigation menu in the future, we have simplified and consolidated the menu options into four main categories (aside from "Home"), which are explained in further detail below:







Get Answers

This is the place you'll go to ask questions and get advice from HDS subject matter experts.


    • Solution and Product Forums: Our most popular area of the HDS Community, Solution and Product Forums, now appears one level down from the top navigation menu. The complete list of Solution and Product Forums is available in a secondary menu when hovering over the Solution and Product Forums link.

    • Training and Certification: The Training and Certification space has been taken out of the Solution and Product Forums and incorporated into the main Get Answers menu to highlight the learning opportunities available from the HDS Academy.


    • Community Help and Feedback: The current Getting Started in the Hitachi Vantara Community space has been renamed to "Community Help and Feedback" to make the purpose of this space a bit more obvious to end users. This is the place to ask questions and share feedback regarding your user experience on HDS Community or get technical assistance using the community platform. You will also find FAQ's and quick tutorials to help you get started using the HDS Community.




The Explore menu features our communities centered around thought leadership, innovation, and general news and announcements. This is geared towards visitors and members who may not have a specific question in mind about HDS solutions and products, but would like to read blogs and participate in discussions on topics like Big Data, IoT, and Social Innovation. The following communities are available through the Explore menu:




The Connect menu is where you'll go to find more specific interest groups and connect with people like you. You may already be following one of the following audience-specific communities:


My Community

The My Community menu provides a more personalized user experience that will give you direct access to the people, places and content that matter most to you. The was one of the most common requests we received through our HDS Community Member Survey. Each link is explained in further detail below:

    • My Groups: Groups that you own or are a member of within the HDS Community.
    • Spaces I Follow: The name says it all -- Spaces you are following!
    • Content: By default, you will see all content in the HDS Community, but you will now find several filters that were not previously available through our navigation experience. The screenshot below is a preview of the "browse content" feature that will allow you to access content you have drafted or authored, as well as specific content types, filters, and sorting options to make content easier to find.


(click image above to enlarge)


    • Bookmarks: Bookmarks have always been an available feature of the HDS Community, but not many people knew where to find them. Any time you see a document, discussion, or blog that you want to save and access quickly at a later time, click the "Bookmark" link in the upper right corner of the content page and you will find all of your Bookmarks available within this new link.



New Links on the HDS Community Overview Page

On the home page of the HDS Community (otherwise known as the "Overview" page in the left navigation menu), we replaced the group of Icons pointing to specific communities with three main categories of links to provide one-click access to the most popular areas of the HDS Community:


(click image above to enlarge)


Updated Branding

Overall, the HDS Community theme has been updated to better align with HDS.com. Some minor design changes have been implemented within the header and footer areas of the community, and a new banner has been developed as well as our presentation of "HDS Community" within digital and printed assets.



(click image above to enlarge)




Cloud-Friendly Framework

Last but not least, we are already looking ahead at future updates to the HDS Community. There are some important technical considerations to prepare for our potential upgrade to the cloud version of our community platform (but we'll spare you the details). What's important to know is that the simplified structure of this updated navigation menu is a moderate step towards the cloud version of our community platform, which means the next round of changes to the community will be far less impactful to the user experience, thereby reducing the learning curve for our end users when the time comes to go to cloud. Simply put, we thought it would be smarter to take gradual steps rather than one giant leap to a completely different user experience.



We hope you will benefit from the improvements we've made to the HDS Community user experience and value your feedback. Thank you for your participation and contributions to this thriving community!



The HDS Community Team