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Change is in the air...

Created: 10 Aug 2010 • Updated: 14 May 2014 • 61 comments • Page Views: 36
.peter's picture
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After reaching the ripe old age of 18 months Connect is due for a refresh.  In the next few weeks we will begin rolling out a completely redesigned community website.  We’ve come a long way since the original Connect site launched in March 2009.  In that 18 month period we’ve basically doubled in size and are can now boast more than:

  • 3.5 Million monthly page views
  • 190,000 registered members
  • 500,000 discussions, articles, and comments

For this redesign we carefully analyzed traffic patterns on the site, conducted in depth focus groups, and consulted several celebrity astrologers.  We are very excited about what we came up with.  Here’s a sneak peek of what we wanted to improve and how we are doing it:

SIMPLIFY AND IMPROVE NAVIGATION:

In our focus group studies it was clear that the relationship between “Communities” (Backup, Security, etc) and the content types under them (articles, forums, etc) were not well understood.  We completely redesigned the navigation element to make it clear that you first navigate to a community, then find the content you are looking for.  Here’s a peek at what the new nav menu looks like:

MAKE IT CLEAR WHERE YOU ARE:

You’ll notice that the navigation menu doubles as a map of where you are in the site.  And you can use it to quickly jump between levels in the site.  For example here’s what the nav menu will look like when  you are viewing the Virtualzilla blog:

HELP YOU FIND THINGS:

Connect has more than half a million pieces of content today and is growing by more than 160,000 items every year.  Finding the exact piece of knowledge you are looking for can be tricky.  Our ingenious developers came up with a search filter that follows you around the site.  For example, if you are currently browsing security forums and initiate a search we automatically apply a filter that only shows forum discussions in the security community.  You can, of course, remove this filter before or after your search.  Here’s what the new search bar looks like:

SIMPLIFY THE INTERFACE:


There is a lot going on with Connect.  We decided to remove the extraneous “fluff” surrounding the technical content you really care about.  You’ll notice immediately that the new design is much cleaner than the current site.  We hope this helps you focus on the content.  It will also improve the performance of the site.

HELP:

We get a lot of questions about how to use Connect from new users.  We added a nifty “Help” menu that can be accessed at any time.  In that menu are short videos showing users how to do various tasks on Connect.

LANGUAGE SUPPORT:


Shortly we will be translating the Connect interface into multiple languages (beginning with German, French and then Spanish).  This new design accommodates various word lengths in different languages.

CHANGE IN BROWSER SUPPORT

Supporting these fancy new features will require that we no longer support IE6. IE6 has had a good run of almost a decade, but it is no longer capable of keeping up with the latest web technologies. You can still view pages using IE6 using the new theme, but navigation will be much more difficult. Our logs show that less than 5% of users on Connect use IE6. Hopefully you aren't one of them...

As always we are very interested in your feedback on the redesign.  Change can always be a bit unsettling and I have no doubt that after we roll this out we’ll need to make some adjustments based on your feedback.

As I mentioned above, we will be rolling the new theme out in phases.  Trusted Advisors and members of the Connect Advisory Board will be the first to see the changes.  If you would like to have the theme enabled for your account, just drop us a note in the comments below and we’ll add  you to the list to be one of the first to preview the new theme.

We anticipate that these changes will be live for all users by early September.

Comments 61 CommentsJump to latest comment

Liam Finn's picture

Please include me in the new theme for Connect

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JesusWept3's picture

same for me please

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AngelD's picture

Love it, want it :)

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pkh's picture

Ditto

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AravindKM's picture

Now a days I am felling the site is became bit slow.it is related to this?...

Please don't forget to mark your thread solved with whatever answer helped you : ) Thanks & Regards Aravind

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Kevin's picture

Hi AravindKM,

We believe the site lag is because of our ever-increasing user base.

The new theme code is not running on the production server so it's definitely not the cause.

Rest assured that we're aware of the performance issues (especially at peak hours) and are actively working on solutions.

Kevin

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yabru's picture

Thanks

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CraigV's picture

Hi,

This looks great...add me in please!

Thanks,

Craig

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/blogs/alte...

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KSchroeder's picture

I like the new look too, and glad my "new user help" Idea made it in! :)

Thanks,
Kyle
Symantec Trusted Advisor

For Forum threads, please click "Mark as Solution" if answered.
For all content, please give a thumbs up if you agree with or support the post.

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MBHarmon's picture

I'm game for a change.

- Matt

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markfreeman's picture

Can you add my account to the list as well please. Looks really good.

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jharings's picture

Sign me up if you have any room left. :)

Jim Harings
HP Enterprise Services
1st Rule of Connect Club: Mark the post that helped you the most as a 'solution'. 2nd Rule of Connect Club:You must talk about Connect club.

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ShadowsPapa's picture

I'm in and I'll raise ya 10........ oops, wrong topic.
Anyway, anything about SPEED?
Connect is SLOW, in fact, it's the slowest site I use hands down.
I run a forum that is based on servers in the UK, and it's 10 times faster.
I can't even use connect from home it's so slow (hughes-net satellite) and at work, it's the slowest web site any of us use. Cisco, Microsoft, you name it, Connect is half their speeds.
That's my biggest complaint - speed.
There's some navigation issues but I'll wait to see what happens before commenting further - maybe they are solved or at least better.

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Kevin's picture

Hi ShadowsPapa,

We've actually optimized a lot of the code in the new theme to be faster. 

And we've removed some features that were performance hogs.

The downside, if there is any, to this transition is users won't see the performance improvements until the new theme (and it's optimized code) is launched and the old theme is disabled and removed from the site.

Kevin

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AngelD's picture

Hi Kevin,

How about making the magic on a dev-server for us to have feel for the performance?

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MichelZ's picture

Count me in as well! :D

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ianatkin's picture

Take me to the brave new world. And, er... is Google Chrome supported?

Ian Atkin, IT Services, Oxford University, UK

Connect Etiquette: "Mark as Solution" those posts which assist you most in resolving your problem, and give a thumbs up to useful articles and downloads

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Kevin's picture

Yep, Google Chrome is on our list of supported browsers.

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TonySterling's picture

I am in, if there is room.  :)

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Palvaran's picture

Looks fantastic and far better organized.  Will performance, in regards to web page responses, improve so that the pages load any faster by chance?

Systems Administrator
Rice University

Remember, "The happiness of your life, depends on the quality of your thoughts."

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Ken Putnam's picture

Please add me also

If this response answers your concern, please mark it as a "solution"

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adamli9's picture

"Me too". Thanks!

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riva11's picture

Please include me in the new theme, what about Safari browser support ?

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.peter's picture

Yep, Safari is fully supported.

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riva11's picture

Great!  Thanks Peter.

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Kevin_K's picture

Can't wait...looks good.

Sign me up if you're still looking to include people to test it out

Thanks

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Karthikeyan Sundaram's picture

Add me in list

Thanks, Karthikeyan Sundaram.

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Martijn Groothuis's picture

Is there any room left, if so then please count me in.

Martijn Groothuis
Technical Consultant
If your question has been resolved, please be sure to click Mark as Solution! Thank you.

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Marianne's picture

In Kimberley's words - I'm one of those users who "can get a little cranky with change"....

So best if I get involved in the testing phase!

Hopefully it can only get better!

Supporting Storage Foundation and VCS on Unix and Windows as well as NetBackup on Unix and Windows
Handy NBU Links

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Hywel Mallett's picture

Me too, me too!
It can't be much slower than it has been for me, can it?

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jjesse's picture

please add me to the list

Jonathan Jesse Practice Principal ITS Partners

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dfrancis's picture

I'd like to test as well!  If you can make my avatar look any sexier than it already is, I bet it'll be a big hit.

--Dave

If a forum post solves your problem, please flag it as a solution. If you like an article, blog post or download vote it up.

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Andy Welburn's picture

(the new look site not your avatar Dave! But I can't talk :D )

Count me in.

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GertjanA's picture

Hello, looks nice. Could I be added too?

thanks

Thank you, Gertjan, MCSE, MCITP,MCTS, SCS, STS
Company: www.t2.nl

www.quadrotech-it.com

www.symantec.com/vision

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DWR's picture

Please add me to the list

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Frank019's picture

I don't come often enough to be add to the list but can't wait to see the change. It look really nice.

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.peter's picture

Thanks for the interest, everyone.  Barring any last-minute glitches we expect to send out the first wave of beta invites this week.  Stay tuned for more details.

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mariemaxielle's picture

Count me in please. ^_^

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thisisfutile's picture

Can I be so bold as to suggest using DATES on forum posts?  I don't mind reading "2 years and 4 months ago" on all the follow-up posts in a thread, however the original post shows the actual date, so I can't just at-a-glance tell the time difference between a follow-up and the original.  I think showing both the DATE and the "time since post" would be great.

IMHO

Gabe

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MichelZ's picture

Agreed.
We had that as suggestions ("Ideas"), multiple times, I think ;)

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nlyons's picture

Me too, please.

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LuisFeitor's picture

Hi Peter,
Please add me to the list also.
Cheers,
Luis

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nhej-'s picture

can you add my account too please..

Cheers!
"Those who Appreciate Quality Enjoy it Responsibly"
---------------:)---------------------------

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Aniket Amdekar's picture

Hi,

Please add my account too.

Aniket

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Vikram Kumar-SAV to SEP's picture

Please add me too..

Vikram Kumar

Symantec Consultant

The most helpful part of entire Symantec connect is the Search button..do use it.

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mclemson's picture

Participated in the focus group, would love to see if you guys listened to me or not.  Just kidding!  Seriously though give me the new theme.

Mike Clemson, Senior Systems Engineer, ASC
Intuitive Technology Group -- Symantec Platinum Partner
intuitivetech.com

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Fatih Teke's picture

Hello :)
I want to be in Please :)

Best Regards.
Fatih

 Everything works better when everything works together.

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marcjmiller's picture

Got to find out what technology partners are going to see when this puppy goes universal.  Count me in.

Marc J. Miller
Partner Program Manager
Symantec Technology Enabled Program
Symantec Corp
www.symantec.com

Mountain View, California

 

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WiseUser's picture

Please add me as well

Wiseuser
Altiris Certified Professional

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Rick Stallcop's picture

Please add me

Thanks

Rick

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RickJDS's picture

Count me in, thanks.

0
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Rubensann's picture

Please include me in the new theme for Connect

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Deepak W's picture

I'm in... if seats are available :)enlightened

-- Deepak W (Kindly close the thread if your query is resolved)

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Symontec's picture

Hi Guys,

Please add me too.

Thanks.

If this post was helpful, please take a second to vote or mark as solution.

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UFO's picture

Peter,

Are there any plans to support Russian language?

STS: DLP

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