I don't know about you, but my personal opinion is that it is one of the most bloated sites that exist on the net. I know that it is hard to find the balance between simplicity and the amount of information u provide, but this surely
can be done better that it is the case at microsoft.com.
The lack of a common vision that governs all Microsoft sites is an obstacle for people to find the right information they seek.
For example the lack of a place you can go to find support like a forum.microsoft.com or something.
The newsgroups are scattered across all sites and hard to find. There is also the lack of a common form of forum. Some use nntp others are web forum that you access form the browser, and even others that you can access form the browser and through a (nntp)
Lack of management of these groups:
For example the newsgroups at nntp:news.microsoft.com have a lot of group that are way to old like the OE6beta group
There are too many places you can download the same things. It is confusing. The worst thing is that most of the time on each of these another version is available.
And I could go on. I searched last year a great deal to find the site that you sign up for the ISV Empower program. After that the sign up took an awful lot of time.
So what do you guys think of this matter?
I don't agree with a lot of what you said, however I do feel that Microsoft.com lacks a structure or the structure is so complicated that I don't understand it.
I also think Microsoft.com does not give direct access to the community, I wonder if I could find a Channel 9 link on there? Sometimes it is worse still and you get these situations where if you don't know it exists then your never going to know unless someone
else tells you.
I would like to see very clear language separation on MSDN as well, so C# and VB(6) information are not mixed in. The express products sort of do this so I'm unsure why the site doesn't..
I think Microsoft has given up trying to organized information and just gone 'JUST search!'. I'm not sure if this is a good policy because it assumes everyone knows what they are looking for before they've found it.
I think that the Microsoft-sites provide lots of support for developers (and engineers).
I you want to see an example of an unstructured site, I suggest you go to sybase.com. In the past I have made several attempts at getting a driver but all ended in utter frustration.
I don't think the solution is a common view etc... but I do have problems with microsoft.com.
Especially with search. The google search is better than msdn or microsoft search.
I think it can be improved dramatically. But I disagree with the first poster's solutions, we don't need everything in one place or one common view etc..., let's put the newsgroups to related pages.
i think microsoft.com is the premiere example of how a site should be designed.. it is arguably the best site on the net ( theres another thread on this)
does it have problems yes..
Microsoft.com THE GOOD
- layout lends itself to optimal graphical viewing at muliple resolutions
- simple top - global bar - simple gray flyouts left
- expandable in center area usually
- built entirely out of reusable components
Microsoft.com THE BAD
- it is written by marketing weenies - and the content is lame
"Lets learn about the Mouse! Click here" How to print a picture! click here
its the smarmy CONTENT that is the matter with ms.com - NOT the flexible design and format
(although the pics are stock images not real and are tiresome on the design front ( hey they own Getty/Corbis - designers are forced to use them)
That coming from a guy that develops in Front page and uses ONLY IE.. :-/
Also BBC.com is the best site on the net.
I'm using the "Copernic Agent" and "Copernic Summarizer" to get over the chaos.
How about you?
I dread when I am trying to find a specific bit of information that I might have come across earlier. Was in the newsgroups? The web forms? A chat transcript? The product resource page? A blog?
I'd hate to see a centralized approach. I think you'd end up with one site that would be consistent but also devoid of all the rich information we need.
If you follow both the support forms at the ASP.NET site and the NNTP group microsoft.public.dotnet.framework.aspnet for a bit, I think you'll see a distinct difference in the audience and the people who provide the answers, and both have thier place.
I think I should add some noise to this. I for one haven't visited the main microsoft.com website for quite sometime now. So can't say that I really notice it.
I just go where google tells me there is a result for my query. And the only microsoft sites that I type into the address bar are: msdn.microsoft.com, microsoft.com/australia/msdn...
For msdn though, I usually just head straight for their search anyway.
Though, going there now... I can see that there is a solution to the Download.Ject problem. That part is very in your face (click me).
Personally, I usually know what I want to find, so I'll use google or any other search mechanism (if the site provides one) and go from there. Or if it's easy to navigate the menu system, then I do that.
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