I’m pleased to announce that, with the Summer ‘14 release, we are revamping the site navigation with the goal of making it more intuitive. An intuitive navigation is fundamental to the success of Connect because it allows you to access and discover various tools and information that help you become successful.
This was an important undertaking because, through various research efforts, we learned that users - especially the new ones - wanted a more streamlined navigation experience that allowed them to easily locate specific information and features on Connect. We wanted to solve this problem by reducing the number of places where you have to look for information and easily find your way around Connect from every and any page. In this blog, I will highlight the new navigation header which encompasses the following key elements:
‘My Account’ navigation menu and ‘Add’ action menu
Quick reference links
With the new design, the various menu options have been consolidated into two menus within the header section. This design provides users a more centralized place for items and account information, offering you the ability to easily locate major new features and pages as we add them to Connect.
The top section of the ‘My Account’ menu encompasses key account information (i.e., points, quality rating, screen name), providing you a quick reference point. Hovering over this area will open a menu where points and screen name are both hyperlinked to the Point History and Member Profile pages respectively. Hyperlinking these items, as opposed to adding separate links for these pages, allows us to limit clutter in the menu while providing access to important account data. Some of the more experienced members should already be familiar with the other menu items (e.g., My Contacts, Saved Searches, Exports, Account Settings, etc.) For some of our newer members, I encourage you to play around with these so that you can become comfortable with them.
The ‘Add’ action menu is split into two sections: 1). ‘Add...’ command button and 2). a drop down menu which can be opened by clicking on the down arrow on the right. The down arrow provides a menu of three options, including the ability to add a contact, add multiple contacts, or to add a company. Clicking on the ‘Add...’ command button is a single-click shortcut to add a new contact, which is the most commonly performed add action on Connect.
Furthermore, you’ll notice a few changes to the flows. Both the add “A single contact” and add “A company” options now open in a pop-up window. This allows you to either continue after the first step or simply exit the pop-up window. With the new design, in addition to a speedier response, if you decide not to complete the action and close the window, you’ll return to the page where you started the action.
We’ve also given the ‘Add’ action menu has been given more prominence by making it a bright green, standalone button. This was in response to a common point of feedback we received during our research effort. Many new users do not clearly grasp the crowdsourcing aspect of Connect and, even after they do, they don’t have enough context to figure out what to do next. Through the new ‘Add’ action menu, our goal is to enable users - irrespective of how and where they land on Connect - to immediately know that the ‘Add’ action can be performed without placing the burden on them to figure it out.
Search box and quick reference links
The new header section is available across all pages of Connect, except the Corner. The Search box provides you the ability to search from any page on Connect. Additionally, there are a number of other areas that are also just a click away:
Advanced search - For those occasions when you need to access advanced search, the link will always be available next to the search box.
Homepage - Simply click on the Data.com logo in order to navigate to the homepage any time.
Cart - The count under the cart represents your total records in the cart at any given time. Click on the cart icon to navigate to the cart.
Buy more points - Available within the ‘My Account’ menu next to your point total.
Corner - Click on the ‘Corner’ to navigate to and participate in the community.
Help and Support - Click on the question mark to access help documentation and training courses for the Data.com Connect website. Clicking on the Support link will take you to the Support page where you can drill down on more specific content based on your need or log a new support case.
During the design phase, our user experience team tested various navigation concepts among different segments of the Connect community. The new navigation scored considerably higher than other concepts for reasons outlined above. We hope that the new streamlined navigation saves you time and makes it easier to get from one place to another within Connect. The Connect teams behind this feature have worked hard over the last release to make this feature a reality, however it would not have been possible without your feedback. We are eager to hear more of your feedback, both positive and constructive. So, if you have ideas to make navigation smoother and more streamlined, I encourage you to contribute them on the Member Idea Exchange (MIX). If you have support questions specific to this release, you can post them on the Questions About the Summer ’14 Release board. We’ll be highlighting other exciting features that were rolled out with the Summer ‘14 release over the coming days, so be sure to check back here soon for our upcoming blogs.