MSDN Home and Hub Beta 2

Version 2 of the MSDN Home and Hub gave us the opportunity to improve some of the videos, but to really focus on the professional developers that were focused on staying up to date – rather than on-boarding or cross boarding.  The MSDN News Page was the combination of editorial strategy to align across teams at Microsoft, Design work to present a modern, browsable news and the practical work of making the production of news low cost.  Of course, we needed to do all of this in a way that is valuable and engaging to customers.


<originally posted 10/22/2010>




As we mentioned in the Home and Hub Release on 6/29/2010, the Home and Hub project is the first step on a longer (and ongoing) journey to providing greater value to all of our customers in a way that is meaningful in their world view and relative to their goals.

For technical audiences the MSDN Home and Hub project is responsible for ensuring continuity of experience and promoting audience engagement. It’s about driving successful customer completion of onboarding to Microsoft technologies across all skill levels and previous experiences. It is also a way to drive the engagement and productivity experiences for customers by creating bridges to connect Microsoft to key development audiences.

Developer feedback on the existing Platform Pivot of the MSDN Home page has been very positive – especially for customers looking to code on a Microsoft platform that is new to them.   As part of our engagement strategy for developers already involved in coding, we are announcing the details of the MSDN News page as part of the MSDN Home and Hub Beta 2 release.

On November 11 2010, The MSDN News Page will offer an alternative home page that brings architects, developers, testers and other technical specialists the latest news, hot talks, training and downloads.  This Technology Portal is the destination on MSDN to keep visitors, up-to-date on the latest information and news within the broad Microsoft developer community. Visitors can select the existing Platform Pivot or the Technology Portal Pivot as their default MSDN home page using the flipper controls on the right side of the page. Since content programming is critical to the success of the portal, we have committed resources to ensure that we have regular updates with relevant, timely, fun and interesting material.

Note that this navigation model is temporary.  From a discoverability perspective it is less than optimal, but it was quick and easy to implement.  In the next release, we will use a more traditional tab control.

The MSDN News Page

What and Why?

In the MSDN Home and Hub Beta 2 – News release, the MSDN team continues to build relevant, meaningful and emotive experiences that span the roles, skills and experiences of our audiences. In this release, the News page focuses on the key scenario of connection and staying informed· Staying Informed about the latest skills, releases, innovations, talks, community events, releases and other buzz related to Microsoft technology for a technical audience – no fluff, no spin, no BS· Connected to the product teams, to leaders in the community and to the technology.MSDN site owners in Subsidiaries are saying

  • “This is beautiful – the strategy and design would work well in many markets”· 
  • “The Technology portal and the home page redesigns are really changing the face of MSDN”


Home & Hub – The Developer Engagement Journey and Strategy

Home and Hub were the start of a broader update to MSDN designed around the customer, the scenarios that are important to them and how Microsoft can meet their needs.  MSDN currently pivots our story by tools/platforms (via Home and Hub Beta 1), and by Technology (via the list of developer centers).


In Beta 1 of the MSDN Home and Hub, we marshaled feedback from a variety of resources to develop the first step in a longer term strategy centered on advancing developer success with our platforms and tools.  On Boarding is the intuitive first step in enabling longer term success.  So the beta 1 release focused on the following on-boarding scenarios On Boarding is the intuitive first step in enabling longer term success.  So the beta 1 release focused on the following on-boarding scenarios· DiscoverMicrosoft developer platforms

  • Choose APIs that are right for me to use for each platform
  • Choose Development tools that are right for me for each platform
  • Learn (or ramp up on the) APIs and tools for the platform that I select
  • Install the tools quickly and easily
  • Start coding right away


What users are saying  

About the new home page versus the current

Obviously I’d click on cloud overview because who knows what the heck Azure or Application Fabric are.”

About the Cloud On boarding page

“Now I know I would need SQL, that is good to get up front.”Good to have list of everything I need…so I can see what we need to buy” 


“Even when just developer, we want to see the big picture not just the SDK.”


“ 2 separate reasons to come to this page: Already know – come here to look up specifics. Know nothing – research benefits to my company.”


What the MVPs are saying

“I like the new onramps for developers. It should make it easier to find context relative information. Ready when you are!”


“I like the new approach very much. The one place where I felt Microsoft lacking was design patterns. There is no proper guidance and sample projects on best practices to use the latest tech stack along with proven design”


“Love this idea.  I can finally learn to code the right way with the same tools I use at work.”


“I really like the clean organization, images, whitespace, and topography.  The UX is easy to follow and eye-pleasing.”


“This all looks GREAT and I love the styling and flow. Looks very natural and intuitive. And looks like you’ve got a designer onboard who understands UX – the icons/thumbnails are PERFECT.”


Cyra Richardson
Principal Group Program Manager MSDN
Microsoft Corporation

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