I’m pleased to announce the release of the Tahiti 1.5.1 design layout updates to the Visual Basic and Visual C#  Developer Centers and the Learn Visual Basic and Learn Visual C# pages.  These pages will continue to evolve over the next few weeks!

 

Eight weeks ago we released a design update (Tahiti) to these two developer centers (followed by ASP.NET) which was intended to:

 

  • highlight Community features (Blogs with new RSS control, CodePlex feeds, Community Submitted content, MVP awareness)
  • bring the HDI Video Series, Troubleshooting & forums, Downloads into greater focus
  • drive a more comprehensive “getting Started” section
  • update webcasts to feeds

 

We listened to our stakeholders (TAGM, DevDiv, Subsidiary) and rolled out this design with the intent to monitor its performance and iterate as appropriate.

 

Well the time to iterate is now!  Traffic is up across the life of the pilots on both sites and the key task page click-through traffic has gone up considerably.  We are referring users to CodePlex like never before and our HDI videos and MVP submitted content are rated highly by our users and garner considerable traffic.

 

Based on the actual metrics and additional feedback, we have updated the design to:

 

·         tighten up the space used for the top “Panels”

·         move the panel design from the Tobago look & feel, toward the Visual Studio 2008 brand; with fuller alignment coming in Q3.

·         draw more attention to the HDI Videos by allowing enough space to highlight more than one new video

·         allow multiple headlines in “Featured Resources”

·         drop the forum feeds which were under-performing in exchange for the forum listings which they replaced

·         release v1 of the feedviewer control across feeds on the homepage (added byline/dates)

·         find an elegant solution for local headlines.

 

Bundled with this release is the new events control rolled out on the Visual C# Developer Center in the right rail.  We’ve also implemented a geo-detection block for non EN-US, English speaking subsidiaries which over-rides the US events widget.