MSDN Forums UX Redesign

This is hot news for anyone who spends significant time in the MSDN/TechNet forums. Check the forums tomorrow for the new look & functionality! :

General Information The Forums team is excited to announce upcoming UX Improvements which will be available June 18th. These improvements are to address key usability improvements surrounding search, discoverability and navigation. To view the new experience please watch the following videos:

To ask questions about this new experience or participate in a discussion feel free to visit Forums Redesign – Q&A / Discussions.


Easier to find what you need

  • Simple search-centric navigation – You come to the Forums looking for answers.  The new design lets you find the answers you want without ever leaving the Home page.  Enter keywords in the search box, and relevant threads are displayed.  Filter and sort the threads to view just the ones you want, just the way you want them.   No more clicking through layers of Category and Forum pages to get to the threads.
  • Search result directly inline – Do you want a quick way to find content without leaving forums? We have a solution for you! Users can enter a keyword in the search box and get results directly inline. Better yet, users can define their own scope of forums and categories to customize their search experience.
  • Ability to see all of the Forums content – Content is king! You no longer have to go down the rabbit hole of selecting a category and a forum before you start seeing content. You can now see content from every forum in one place. Even in a dev center you can select content outside of this scope.
  • Thread content preview – Besides exposing threads directly on the Home page, each thread now contains a preview of the content under the title. This allows you to easily identify the content you are looking for.

Customized experience

  • Selecting multiple forums – Only care about a handful of forums? You can now scope the content to exactly what you want, including multiple forums from multiple categories. You can also bookmark this view for easy accessibility.
  • Ability to find related content –  Since Forums now handles its own search, you can find threads which are highly related. If you land on a thread page after using a search engine (Bing/Google), the query string from the search engine is automatically transferred to Forums. With a click of a button you can continue your search without leaving Forums.

Updated UI and performance

  • UI Updates – We have given Forums a facelift with a modern look and feel which is consistent across dev centers.
  • Better use of page real-estate – In addition to a more modern looking UI, we have emphasized the use of page real-estate… both horizontally and vertically! You now have the ability to ‘snap’ the content over if they desire to utilize more space.
  • Search at lightning speed – Search all of the Forums content in less than a second! That is more than 20 million messages!

Sample Browser App for Windows

I love me some All-in-one-Code Framework. Concise, useful, organized examples of code from Microsoft’ers that help you paddle fast enough to keep up with ye olde wave of acronyms. They  are responsive and community-oriented; if you request an example and there is a need for it, they will probably publish it for you.  I have posted previously about the effort here , which was focused on the Codeplex project and desktop application.

They now have a Windows App for exploring the latest updates:




MSDN Quick Links

The MSDN Library homepage has a newish “beta” quick links section which is a great index for navigating in an easier way than the somewhat dense tree nav: