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An improved user experience for all technical documentation on the Customer Portal was launched in May of 2022. The redesign rolled out several new features, including an all-new reading mode, expanding tables and an overhaul of the navigation and layout. The best part about the redesign? It was driven by customer feedback.
Just about everyone we ask finds Red Hat’s technical documentation to be helpful, well-written and thorough — whether it’s from customers at meet-and-greets or feedback from digital surveys, we have received high marks for documentation. Although our customers were finding our documentation to be valuable, they often noted that the presentation was old-fashioned and “antique.” The quality and thoroughness of the writing was let down by the presentation.
Because of this feedback, our team knew it was time to make a change. With these updates, we not only wanted to improve the accessibility and responsiveness of our documentation, but we also wanted the updates to make a meaningful contribution to the user experience. We focused our efforts on three main areas of improvement; readability, accessibility and responsiveness, and interactivity. We wanted more people to be able to get more out of our documentation from more devices than ever before.
Notable areas of improvement
By improving the layout, styles and font choices used on our docs, we made it easier to digest large amounts of complex information. We implemented a more modern design and typography so that our docs now offer a newer, fresher and easier to consume experience for readers.
Accessibility and responsiveness
We designed, implemented and tested to a current standard of best practices so that more users can actually get to our documentation. No matter which docs users are trying to access, what kind of device they are accessing them from, or when they are trying to access them, the experience should be more seamless. Most importantly, we wanted to make sure that all of our content would look great on all screen sizes and when using different kinds of assistive technology.
The final area that we focused on was interactivity. Updates in this area included:
Focus mode: A new "focus mode" was added to fly navigational elements off of the page to improve the reader’s ability to focus on the content in the center. Ideally, this will make it easier to digest deeply-detailed and complex information.
Table interactivity: Now visitors can click on a button to expand a larger table to be the full width of the screen. We also added a rollover component that highlights the cell that a user is in as they scroll, which helps everyone focus where they need to be focused.
Smart left navigation: Intuitive collapsing, expanding and tracking as page visitors scroll up and down the page helps users know where they are as they scroll through lengthy docs.
If you’d like to see any of these updates in action, they can be found on all of our technical documentation on the Red Hat Customer Portal.
We are continuing to iterate on our initial redesign of our technical documentation based on internal and external feedback we are receiving.
Listening to customer and partner feedback and improving the Red Hat experience is a core part of our mission. If you have feedback, questions or comments, let us know in the Discussions area of the Customer Portal. To learn more about additional enhancements made to our products and services based on user feedback, check out our You Asked. We Acted. webpage.
About the authors
Red Hat's Customer and Partner Experience team works to drive customer and partner success by collecting, analyzing and operationalizing feedback. The team works with all areas of Red Hat to drive enhancements based on the feedback we receive from users.
Christine Bryan is a Program Manager based in Florida, USA, who joined Red Hat in 2020. She loves digital experiences, enjoys color coding epics in Jira and has a gif for any occasion.