Starting the project we were still hiring the team. Between getting everyone on board and up to speed and with little buyoff for obtaining budget goals of usability testing and research were put on hold for future versions. Analytics allowed us information that the majority of users did not come from referrals, and almost 10% returned multiple times per week allowing us to know to plan for both new users with limited knowledge and a fair margin of deep rooted power users. Surveys conducted informed that sharing code and having questions answered stood out as core values however navigation on site discoverability, and user credibility were needed. Working with another designer who focused on Visual Design I worked with the newly created team to iron out IA, filtering, search, tagging as well as user interactions on page.
Addressing prioritization of page elements was primary in this feature. Additionally providing a gated state which let users become aware of the value of an account was crucial.
Search as it was emplemented, changes on it needed to be site wide and at the time still needed to use Google for filter results limiting us on what we could do. I was able to develop a functionality which was unintrusive on marketing pages and an improvement on community pages. This limitation was fixed in 2016.
Designing better tags
Based on conversations with key users I determined that for our power users they were important for navigating content. Adding predictive text and the ability to add a tag allowed some filters to be unimportant and clean up the design.
After launch we did see an improvement in the rates of the number of people using improved features such as codeshare shown above. Tracking for longest term outcomes has been limited and has not shown a full picture, although based on further survey results engagement and satisfaction are both up since the redesign despite growth of user base being stagnant from a while post launch.