January 29, 2009
Filed under: site updates
For months we here at Team Central have been working to upgrade the entire site in an effort to remove old, outdated pages and consolidate navigation and content in a way that’s more intuitive. The object was to create a more pleasant user experience so that you, our users, can find what you need fast without any broken links, ambiguous navigation or frustrating dead ends. It’s still a work in progress, but we think it’s lightyears ahead of the “old” ASICentral.
So, without further ado, let me try to break down some of the most obvious changes to the site:
Our search, powered by Google, allows you to find what you need fast. Just type in a keyword and hit “Go” — it’s that simple!. And best yet, it’s at the top of every page, so if you can’t find something, just look to the search box at the top of the page.
In an effort to consolidate all our navigation, we knew we had to place it in one intuitive place, so we decided to make room for the search box at the top of ASICentral by moving all the horizontal navigation to the left side, vertically. (WHERE IS THE OLD NAVIGATION? SEE BELOW FOR LIST)
All of ASICentral’s highest levels of navigation — for instance, Members and Join — are represented in our vertical navigation with enhanced iconography for ease of recognition. Everything you need to find on ASICentral can be found here, from ESP Online tutorials and Education, to Research and Help. And best of all, it’s on every page so you never lose your way around the site.
Features: Hover over one of the left navigation items that has a little arrow to its right, like Join. Notice that a level of sub-navigation appears to the right (a “flyout” menu) allowing you to choose a member type. Move your cursor to Distributor and you’re presented with another level of sub-navigation. Click on any level of navigation with the flyouts for quick access.
No, these aren’t the stale slices of Wonder Bread you crumble up and throw to the birds, but a clever level of navigation in the top tab of all sub-content pages that allows you to know where you are on the site at all times.
For instance, if you drill down through, say, Join–>Distributor–>Membership Benefits you will find that at the top of the page, under the ASI Central tab, you have a level of navigation — or breadcrumb — that shows you exactly where you are within the site. So, if you want to go just one level up to Distributor, or to the main Join landing page, you can do so right at the top of the page.
Features: For clarity, most levels of navigation preceding the final breadcrumb have their own splash page with thumbnail images and clearly defined explanations. For instance, click on the top level area Education and all the content under it is now presented in a splash page.
Everything can be found in the vertical left navigation, including:
Distributor and Supplier Services, such as online tools and resources like ESP Online:
Help, such as FAQs, Product Training and contact information:
Guide, such as content like newsletters, is now called Directory:
Markets has been combined within Research:
From the old “Guide” we took the Blogs and Social Neworks and combined them with an Industry Sites section of related web sites. All this content can now be found under the new “Social” listing.
The Green, or Eco-Friendly, market is all the rage and appears to have some staying power in the industry. So, we decided that under Research we should have a Green Market category that presents users with all our relevant content pertaining to this very hot segment of the ad specialty industry.
And that’s the gist of it! Of course, if you have any questions, comments or feedback whatsoever regarding the changes, we’d love to hear them. Either post a comment here or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope you like the changes!