Redesigning Your Navigational Experience.
One of the most important aspects of any user experience (UX) is the way in which you can navigate the platform, and whether the navigational properties of a website are inherently intuitive.
One of the problems with any software or internet company that grows their offering, is that often times their original idea for design is not suitable for what the future of their platform will become.
That is certainly the case with Wealthy Affiliate and the current state of the design. You will find that many of the ideas that came after the last design are integrated, but often times not as seamless as we would have liked.
But there is a catch 22. You cannot “redesign” a platform with every iterative release, and this is why we typically update the UX here at Wealthy Affiliate every 3-4 years. We Are Being Diligent, We Are Planning for the Future
When you design something, it is often times difficult to take into consideration the “unknowns’ of the future. Fortunately though, there are A LOT of unknowns in our/your future here at WA as we have already slated out our roll outs right through 2019.
This will give us 2 years of anticipated updates in the design, but we will always remain flexible based on what the WA community wants, demands, and needs to operate and scale their business. So to a certain degree, there will always be a certain level of unexpected updates. In saying this, the navigation and design we are rolling out leaves room for what have planned in the foreseeable future, but also leaves from for additional features, platforms, and technology.
Running out of Colors in Rainbow
One change you are going to see is that we are moving away from the Rainbow. It had a purpose when we rolled it out, to draw natural attention to certain items. But as we integrated new platforms and offerings, with the latest being Jaaxy, it started to get out of control.
To be completely frank, we feel that our current menu looks tacky.
In our new design, we have moved away from colors and moved towards a much more interactive, responsive, and user focused menu structure.
Let’s look at the comparison between the old menu and the new one.
You can see there are some vast differences in the main navigation, and these decisions have been made to remove a lot of the redundancy (duplicate ways to find the same thing), clarity in terms of naming conventions, and the design is much more clean, crisp and easy to use.
Name Conventions Are Critical. Formerly, We Failed.
If I say “SiteRubix” or “Jaaxy” to you, you likely understand what I am talking about. SiteRubix is the website platform here at WA, Jaaxy is the Research platform built into WA.
Affiliate Bootcamp. Get Started Here. What the heck do those mean? Yeah, you start to understand the differences and where to go once you go through the walk-through video (which explains it) or you spend some time immersing yourself here at WA. But it isn't logical where to go to see the training.
SiteRubix was brand move, but was illogical. Sometimes ideas and a focus on branding can be self-motivated, but ultimately they make absolutely no sense, especially to someone who is brand new, excited about getting rolling with starting their online business. The last thing that people should have to worry about is navigation that is not intuitive.
For example, in the new UI, if someone wants to get training they now click on "Training". Training and the portal into all training at WA is found in ONE button, with ONE click. Seeing your courses, navigating to OEC or Bootcamp, or to training that you have recently been working on is now visible in one place...naming conventions make sense!
As you can see, the organization has been vastly improved and this of course is iteration #1, we have lots of really cool stuff planned for the Training platform here, and people are going to be able to create, manage, and track their training in entirely new and interactive ways. The labeling conventions and using proper labels will lead to newcomers being able to understand where to go to actually get their training. Labels like "Get Started Here" in the menu, didn't reflect that was the location where the "core" training was housed.
You are going to see advances within all the main menus, and proper labeling to help make the navigation much more intuitive and understandable for our collective audience.
We have also included "Live Events" within the menu now. All Starter members will now see the Live Events taking place (formerly they couldn't even see them, ugh). Premium members will now be able to see the full schedule of events that have taken place, and that are scheduled for the future within our beautiful new Live Events platform.
It is going to make navigating much more efficient and it is going to create excitement about upcoming live classes that will be taking place. As with ALL platforms here, we have some awesome plans for the Live Events platform as we move through 2018 and into 2019.
The Two-Click Approach
One of the objectives that we focused on with the new UX is allowing for things to be found much easier, quicker, and without so many "hops".
For example, our new Website menu has a similar feel to it as the current design, but we have an added element that allows for you to get to your recently worked on websites and recent SiteContent drafts right from the menu. This means logging into your website with fewer clicks, it makes getting to your website details a cinch, it means knowing where to find your websites a non-issue.
Currently it's actually quite tough to find where your websites are when you are brand new to WA. You have to know that "SiteManager" is the dashboard for your websites, and you have to guess that "SiteRubix" is where you access your websites from. In our new "Websites" menu it's just one-click away to get see our recent sites...zero confusion is the goal.
And Yes, Mobile IS Coming.
We have be developing a mobile experience alongside the desktop/laptop experience that you currently have. We have put a lot of thought into the mobile experience, and this includes the navigation as well.
Although the complexities are vast with making a mobile experience useful, we realize that it's something we absolutely NEED at WA. We're working hard on it.
With the first iteration of the new UI we will not be including the mobile experience. This is on purpose so that we can learn from the real-life engagement and use of the new platform. We want to get feedback on the new UI, see how YOU like it, how YOU use and interact within it. We can then make adjustments to both the desktop version of WA, and build this into the mobile version.
The desktop version of WA will certainly work on mobile devices, but we'll quickly be updating the platform to allow for a much more polished experience on mobile devices.
Influence Comes From Everywhere.
Everything you do in life and in business, is in some way influenced, or is the result of a past experience (or your interpretation of it).
The design of our navigation is no different. When we sat down to decide on what should be put where and why, we leveraged a lot of experience, feedback, and our own intuition in our thought process.
We also use outside influence, naturally. All companies do. We have looked at what is "current", the latest technologies that we could utilize and over the past 3 years, we have taken a lot of the best design ideas/experience and created a "design board" that we are leveraging with the implementation of the new User Experience (UX) at WA.
Nothing is perfect and this release is no different, and that is what excites us. Our strive for perfection though will continue to evolve to levels we could have never imagined. The new User Experience within WA will be a great one, we absolutely love using it ourselves and we have been using it as we put the final touches on the platform prior to release. We feel that the new experience is truly our "best yet" though and we are really excited to get this into your hands in the coming weeks.
We would love your feedback and thoughts on the new navigational designs!