While I touched on them in my first year and second year reflection blog posts, I didn’t really discuss the changes of the GitLab Support Portal landing page. So, I thought with the launch of the latest revision, it was the best time to put together a short blog post.
The first revision that I did was very simple and focused purely on adding wording and links to provide context and resources. The primary purpose of the change was to align the wording with the support webpage and its section.
The 2018 revision merge request is internal, but you can see the differences in the screenshots.
Two years later, my colleague, Jerome Uy, and I worked on the next iteration. This one was going to be bigger with changing the theme in addition to reviewing the content on the page. We made a few mockups based on the discussion from various stakeholders, including my hand-drawn one and a more full-fledged digital one (by Jerome) with wording edits (from me based on feedback from UX):
The mockups had a lot more content in them than what we ended up with. The Support Manager we were working with, Tom Atkins, encouraged us to use the “less is more” idea, and to scope the content down to the minimum to see how that worked first. Later, we could always look at adding more content. There were also some theme constraints as we had purchased a theme and then customized it to some degree.
That’s how we ended up with the 2020 revision with the minimal content look:
Honestly, I had basically nothing to do with the latest revision.
The technical work (internal link, sorry!) was done by Jason Colyer, our Support Operations Manager, and he got feedback and help from Matt Nearants (internal link), one of our Product Designers, as well as other Support team members on the content.
I spoke with Jason and he explained that the main reason for the revision is that the theme we used in 2020 had too many limitations to customize the ZenDesk theme and forms in the way we wanted to (definitely true!).
In terms of timing, ZenDesk had recently released a few features we’d been waiting for, especially
- pre-filled form fields, and
- ability for users to format their ticket comments with a WYSIWIG.
Jason also added improved searching for the search bar on the support portal page, and suggested docs based on keywords when creating tickets.
Special thanks to Jason for providing those insights. Hope you enjoyed the little journey down history lane!