If you’ve installed Exchange Server, there’s a really good (ok, near 99.999%) chance at some point you’ve needed to look at the documentation to figure out how to do something. It’s a big product. There’s a lot of stuff you can do with it. But when you need to look something up – how do you do that? I’m interested in how you find information that you need to complete a task. My goal is to use information I gather from your feedback to help us as we think about the documentation experience in the next version of Exchange. The rest of this post me firing questions at you. 🙂 It’d be really great if you could let me know your thoughts.
When you need to find information on how to do something or how something works, what’s your first step?
- Do you go to the Exchange Server TechNet Library and follow the table of contents (TOC – pictured right) to the node you need?
- Do you use search? When you use search, do you go for a help topic in the product documentation on TechNet or do you go for the community blog, forum, etc? If you don’t go for the product documentation, why is that?
If you arrive at a topic on TechNet from a search query, and that topic doesn’t have the information you’re looking for, what do you do next?
- Do you click around in the TOC
- Use the More Resources panel on the right-hand side of the page
- Back out to the search query and try another search result?
How long do you stay in the documentation looking for the right answer before you back out to the search query?
- After clicking around a bit
- Never (meaning you then use the TOC to find the relevant topic)?
We do have anonymous, generalized, site usage information that gives us some insight into some of these questions, but I’m really interested in how you find content, whether you find the TOC useful, and how often you use it. Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.