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Tools Network Website Update

Hello NI Tools Network Partners,

 

You may have seen a recent change to the website experience for the NI Tools Network.  This post is intended to communicate the purpose behind these changes, some of the current issues we’re seeing, and an outline of our future plans.

 

Purpose:  The purpose of this change was to address several issues:

 

  1. The platform used to house our partner software and author the NI Tools Network pages has gone end-of-life.  There was a need to migrate to a new platform to address reliability and performance.
  2. The process of adding new tools and authoring new pages was manual and becoming un-scalable.
  3. The NI Tools Network website presented a disjointed and siloed experience for our customers and was continually becoming more disconnected from our NI.com experience.

 

The decision was made to migrate our partner software products into the same repository and software experience as NI’s add-on software.  This would create a unified experience and bring partner software forward as a “first-class citizen” in the experience.  It allows us to leverage the ongoing improvements to ni.com and more tightly integrate partner software into the experience.

 

Current State:

 

Due to the obsolescence timeline of the legacy platform, the need was to quickly go-live with an MVP (minimum viable product) experience.  When we went live we found several issues that we are working to quickly address.

 

  1. Ni.com search results return multiple links.  This is a confusing experience for customers.
  2. Search results from the NI Tools Network landing page only return the download page and not the product purchase page.
  3. Images on the new product purchase pages are missing.

 

We expect these issues to be resolve in the next 2-3 weeks. 

 

We also realize that the current experience is not where we want it to be and there is more work to be done.

 

Future State:

 

As you browse the current experience, you will see the need to continue building the experience for both NI and Partner add-on software

 

  1. The Purchase Pages are currently bare-bones with much less content than the current hand-built pages.  This make is difficult for a customer to understand what the features and benefits of your software are.  We will be improving these pages with capabilities to add more text, datasheets, and links.
  2. Landing Page improvements.  The current experience will allow customer to ‘search’ but not ‘explore and find’.  We will be adding faceted navigation to allow customers to browse and explore in an industry-standard way later this year.

 

Long term, I believe these changes will improve our ability to expose customers to the capabilities and value of your software.  Please post your feedback and ideas.

 

Steve Schiffhauer

Digital Channel Manager

steve.schiffhauer@ni.com

 

Valeria Chavira

Product Partner Lead

valeria.chavira@ni.com

 

 

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