Last month, we announced that we are evolving our community site, and we started directing our customers to two new resources: the Rapid7 blog and the Help site. We’ve heard that people like the new look and feel, but there has been some confusion and concern about the status of the forums. We want to thank everyone who has taken the time to provide feedback, and we also want to apologize for any inconvenience we may have caused while we’re in transition.
This post will hopefully explain what we’re doing, why, and give our community of customers and users more insight into a vision for the future of help.rapid7.com.
If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix it
We’ve heard from customers that they found real value with our forums and can’t understand why we’re changing them. It’s great to know that they are valuable, and we want to continue to deliver that value, but with more consistency and authority for the information.
Our community has always served as an important way to engage with us and other users. It gave customers and community members a space to ask questions, search for documentation, get help from others, explore blogs, watch videos, and read release notes--there was so much that you could do. And over time, the community grew into such a dense source of information that it became difficult for audiences to navigate.
As we planned for the next generation of community resources, we realized that there were things we needed to do better. The community contained thousands of posts and hundreds of documents, so it wasn’t easy to find things and figure out what was still relevant.
Some of the questions we regularly heard were:
“Does this solution posted in this comment actually work?”
“Is this the latest document? Or this one?”
“Why can’t I find something that’s in the user guide?”
To answer some of these questions, we knew we needed to create a unified experience that enabled our users to easily find curated, relevant content. Our goal wasn’t to simply replace the functionality and features of the community, but to provide focused spaces for Rapid7 content: a place for blog content and a place for help content.
The transition process
To ensure continuity after the community transition, we evaluated the gaps that needed to be filled once we had sundowned the old community site. We knew that one of the main draws of the community was that people could ask questions and search for solutions.
We value that engagement, so we factored these needs into the redesign of the help site. To address support and troubleshooting needs, we added two areas to the help site:
- A knowledge base that contains articles to help troubleshoot issues and provides solutions to frequently asked questions.
- A discussion area that is part of the knowledge base where you can ask your own questions and search for answers.
We understand how important it is to create content that addresses real world issues and provides the answers you need. We see the logical connection between the knowledge base and discussion board, so our plan is to leverage the information from the discussion boards to drive the content in the knowledge base and documentation.
This is just the beginning of the changes that we plan to make to the help site. These new areas are in the early stages of development and will continue to grow over time.
The path forward
Our goal is to create a simpler, more impactful content experience so that you can get the information you need to be successful. In order to do this, we are currently focused on building out the following areas of the Help site:
Content: As we built out the knowledge base and discussion board, we reviewed the traffic to the community and popular keyword searches to identify the most viewed documents and posts and migrated that content over to the Ask/Answer format. We have also audited the results, and migrated over an initial set of content we felt was up-to-date and most helpful.
Going forward, our hope is that we will be able to create new content that will provide you with the information you need to maximize your productivity, and continue to move over content from the community site that is verified as valid answers to questions. In the upcoming months, we plan to add more videos, scenario-based content, chatbots, and in-product guides to create a more comprehensive and delightful learning experience on help.rapid7.com.
If there is specific content you would like to see added in the future, please let us know at community [at] rapid7 [dot] com.
Information architecture and site navigation: With documentation available for eight different products, we want to make sure that it’s easy for you to find the information you need. We are working to create even better navigational consistency between the product sites to streamline the experiences between help assets.
Filtering: To help you find answers you care about, we’re exploring ways to tag posts so you can filter by product and issue type.
Site responsiveness: Finally, we want to make sure our site is easy (and beautiful!) to use and share on every device.
We are rolling out these changes to the help site incrementally and adding new content daily. We can’t wait for you to see what we’re going to do!
Please keep visiting help.rapid7.com to see our progress. Your feedback is invaluable during this process and helps us ensure we are building capabilities that meet your needs. If you have questions, concerns, or requests, please email community [at] rapid7 [dot] com. Thank you!