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Destects avatar image
15 Votes"
Destects Posted ·

User search and Follower mechanisms are not working and not very intuitive

There is lack of intuitiveness when it comes to interacting with other users on this site and the most raw examples of this is the Followers mechanism and user search.

User Search Issues
To start, the only naturally occurring way to search for a user on Microsoft Learn is to go to the Q&A section of the site, only there is the Users section available. And going to it, it's essentially a wall of every registered user that you can do some basic sorting on, but no filtering.
So if you're looking for someone with a moderate level Repulation, username and Display starting with an M/N, and they joined the site at peak popularity, well... Time to click through pages.

The search bar indicates by it's placeholder text that you could search by users ("Find posts, tags, and users..."), however this function only works if that user has made at least 1 post to the Q&A section. It only searches Q&A posts.

The current work around I've found is that if I were to be looking for a user, and I knew their exact username, I could use the Username and URL to find that profile ( https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/users/) But this is more effort than should really be required to find a specific user, especially when the search bar eludes to this capability, and there's a Users section.

Followers Mechanism Issues
Right now, the only method of following/unfollowing someone is through a ToolTip popup when hovering over the users picture or profile link in the Q&A section or Users section. That's it.

Intuitively, one would think that if you went to a users profile to view them, you would have the option to follow them from there, but there is no button/link anywhere to be found. The only option I've found is through that popup. So the only way to follow a user, is to scroll through thousands of pages of users, and once you've found the one you're looking for, hover over them, and then finally you can click follow.

And you can't simply craft a URL to follow them because the follow links look to each contain a unique user ID number.

An example of where these issues can create chaos
Let's say I have a friend I want to follow, and I want them to follow me, so we could both keep up with each others activity on Learn, say we had an accountability pact or something. So we both join and share our usernames with one another, and then we're lost.

We first have to figure out where one would even search for another user in the first place, as the section only appears when you navigate to the Q&A section (which I suppose our fictional friend and I would do when we give up and decide to ask in the Q&A where to find users.).
Now we see we can search by user, but when we do, nothing comes up, so we have some back and forth on making sure we sent each other the correct names.
Well, names have been triple checked, but that search bar doesn't seem to work. and when we navigate to the Users section, it just displays a wall of seemingly random names. Not helpful.
Okay, we realize we were going about this all wrong, Microsoft made it really easy and we can just share with each other our respective profile URLs. But when we go to our friends profile, there's still no way to follow them!


TL;DR
There are some simple functions missing from the site that would improve the experience of user interaction. They're some really simple changes that can be made, that would make all the difference.


Suggested Fixes

  • Add a "Follow/Unfollow" button to user profiles, so when you view them you can do the most intuitive function you would think you could do on a users profile.

  • Make the Users section visible form all navigation points within Microsoft Learn and Docs, so you don't have to navigate to Q&A for a non Q&A purpose, only to then navigate away from Q&A.

  • Fix the search bar for Q&A so it can actually be used to search for a user. Either by adding a prefix (e.g. "user:") advanced search term indicating to the search engine that you're looking for a user. Or by showing results for usernames that match your search criteria


Unrelated
Unrelated, but when I was making this feedback post I also noticed that Tags are required, but you can't seem to tag with anything not in the system, and every keyword related to the functions I'm providing feedback on is missing from the tags list. "Feedback" isn't even an option! "QnA" was the only one at all relevant I could find and use. Typing anything that didn't exist would just not work.

qna-feedback
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Darquewarrior avatar image
1 Vote"
Darquewarrior Posted ·
  • on everything mentioned. I was getting very frustrated trying to find my teammates. I knew something was wrong when I could not even find myself!!! Really? I even went to the users page, picked a username I could see typed it in and nothing! How is this possible I can see them. This is very very frustrating. I need/want to follow my entire team because we want to make completing Learning Paths an OKR. But if we can't measure because we can't find each other to follow it is pointless.

Following should also be on the profile. Tooltips are the last place actions should be taken.

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Darquewarrior avatar image
1 Vote"
Darquewarrior Posted ·

Looks like the problem is user is not checked by default. After a failed search you can refine your search and check users. I documented how here Find and follow your friends on MS Learn


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razorspoint avatar image
0 Votes"
razorspoint Posted ·

I just checked with a smart phone using edge on Android. I can't follow anyone because there is no such thing as a hover.

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Great point! As I mentioned earlier Tooltips are the worst place to put actions.

1 Vote 1 ·
saldana-msft avatar image
0 Votes"
saldana-msft Posted ·

This suggestion is in our roadmap.

· 1
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This feedback is still in our roadmap.

0 Votes 0 ·

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