Card sorting for GitLab Ops Docs
Currently, GitLab Monitoring documentation is very difficult to navigate. The information we're providing is often fragmented and incomplete.
It's a big problem, because good documentation is incredibly important in helping our users learn how to set up and use our product. Poor documentation can lead to new users getting absolutely confused and stuck.
Some of the most obvious issues are:
- Many of the navigation links don't match the pages they lead to. In other words, the categories don't always match the topics they contain.
- Main nav and breadcrumbs don't match.
- The documentation doesn't follow an intuitive hierarchy.
- Documentation is incomplete.
Let's change that!
Who is the target user of the feature?
- Delaney (Development Team Lead)
- Sasha (Software Developer)
- Devon (DevOps Engineer)
- Sidney (Systems Administrator)
We've been documenting and analyzing the current architecture of the Monitoring Docs in this Mural Board to help surface some of the problems with information architecture and content.
As the next step, we'd like to conduct an expert card sorting exercise to figure out a way to improve the documentation IA.
Let's analyze Ops Documentation as a whole!
Since Monitoring Docs are part of the overall Ops documentation, and reorganizing Monitoring Docs would affect Ops Docs as a whole, this card sort includes Ops features beyond just Monitor to help us understand the context for Monitoring documentation, as well as generate additional insights to help improve Ops docs or inform such design decisions as changing GitLab Ops navigation.
I want to understand how our team thinks about Ops features. What are the mental models that we have for organizing this information in categories? How can we change the current AI to make it more intuitive? What are the gaps in our documentation?
What will happen next?
- I'll conduct this internal card sort, gathering responses from as many Ops team members and engineers as possible.
- Synthesize and analyze the results.
- Discuss the results and propose a set of improvements to the IA and content for Ops documentation (Monitoring specifically, but I would love to collaborate across Ops groups to take a holistic approach to Ops documentation and improve our Docs as a whole).
- Collaborate with the Technical Writing team to implement the changes.
- Conduct solution validation with external participants to validate the results, iterate on our documentation and make further improvements.
How to participate in this card sort?
I know at this point you're pretty much jumping out of your chair, eager to help make our documentation more helpful, usable and complete! Lucky for you, it's very easy:
- Set aside 15-20 minutes of your time, make a cup of coffee or tea, and prepare to have fun!
- Go to https://ows.io/os/yao61z2f
- Sort the cards into categories and give them names (you'll be given detailed instructions once you open the link)
- Answer a couple simple follow-up questions
- Boom! You did it!
🎉Now, feel free to add additional comments, feedback or ideas in the issue comments.