Quest QorePortal Re-Design

Quest® QorePortal Online Help. Quest Software has an on-premise backup and recovery product suite called Rapid Recovery, targeted at the small and medium-size businesses (SMB) market. Administrators back up, replicate, and restore protected servers and physical and virtual machines in the Rapid Recovery Core. Large deployments that use multiple Cores can be monitored and managed using the QorePortal, a SaaS portal offering tools to aggregate and report information and allow administration from a single interface.

Documentation for the QorePortal is a self-contained UI called the Help Center, first introduced in 2017. When I took over documentation of this SaaS product in summer of 2019, the Help Center had a corporate template-driven UI that had grown organically over time into a confusing, non-intuitive interface. As capabilities (and integration with other SaaS products) grew over time, I initiated a complete redesign to incorporate User Experience (UX) best practices. The proposals were fully accepted, and working with developers and engineering teams, I implemented a highly improved Help Center UI.

Here is a screenshot of the "before" user interface. While originally clean, new topics were added iteratively over a period of time, leading to a lack of clarity.

The authoring tool for the design and redesign is Madcap Flare.

QorePortal - before changes

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Before the re-design, there were 14 existing topics. The chain paper clip icon icon shows hyperlinks to existing external content.

All existing topics were analyzed, and gaps were identified as subjects for new Help tpoics. Business processes were reviewed and flowcharted and content was "chunked" into 3 discrete areas:

I then put together a mockup of the proposed new user interface:

QorePortal new UI mockup

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I reorganized the Help Center content into a more logical hierarchical structure based on the proposed categories in the master Flare table of contents (TOC) file.

Finally, I mapped each of the topics (new and existing) to their new location in the Help Center UI. New topics are highlighted in yellow:

QorePortal topic linkages

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After review by Product Management, Product Development, and Quality Assurance (with some input from Support), we coded the new content, and released it in the fall of 2019.

Customer feedback was positive, and support calls regarding use of the portal decreased.

A few months later, the QorePortal and Foglight teams collaborated to add setup and use of Foglight as a function of the QorePortal, adding a dozen new topics. After a 2-week test run in production, I proposed an additional set of UI changes:

This new configuration was deployed in February 2020, and was well received for its usability, flexibility, and integration with other portals.

Following is a screenshot of the revised Help Center user interface, version 3:

QorePortal Help Center UI after re-design process

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The live version of the revised QorePortal Help Center product can be accessed at this link (the files are local to this website, and represent the state of the portal online help as of February 2020).

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