To start with, in order to understand where the visual of our new Catalog comes from, please visit SSQ’s website here:https://ssq.ca/en
Catalog has been in use at SSQ since 2011 and there has been a couple of attempts at redesigning the Offering Selection to make it more user-friendly. All these attempts were lead and released by their small ITSM team. At SSQ, Catalog is used for a lot of non-IT use cases. You can ask for toilet paper, an ergonomic adjustment of your workspace or a webserver. Year after year, survey after survey, the message from our users was the same: It is difficult to find what we are looking for.
In 2017, we then started a project to change this experience, to make it more user-friendly and to revamp the look at the same time. A lot of end users (100+) were consulted during the project to help decide where each offering should sit in the structure for it to be logical from a user point of view. After 4 months, we ended up with a result that is light years ahead of the first attempts.
The ITSM team also proceeded with a visual transformation of Catalog to incorporate SSQ’s new brand identity. In the home page two sections were added to communicate IT information, Systems Availability and to post announcements. The announcements come from ServiceDesk and the Systems Availability information is pushed by our monitoring tools.
Enough talking! Make room for what we call “The Cube”.
Here is the Home Page
Systems Availability section:
CA Service Catalog
Offering definition with related offerings
Calendar and Dropdown
We also built a Web API that strips stopwords (unmeaningful words) from a user’s input. We used it in the search box on the homepage and we altered the catalog’s search box to use it.
The behavior is the same no matter where the search originates (Catalog or Homepage).
Without the API:
Resulting search is about anything as Catalog searches for anything that partially matches each word. Since “I” is almost in all offering titles, we get a lot of results:
With the API:
As you can see, the user’s input is kept in the GUI but only the meaningful words are sent as search parameters.
There you are. Feel free to ask questions or comment!