Lithys 2017: Alteryx - Digital Design Excellence

Lithys 2017: Alteryx - Digital Design Excellence


Our community design goal is this: Craft a thoughtful, top-tier experience with equal parts form and function that inspires ingenuity.



Alteryx logo.pngCompany: Alteryx  

Entry Submitted by: Brian Oblinger (VP, Community & Support), Tara McCoy (Sr. Programs Manager, Community Content), Julie Hamel (Sr. Community Manager)

Community: Alteryx Community

Lithy Category: Digital Design Excellence


Alteryx is a leader in self-service data analytics. Alteryx Analytics provides analysts with the unique ability to easily prep, blend and analyze all of their data using a repeatable workflow, then deploy and share analytics at scale for deeper insights in hours, not weeks.


Our community design goal is this: Craft a thoughtful, top-tier experience with equal parts form and function that inspires ingenuity.


To deliver on that lofty goal, we’re blending decades of in-house community design experience with the heart, soul, and personality of our community. This has yielded experiences that are beautiful and uniquely Alteryx.


It’s how it looks and how it works.


As students of community design, we set out to solve a number of common challenges around site context and controls, search, and navigation. We also considered how users of Alteryx Designer may interpret the user interface and set forth with a plan to create something for them that was fresh, yet familiar. The result is a design that gives easy access to the important things without additional cognitive load. Navigation and search are there when you need them, and fade into the periphery when you don’t. It is a balanced approach that compliments muscle memories they already have.


It is also important to us that users have both access and a consistent experience across devices and screen sizes. Lithium’s responsive platform gave us the ability to bring the same focus on usability and detail to tablets and smartphones that our users are accustomed to on the desktop.




The Alteryx brand is heavily embedded in our community design ethos thanks to Tara McCoy. Tara has been at Alteryx pretty much forever. She ensures we remain true to the Alteryx spirit, voice, and visual language. To that end, the community carries many of the same visual characteristics that our customers know and love from our products, which ensures a cohesive experience throughout. Heart matters.




We’re also moving beyond the web by integrating community directly into our products. What if we could bring community directly into the environment in which our customers live every day? We took our first steps toward that future with the new Global Search feature in version 11.0 of Alteryx Designer in February 2017. Users can search community content directly inside the product.


Integrating Alteryx Community into Designer via Global Search


Big leaps forward followed by incremental optimization.


Here’s what the community looked like in 2015 prior to migrating to Lithium:



We really wanted to deliver a fully-responsive design from day one, but decided to instead focus our efforts on creating the best possible desktop experience knowing that we would circle back. We launched v2.0 on September 3, 2015. All widgets were developed for launch and thereafter were responsive so that they would be ready when we were to move to responsive. This was a fantastic first leap, but we weren’t about to stop there.




In the Summer of 2016, we partnered with Lithium’s Professional Services team, Glowing Blue, and Venk S. to design, develop, and deliver our responsive community (divide and conquer, then unite to deliver!). We put ourselves in our customers’ shoes and asked what the desired experience would be and leveraged superusers and associates to review mockups and provide feedback. It was an inclusive process that helped us hone into what mattered most.


After a lengthy and thorough design process, we gathered in our Tech Center in Broomfield, CO on December 14th, 2016 to launch our new responsive design.




We keep the community up-to-date with regular releases that incorporate new features and feedback from our customers. This is enabled by Lithium’s monthly upgrade cycle and tools like Studio that allow us to be agile in our development efforts. We’ve been extremely aggressive about rolling out the latest and greatest to maintain the most complete community possible.


We wanted to make it easier to search and navigate, find what a solution, and get back to work. The new design and a rapidly-growing community are posting some impressive results in those directions:


  • 2x increase YoY of community searches
  • 3.5x growth YoY of views of solution-based community content
  • 22% decrease YoY of pages per session


We also receive plenty of feedback from our users via Value Analytics surveys. They love the new design!


Win or lose, I am so proud of the team and what they've been able to accomplish. I'm so fortunate to come to work every day and work with people of such high caliber. It's truly an honor to be part of it all. Great job, everyone!