Tech Doc Navigation

Unanswered Question
Dec 11th, 2008
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Hi,


There's a navigation issue that I frequently run into that I believe could use some work, as follows.


Say you search for some documentation, and follow the link to (for example) a particular command reference document. I almost always find myself wanting to read another document in the series - maybe just the index, or maybe the configuration guide instead. However, there's no way of navigating to the other docs - you need to exit and run the search again, hoping that you'll still be able to find the right series. Every time you want another doc you need to search again.


Would it be possible to have a navigation menu for all the docs in that series after navigating to the doc?


E.g. If I want to configure "Call Home" on a 6500 running 12.2SXH then a search turns up this page:


http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/switches/lan/catalyst6500/ios/12.2SX/configuration/guide/callhome.html


Now I want the command reference - how do I get there without running a new search?


Andrew.


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Overall Rating: 5 (3 ratings)
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mgoon Tue, 12/16/2008 - 22:45
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Hi Andrew,


You have raised a very pertinent and important point in our documentation book window design. We understand your point - in wanting to see, for example, a side navigation panel displaying a list of all related documents or all documents in a series. Having a side navigation panel would allow you greater flexibility to search for a related document without exiting your current window. Such a capability has been in our pipeline and we are exploring ways to improve documentation navigation. In the absence of the navigation feature you suggested, we have a couple of workarounds that you might find helpful.


Our standard practice is to include a "Related Documents" or " Additional References" section either in the Preface or in each chapter of each software configuration guide. These sections typically list related docs, standards, and MIBs, and should be hot linked to a book title or include a URL. You might find the reference you're looking for in the "Related Documents" or " Additional References" sections without having to run a new search. The configuration guides should each have a link to the related command reference, and vice-versa.


For example, in the the document you pointed out, the Cat6500 Configuration Guide, there is a hot link in the Note to the Cisco IOS Master Command List, Release 12.2SX, where you can search for any command alphabetically. The introductory paragraph of the Cisco IOS Master Command List, includes a link to the Command Lookup tool ( http://tools.cisco.com/Support/CLILookup). You can also reach the Command Lookup Tool from the Product Support Page (http://www.cisco.com/en/US/support/index.html) under "Frequently Used Resources."

We appreciate your idea and post and will ensure that your suggestions reach the right team so that appropriate actions may be taken. Thank you from the Documentation Team.

andrew.burns Wed, 12/17/2008 - 05:18
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Hi,


Thanks for the feedback - it's nice to know that it's been seen by the right team!


regards,

Andrew.


Sushil Kumar Katre Sun, 12/28/2008 - 20:28
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Hi,


I completely agree with Andrew's point (+5).


Just to add, to the navigation pane option which is there in most of the documents, apart from these configuration/installation guides, it will be nice to have an expandable navigation pane.


For Example If I am on the following page -

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/voicesw/ps556/index.html


And want to go to Communications Manager Express, using an expandable tab for "Voice and Unified Communications" one can easily navigate to the required product.


This will be good to have kind of feature.


-> Sushil

Linda Waterhouse Wed, 01/07/2009 - 12:47
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Hi Sushil,


Making the left-hand nav items expandable, maybe similar to expanding a folder in Windows, is an issue that transcends tech docs web pages. The appearance of the left-hand nav and really the whole “frame” around Cisco web pages is part of an overall Cisco.com web page design. I am assuming that there was a decision not to make the left-hand nav items expandable, but I don't have details.


However, you make a good point and the best way to provide feedback about Cisco.com web pages is to click the feedback link at the very bottom left of a Cisco.com page. On the example page URL you provided, you should see


Contacts | Feedback | Help | Site Map


© 1992-2008 Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. Terms & Conditions | Privacy Statement | Cookie Policy | Trademarks of Cisco Systems, Inc.


Click the Feedback link to enter your request that left-hand nav items be expandable. I have sent feedback in the past, so I know that people do actually review it and take customer feedback seriously.


Linda


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