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WorkBench is a community-based collaborative web platform designed for writing cybersecurity configuration specifications. The heart of the application is the communities, but the home page for each community was not serving users well.

User interviews revealed a few insights: the Recent Activity section was valuable but hard to parse, and there was a lack of understanding of the relationships between Benchmarks (the main standards document produced by communities) and their derivatives. Improving the hierarchy of the info in the Recent Activity section and reorganizing and displaying related communities into Subcommunities addressed these issues.


Discussions serve the primary purpose of facilitating conversations about best practice configuration settings, but also serve as a repository of knowledge that communities have poured insight into. However, users found this information hard to find.

One proposed solution is to denote certain Discussions as part of a "CIS Knowledge Base", essentially a tag that lets users filter searches to find critical information more quickly.


The addition of an upvote counter (green arrow) and critical info counter (blue 'i') encourages community engagement, but also promotes the question or comment with the highest rated critical info score to the "Top Rated Response" on discussions with the Knowledge Base tag, allowing for quick scanning on the page to locate the most important information.


One of the biggest complaints about WorkBench was the large amount of notifications users received with the default notification settings, an issue that  lead to frustration and important notifications going ignored or missed.

User interviews revealed the desire to quickly alter settings since interest in Benchmarks cycles in response to version releases of various products, and a request for a digest option to group chunks of notifications together into one email. Further research identified the information that users cared about seeing the most, and a redesign of our email templates focused attention on these points and minimized or eliminated others.

An improved system lead to greater acceptance of emails and less complaints of being overburdened with content.

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