MSDN Using MSN to Build Customer Satisfaction

On April 18th, MSDN launched site-wide its first effort in improving the customer search experience by building a targeted UI that is powered by the MSN SOAP API.  This allowed us to offer our customers the following benefits:

·         Improved Performance

·         Content Relevance – Benefit from ever-improving MSN Search

·         Community Searches across MSDN blogs, Forums, and CodeZone Partner Sites

·         Customer Feedback opportunities through MSDN Search Blog, and MSN Search Feedback loop.

These features were enhanced by the fact that we built off the MSN Service.  The results have been outstanding! In the time since we have launched we have seen big improvements in customers’ responses to search as well as big advances in click throughs on the first page of the results.  You can view this new UI at MSDN.

The cool thing for MSDN is that because of the flexibility of MSN, we have been able to listen to the customers and build even more unique experiences in an effort to assist our customers.  (To understand the approach take a minute and watch this MSDN TV article).  As we examined future possible outcomes and implementations, we came up with the following UI that we would like to introduce for your consideration, our first iteration of these features.  You can see the search and play with it at 

In contrast to our released design, there are no tabs in our prototype. We removed the tabs because we heard from customers that they didn’t see them. But we also heard you wanted the content, so we combined the content into a set of queries we can send to the API and we then use the data returned to let you filter out the content you don’t want.  For example, if you are searching for a term like “ATLAS,” you can remove the blog sites from the results.  

Additionally, it is important to remember because we built on the MSN Search API, in any version you can modify your query with the MSN query language.  Here are some examples of how this helps MSDN queries:




All Terms

term1 AND term2
term1 & term2
term1 term2

Console AND WriteLine
Console & WriteLine
Console WriteLine

Any Terms

term1 OR term2
term1 | term2

Word OR Excel
Word | Excel


term1 -term2

FindWindow -CE


(term1 term2)

FindWindow AND (CE OR MFC)

Exact Phrase


“Provider Toolkit”



FindWindow prefer:MFC

So play, have fun, and let us know what you like and don’t like.  We are working on a few more features including; Narrow by Product, Narrow by Keyword, Text Suggestion, and more.  You can influence this process. If something is not working let us know the query you tried, and what is the nature of the topic you are looking for.  We appreciate your feedback and hope to hear from you soon. You can send me feedback at the MSDN Search blog.

—Jeremiah Andrick, Program Manager MSDN