This one came up the other day when I was doing some work on the Self-Service Portal with a client. We were creating Service Categories and Service Templates as part of the main ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus Service Catalogue which bore no relation to IT e.g. booking travel, hotels, taxis and requests for catering and the like. 

Now I followed the usual exercise of using meaningful terms for the new Service Categories we were creating, such as Travel, Hospitality etc and ensure the template names were also descriptive, such as Book Catering for External Guests. However, we really wanted to ensure that users found it as easy as possible to navigate the options in the Service Catalogue.

Now when you define a Service Category you choose to create either a ‘Business Service Category’ or an ‘IT Service Category’. For this scenario we were defining a ‘Business Service Category’, it just helps with the CMDB further down the line:

As part of the Service Category creation there is also the option to complete an additional entry field of ‘Description’:

If you complete this field with something meaningful to the user it will appear as a pop-up balloon when a user ‘wands over’ the Service Category title with their mouse pointer further assisting them with their choice:


As shown the other element that has a great deal of resonance with the user is the icon displayed in the Service Catalogue against the Service Category, a picture is worth a thousand words after all! Now the icon set that is provided in ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus by default is very IT centric and not much use in this scenario:

So where did the aeroplane icon come from? Simply by uploading an alternative icon graphic. To do this you will need to capture and generate a 64 pixel by 64 pixel graphic in JPEG, GIF or PNG formats. Most of us have access to a paint application in some form or other so this shouldn’t be difficult to do. Hence the aeroplane icon seen above.

By the way if you want to get clever and make the icons look transparent in the Service Catalogue portal (as seen in the example) you’ll need to set the default background colour of your icon to the same as that used by the Service Portal:

R:235, G:248, B:255

Finally you’ll also find you have a Description field that can be defined for each Template you define.

This allows you to further guide the user as to which is the correct template to choose if the title of the template is not conclusive enough:

Ideally we are trying to create a single catalogue for all the service requests of an organisation, not just those of the IT department. I hope the above has given you some ideals as to how you might achieve this in the ManageEngine Plus ServiceDesk Plus Service Catalogue structure.  

Don’t forget you’ve also got the option to hide and display any template in the structure from technician groups and user groups alike.


This article is relevant to:
Service Desk

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