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This is a guest post by Darryl Duke of Stepstone Technologies, an Atlassian Partner that creates a Confluence plugin called Zen Foundation that will completely transform the way your users view and interact with your enterprise wiki.

Solving the problem of adoption

Adoption, it’s perhaps the biggest challenge organizations face when rolling out a new collaboration tool such as Confluence. Whether reinforcing your brand, looking familiar to your users, removing that “temporary” look of a new technology, or just being plain fun, the look and feel of your wiki is an important first step. Equally important is how the experience unfolds as the user moves through the site. Consistency and familiar navigation elements enable users to stay oriented and engaged.

Zen Foundation from Stepstone Technologies makes customizing Confluence’s look and feel easy. You’ll be surprised at just how simple and fast it is to create a radical new look for your wiki. Just change a zip file containing graphics and edit a single properties file, and boom, you’re done.

Zen Foundation goes way beyond just color change, too. To demonstrate, Stepstone has one-upped Google with a seasonal look for Halloween. You really have to see it: http://www.stepstonetech.com/halloween

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Even the menus are bloody

Speaking of which, Zen isn’t just a way to make a pretty face. With built-in navigation menus, plus point-and-click design wizards, authors can customize the layout and what appears throughout a space, or on individual pages with ease.

In fact, the “hardest” part is creating that zip file. Stepstone calls it a “brand” and they say it’s way easier than writing CSS. Your graphic designer can do it, or Stepstone can build one for you on the cheap. To prove it, they’re making the Halloween brand available for download. So you can see what’s involved, or just use it to decorate your wiki for the holidays.

Whether you want to apply a corporate style to your intranet, a slick look and feel to jazz up your technical documentation or just want to have some fun, Zen Foundation is what you’ve been wishing for.

There’s more to come

Other areas where Zen helps out is in making it easy and safe for users to experiment and learn. This is another important step toward boosting user adoption, but that’s going to have to wait until a later post. I have to get my Halloween costume ready …

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