Increase usability, navigation and new users adoption rate within Confluence

This is the first of two guest posts by Jimmy Lundström from RefinedWiki, a Confluence plugin that provides a whole new interface which increase the usability of Confluence with improved navigation and with features where you can customize dashboards and space layouts with wiki markup. 

RefinedWikis first post focuses on how you, with enhanced usability and interface design, can organize content better, increase non-technical users adoption rate and take your first step to use Confluence as an intranet. Our second post will be a new product release for Confluence, so please stay tuned.  

First, I would like to thank Atlassian for being a great platform which gives possibilities for people like us in RefinedWiki to start an international business and at the same time being part of something that will shape the future enterprise 2.0 business area. 

Experiences from Confluence users lead to a new business 

RefinedWiki became a business after experiences of doing consultancy jobs for companies using Confluence. While working with Confluence customers we have noticed three common issues:

  • Organizing content can be hard, especially when it grows and when more departments gets involved with submitting content.
  • New users, mostly non-technical, have issues regarding the usability and navigation of Confluence.
  • With many different companies paying consultants to create a designed interface which also increase the usability of Confluence, it would be much cheaper if there was a plugin that solved most of the common features being asked for. 

With those issues in our mind we started with a mission to give Confluence a more designed interface and make it more user-friendly. To reach our mission we started to look at the user interface of other systems in different business areas.  

Organize spaces into categories

Instead of listing a lot of spaces on the dashboard, you can organize your spaces into different categories. Our customers appreciate this feature, for example managements can have their own category with content and spaces underneath and Human Resources can have their own category. This makes it easier both for the departments to put up right content at the right place and for the user who easier knows where to look while finding different content. 

You can also choose to set a specific color to a category and then all content underneath that category will be displayed with that color. Using color codes like this improves the navigation of Confluence.

Customize your dashboard and space layout with wiki markup

You can customize both the dashboard and a category dashboard with wiki markup to show the features you want for your organization. You can also customize your space layout and embed different macros into your right column, footer, page meta data, page top and at the page bottom.  

With a lot of different companies using Confluence this is a great way to customize your needs within your Confluence instance.

Implementing other features along the way 

While working with customers we have learned that they ask for small features, like viewing attachments without leaving a page or having a new personal space layout, and those are functions that we also have implemented in our product. We focus on a customer driven development and always appreciate feedback.

At last we have noticed that with the above described features our customers and potential customers have become more interested to implement Confluence as an intranet or as a bigger part of an existing intranet. That is something that we think is well suited for such a great product as Confluence.  

Stay tuned for our next blog post, where we will release a new product for Confluence. Thanks for taking your time.

See for yourself

To discover the product for yourself, please check out RefinedWikis short demonstration video, explore the product at refinedwiki.com, or see it live at RefinedWikis demowiki.

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