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How pretty pages boost project collaboration for teams

Fight TL-DR and improve engagement and retention

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They say beauty is only skin deep, but when it comes to project collaboration, looks matter. 

Still sending your team long emails or text-heavy documents to read before a meeting? Chances are, they’re quickly scanning them over or, worse yet, ignoring them all together. When you get into the meeting, meaningful communication gets put on hold while you walk everyone through what they should already know.

It’s commonly believed that people remember much of what they see and very little of what they read, which makes long, dense blocks of text the death of engagement and retention. You can’t effectively share information and knowledge if no one is reading your work. 

That’s why text alone won’t cut it, whether it’s in an email, document, or even a text message. You can hop on a call instead, but sometimes you just need it “on paper” – especially for async collaboration. When you need to put your thoughts in writing, the right presentation breaks up all that text with imagery, color, and white space. Making your pages gorgeous boosts engagement and comprehension, which energizes teams and spurs innovation. Putting in just a bit of effort with a collaboration platform can get you there, allowing you to create beautiful pages that your team will actually read. 

Making your pages gorgeous boosts engagement and comprehension, which energizes teams and spurs innovation.

There are plenty of collaboration platforms that let you build good-looking pages, but Confluence blends the capabilities of word processing and coding to take it a step further. To get started, type the / command to choose from a host of Macros to format your page, or use the top menu to scroll through all the various page enhancements. The latest additions include table visualizations, customized panels, and more. You can even go to the Marketplace to find integrations that let you bring in Mural templates, Figma illustrations, and other enhancements. The result is a page as pretty as a slide or website with minimal effort. 

Here are a few of our favorite options for creating beautiful Confluence pages that boost engagement and move project collaboration forward.

Take some space

Swiss typographer Jan Tschichold called white space “the lungs of a good design,” and in art, negative space combines with the subject itself to create a balanced composition. It may be empty, but white space is also critical!

Think of white space on your page as the room your words need to breathe, allowing you to get your point across without overwhelming your team with text. All of the same information is there; it’s simply a matter of formatting it to look less cluttered.

Using headers, line returns, and line rules is the most basic way to add negative space to your pages, but you can also rely on premade Confluence templates, which are formatted to keep pages looking light. Or create your own layout in a blank page with the / command to structure sections.

Then add columns and tables to keep things organized with plenty of white space around your words. And tables aren’t just for data. Use them to keep track of project status (use the /status macro!), tag team members, or add an integrated Jira ticket.

screenshot of a "meet the team" confluence page

It’s easy to make pages prettier in Confluence with simple elements including white space, columns, images, emojis, and SmartLinks. Learn how

Clear the clutter

Even surrounded by white space, text can still be overwhelming – like messy links or long descriptive paragraphs. Thankfully, Confluence offers clever features to help you hide the clutter while keeping every bit of information you need to get your point across.

The /expand macro lets you keep long paragraphs hidden until a user clicks to view expandable text. Now you can add all the detail you want without cluttering up the page. (Note that the text won’t collapse in Edit mode, but you can get a clear view of things with a preview before you publish.) 

Automatic Smartlinks, meanwhile, replace long, ugly HTML links with a title and an icon for a YouTube video, a Google doc, another Confluence page, or pretty much anything else you can imagine. And you can choose to show what’s embedded instead of just the link, if you want that video right on the page

Mix up your text

While we love whitespace, a page that’s all black-and-white seems very dull when you have technicolor at your disposal. Not only do a variety of colors and font sizes add visual interest; they help break up text and call attention to important information. 

Using the top-bar edit menu, select from various header types to choose your font size and create titles and subtitles that keep content organized. Plus, a whole host of text colors lets you express yourself beautifully.

A panel with a background color is your best bet for highlighting the text that matters most. Choose one of the five standard panel types, each with its own color and icon, for important information, notes, errors, successes, or warnings. New customizable panels let you mix and match background colors and icons, remove the icon altogether, and nest different panels.

screen shot of meet less initiative confluence page

More tips for pretty pages: a blue info box, big image, emoji, and using headers in large font make the page delicious to read and easier to digest.

Get graphic

An image really is worth 1,000 words, so embed one in your page to kickstart engagement. Upload or drag and drop an image into your header to set the tone for your page, or add one to the body of your text to show rather than tell.

Including imagery also allows you to turn otherwise daunting data into charts and infographics. The new table visualization macro lets you quickly turn a table of numbers into meaningful insights with customizable pie, bar, and line charts. 

The ability to add multiple charts to a single page means you can use Confluence to share top-level yet actionable views of your data. Use it to visualize survey data, share financial reports, or create dashboard-style pages to monitor, track, and report on work. Try a two-column layout to share text and images side-by-side.

Show some emotion

Sometimes words can’t express what you want to say quite like an exasperated face palm or a giant eye roll. That’s why Confluence lets you insert a full array of emojis into your pages. Use them as a way to express your true feelings and communicate with a (literal) wink so that project collaboration feels as natural as a text between friends – just way more productive. 

You can even add a GIF to convey a feeling in an instant and up the fun factor. It’s quick and easy for your team to express approval or share a laugh, making project collaboration feel like a lot less work. After all, not all business communication needs to feel formal and stilted, and when your team feels like a team, even in async, engagement soars.

Smart never looked so good

Confluence has loads of options to get your page looking its best, but let’s not forget that the goal is better project collaboration. The right layout – full of color, imagery, and emotion – not only helps you to express yourself; it engages your teammates so they can retain more information and get to innovating.

Who said your work couldn’t be smart and pretty?

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