December 1, 2018
Refined are counting the days until Christmas with our very own UX inspired advent calendar. Each day of advent we will add a useful tip for using Confluence and Jira Service Desk. By Christmas you will have 24 helpful tips in the bag.
Assign content hierarchy and use it.
The most important content to your users goes first, and so on. By displaying the most important content first, your users will remain engaged, and the information they are trying to access will reach them faster. This is an important UX tip for Confluence pages, spaces (and categories and sites if you use our apps). Similarly on Jira Service Desk this applies to the help center, customer portals and any knowledge base articles.
Automate personalized headings using text variables.
Make the text on a Confluence and Jira Service Desk site or category personalized by using Text Variables. A common example of this is on a Jira Service Desk help center home or a Confluence site home where you can add the message “Welcome $Username” so that the user once logged in, feels right at home. This feature is available in RefinedTheme apps for Confluence and Jira Service Desk Server as well as RefinedSites for Jira Service Desk Cloud and RefinedSpaces for Confluence Cloud.
Maintain content balance on page layouts.
When building portals, langing pages, confluence pages, spaces, categories and sites try to balance the content as seen in illustration below. An example of off-balance would be piling up a lot of content in the left hand column and very little in a right hand column.
Don’t be text heavy.
This goes for any Confluence page. Don’t just dump a whole lot of text. Break up the content, make use of the sections button to help structure the content, include headings, and add images to engage. If you really want to spice up your pages RefinedTheme for Confluence Server version 6.1 includes a new content layout macro to add navigation icons, images, layout, headings and other content options.
Use icons and images as links.
If you are adding a link from a page, make sure you consider using a navigation icon, navigation highlight or navigation content module. This is a super simple way to vastly improve the look and navigation from any landing page. These modules are available in all of our theme apps (both Server and Cloud) using the inbuilt layout editor.
Customize the space layout then save as template.
Customize the space navigation and layout to place important elements first. Then save your space layout as a template to keep things clean and consistent. An example could be saving a customized ‘team project’ space template and using the same template for all ‘team project’ spaces. This is possible with our app RefinedTheme for Confluence. Click here for more on space layouts.
Improve Confluence navigation with category organization.
Group Confluence spaces into categories to make it easy to navigate to a space in context. Categories sit in a drop down menu making access to spaces far more accessible. This feature is one of our most loved features in RefinedTheme for Confluence Server and also available in RefinedTheme for Jira Service Desk.
It’s possible to combine vanilla Confluence with themed Confluence.
Have both vanilla Confluence and themed Confluence in one. A common scenario for this could be when your IT team are used to the the classic Confluence look and feel but external customers, or other departments are struggling to adopt the platform. In this case you can keep vanilla Confluence on a site for the IT team, and theme additional sites for the external customers and other teams. The same option is available in Jira Service Desk. I.e., You can have a vanilla Jira Service Desk help center and additional themed sites and customer portals. We go into more detail on this here.
Define who can see what site, category, portals and content sections.
Use view permissions to display the content that matters to whom it matters to. Define which users see a site, category, and content sections on your page layouts and customer portals. View permissions is available in both Jira Service Desk Cloud and Server theme apps and RefinedTheme for Confluence Server.
Use CQL to personalize content.
Use CQL for RefinedTheme for Confluence and RefinedSpaces for Confluence Cloud modules including news, activity, search and pages to tailor the content to the user. Common examples of CQL include showing the user’s favorite pages (page module), fetching specific blog posts for a news feed, tailoring the search to include mentions, or users. We have a list of examples to give you some ideas.
Make the search stand out.
The search bar is often the first thing your users will go to to find answers so it’s important both that it is obvious and that the answers are there. All of our theme apps include a search highlight module to improve both the search results, to define the source of the search and the look and feel.