As mentioned a couple days ago in this blog, lately we’ve heard comments from our customers about the need to improve our resource documentation, especially around our ever-growing list of supported data sources. We are pleased to say we are in the midst of a complete documentation wiki overhaul to help better serve our customers.
Goals of the New Documentation Wiki
Last quarter, we sat down and evaluated how we could make our documentation wiki better. The main items we came up with were:
- Devising a more intuitive structure. Our original documentation was based on the hard copy files that we used to ship with our software, and we basically copied that structure over when we created the wiki. We aimed to overhaul the structure to make it easier to find the articles you need, even when you may not know they exist!
- Reducing duplicate content. Over time, as various team members added articles on a variety of topics, we ended up with overlapping content. We wanted to consolidate articles to make them easier to browse, search and understand.
- Implementing new wiki features. We use the MindTouch platform for our documentation, and we proposed upgrading to the latest version so that customers can take advantage of features such as voting on articles. This would also allow us to update the look and feel of the wiki so it would become more modern.
Improvements So Far
We’re about half-way through the project, and the new interface looks like this:
We’ve finished Stage 1 of the project: putting a new skeleton structure into place. This new foundation is key to making the wiki valuable and will allow us to add articles that customers can find easily.
One of the main differences you will see from the prior structure is that the updated wiki is divided into two main sections, New Users and Returning Users. If you’re new to the wiki or to our products, we recommend you start with the New Users section. This will give you a high-level look at how to use both the wiki and AutoTag/Engine, and it will then guide you to the bulk of the articles in the Returning Users section.
We’ve begun Stage 2: populating the wiki with new articles. We began by taking nearly 100 of the most popular articles from the old wiki and rewriting/updating them, as well as creating a handful of new ones. All the old articles are still available through this new interface, but we will continue to update and copy them over to the new wiki.
Still to Come
The big push right now is to continue updating and creating articles, but there are two other pieces to this project that we will tackle in Stage 3:
- Improving the Search function. Searching in this platform is based on tags. After the article base is more fully populated, we will review the article tags to ensure that the search function is as useful as possible.
- Building the user forums. The “Join the Discussion” button on the wiki home page will take you to our user forums. One of our goals this quarter is to get that forum rolling.
Have a question or comment? Please let me know in the comments section below, and be sure to head on over to check out the new documentation wiki.
Author: Beth Billington
Beth enjoys using her writing and graphic design background for writing easy-to-follow help content. She loves learning – whether at work or at home – and spends her free time hiking, doing landscape photography, playing music, baking and pursuing all kinds of hand crafts.
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