The role of a Confluence admin can be pretty demanding, but the work is integral as it ensures the usability of the platform. From setting up a new Confluence space to doing regular “wiki gardening,” you need to be on top of things to make sure that the right content is in the right place.
Understandably, admins’ priority also includes encouraging user adoption. According to Simpplr Research, 90% of intranets fail because of poor user experience, outdated content and irrelevant content. Confluence admins like yourself shouldn’t have to experience anything similar.
Users get more out of Confluence when there is clear structure, consistency, context, and navigability; the defining features of a well-managed Confluence. Continue reading to discover the hallmarks of effective Confluence management and how metadata management can get you there.
Well-Managed Confluence Is Key
What makes Confluence important for your organization in the first place? The answer can be anything that’s relevant to your organization’s business model, but the big idea here is to connect your team to institutional information and allow collaborative work in real-time.
To do so, your Confluence content management has to be top-notch. Here are the four features that your Confluence needs to improve accessibility to information, as well as the user experience:
- Clear Content Structure
A clear flow of information gives content a clear structure. On the homepage of a space, having a brief introduction to what the space is all about as well as quick links to content (i.e., pages and child pages) within that space is a good practice.
Structure also applies to how pages are organized in a space. The page tree feature should be used extensively to ensure that wikis are arranged according to the relevant categories or titles. This will make it easier for users to search for specific content.
- Consistent Data
Consistent use of metadata improves content discoverability and enables consistency throughout your wiki.
When users create new content (i.e., a new page), they should assign metadata values that have been set or predefined by the admin (AKA you). Manual data entry is error-prone and causes your wiki to be disorganized.
- Proper Context
Your Confluence content needs proper context – basically, an overview of critical information for specific pages. For instance, if a user only needs an overview of a company’s product portfolio, they shouldn’t have to go through a frustrating process of exploring every page product just for that piece of information. When users get the context of a page at a glance, it simplifies their work.
- Seamless Navigation
Ease of navigation enhances the user experience and usability of Confluence. Seamless navigation means users know where they are in the wiki and how to get where they want to be, whether through a page tree, labels, or even search results. It can be time-consuming for your users if they can’t find the information they are looking for.
Now that you have a bigger picture of the top features of a well-maintained Confluence, it’s time to see how they are achievable through metadata management.
Metadata Management Is the Answer
The standard Confluence environment has limited metadata configuration. Free-text metadata fields tend to hinder metadata management as users will end up using different terms and spellings. With an uncontrollable amount of (inconsistent) user-generated data, it’s difficult to manage institutional information.
Predefined Metadata for Structured and Consistent Confluence
Effective metadata management calls for trackable and structured metadata values. With a tool like Metadata for Confluence, space admins have the capability to set predefined values for metadata to eliminate error-prone, manual data entry.
Users can select the most appropriate metadata values when they create new pages. Examples of metadata fields could be product type, asset type, vendor, location, language, or department – anything that could help give content structure and enable you as the admin to improve content management.
Once this is done, a consistent structure can be maintained across the pages and spaces that will then improve wiki organization.
Using Metadata for Context-Rich Confluence
With predefined metadata fields, you can also establish a context-oriented filter. You can pull relevant information from a page and display it in a table format to allow for quick insights into the content.
It’s also worth mentioning that Metadata for Confluence includes macros that let users quickly generate overviews of wiki content, build knowledge bases, create personalized dashboards and more.
A true mark of Confluence usability is when users can easily and quickly get what they need. When you have a proper content structure, consistent data entry as well as insightful context, users can navigate Confluence easily.
Achieve More with Metadata Management
To have information about a page and its content like the title, creator, creation date and content type – basically, metadata – can significantly improve your content management capabilities.
If you can effectively manage your Confluence metadata, you are one step closer to building a robust content platform that is user-friendly and accessible.
As an admin, success doesn’t only mean that users feel more encouraged to use Confluence, it also means your job doesn’t constantly feel like a hassle anymore.
To learn more about Confluence metadata management, check out our eBook, Making Magic with Metadata, An Essential Spell Book for Every Confluence Wizard.