Confluence Cloud is an excellent enterprise collaboration platform. But every so often, its efficacy is bogged down by the less-than-satisfying navigation experience.
As an admin, you don’t want to have this problem plaguing your wiki because it doesn’t only disrupt the productivity of your users, but also weakens user adoption.
By making improvements to the navigation capabilities, you’ll not only improve the experience of your users, but also boost the usability of Confluence Cloud and transform it into a comprehensive team workspace.
With a team workspace, you can eliminate siloed processes, improve documentation, and unify communication efforts across teams.
But of course, to get there, you first need to deliver a greater navigation experience to your users. So, continue reading to understand some of the common navigation issues plaguing Confluence Cloud and what can you do to fix them.
Confluence Cloud Navigation Issues
Below are some of the common navigation issues that users face.
Difficulty Finding Pages That Accurately Match Search Queries
If your Confluence content is extensive, then chances are, your search results won’t be accurate or even match your search queries. When searching for a particular page, blog, or attachment on Confluence, you often end up with irrelevant results.
This is a common issue on Confluence and you can easily find other users highlighting the same problem on the Atlassian Community platform.
For example, the user below can’t seem to get results even for a specific word search.
Difficulty Finding Information across Wiki
When users find it hard to search for information on your wiki, it’s not only an issue of search capabilities but also Confluence’s native documentation setup.
You might not realize this, but when users create content, there’s no metadata to give content structure and context. So oftentimes, after content is created, it gets “lost” because there’s no data (e.g., keyword) anchored to it to make it searchable. Imagine if you can “tag” your content across your wiki–then you will be able to track it easily.
Trouble Navigating through Starred Pages
Users who frequent specific pages may have them starred to make them easier to revisit. But in reality, having a long list of starred pages with no segmentation still makes it hard for users to quickly find the page that they need.
For instance, they have to scroll all the way down just to find the page that they want. In the long run, this could frustrate and demotivate users. If they forget to star a page, that’s even worse as they have to go through multiple screens just to get to the page that they want.
Content Has Little to No Context
As mentioned before, when there’s no data that gives you information about your content, it will be harder for users to search for what they need on your wiki. Imagine a new user trying to find a product information page in a product catalog space.
What keyword must they use? Which page should they click on in the page tree list? As an admin, you’d want to deliver a wiki that’s highly navigable – especially for new users.
So what can you do to resolve these issues?
Delivering a Highly Navigable Experience on Confluence Cloud
Achieving effective navigation on your Confluence Cloud is easy to do – especially if you use the right tools.
It’s all about understanding where your issues stem from and nipping them in the bud. Since poor navigation is caused by wiki content being unsearchable and pages being hard to reach, then the solution would be to add metadata and content mapping capabilities to Confluence.
Two powerful solutions enable you to do this: Metadata for Confluence and SubSpace Navigation for Confluence.
Bringing Metadata to Your Wiki
Confluence’s native environment has a limited metadata configuration, which isn’t ideal.
Metadata is essentially data about your content; it reveals key information about the content on a page or in a space. If you only rely on the labeling system that native Confluence Cloud offers, your content will become less searchable as your wiki grows because there’s only one form of data assigned to each page.
Not to mention, users using labels tend to be inconsistent with the spelling and terms used, which further hinders trackability of content.
With Metadata for Confluence, you can add predefined data fields to each page so that there’s a consistent data structure across your wiki.
When you have metadata, you not only allow your content to be trackable to improve content searchability; you also deliver accurate search results to your users.
Adding Predefined Metadata
You can dedicate a set of predefined metadata fields to each space (or even to a page). If you have a product portfolio space then your metadata fields can be product type, asset type, vendor, location, language, or department – anything that could help give content structure and improve content management.
1.Go to “Space tools;” then, click “Metadata.” Click “Add Metadata Field” on the right to go to the configuration screen for metadata fields.
2. Here, enter a title, choose a field type, and key in a description for the field. The title is mandatory.
3. Once finalized, they are grouped to become a metadata set, and voila! No more unstructured content.
With the app, you can also give context to your content. This will allow users to easily locate the information they need. For instance, you can add context by creating a content directory for each space.
Below is an example of a product directory on a space’s homepage.
Anytime a user adds a new product page, it will be automatically displayed here!
Personalizing Users’ Navigation
To resolve the issues with the reachability of content and navigability of the wiki, you need to reduce the number of screens users have to go through to get to the spaces and pages they commonly use.
SubSpace Navigation for Confluence enables you to create custom, top-level menus to help teams find the content they need in just a single click.
You can arrange spaces, pages, blog posts, external links, folders, and CQL queries into a single central navigation main menu.
Moreover, you can even personalize these top-level menus based on specific users. So a marketing team user would have a menu consisting of product portfolios and campaign strategies, while a developer team user would have quick links to requirements and project pages.
Another great thing about the app is it allows you to display custom navigation within Confluence Cloud pages so users can easily switch to other pages.
Improve User Experience with the Right Tools
It pays to invest in capabilities that will not only elevate your users’ experience, but also make it easier for you to maintain and manage your wiki.
Learn more about improved navigation and how it plays into creating a team workspace by reading ‘The Ultimate Guide to Building a Confluence Cloud Team Workspace.’