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How to create documentation in Confluence: 6-step guide

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Looking for a tool to create technical documentation that is clear, user-friendly, and interactive? Look no further than Confluence! Whether it's used as a company wiki, department hub, or co-working space to facilitate remote work, Confluence's adaptability and customisation potential make it an ideal choice. 

But what about external use cases? Confluence isn't just for internal use: in fact, using Confluence for your external documentation can improve customer satisfaction, influence purchase decisions, and ultimately benefit your business.

 

What is documentation, and why does it matter? 

The term "documentation" encompasses a range of information that is neatly organised into documents. Good documentation goes beyond being up-to-date, consistent, and comprehensive. It should also be easy to navigate and user-friendly, enhancing the overall customer experience.

Technical documentation has a huge impact on the overall customer experience. It has the power to sway purchase decisions, influence renewal rates, and improve customer satisfaction, particularly among younger generations. Research by SDL found that 33% of millennials seek out technical documentation and a staggering 72% state that product information affects how they perceive a product. With the rise of the millennial customer, getting your documentation right is more important than ever. 

So, how can you create outstanding documentation in Confluence? Follow these six steps to success:

 

Step 1: Set up the framework

If you already use Confluence, creating a new space for documentation is simple. Just go to the Spaces dropdown menu in Confluence, click on "Create space," and select Documentation on the next screen.

Documentation-1.gif

Customise your space by adding a name, choosing an icon, and setting permissions.

 

Step 2: Adjust your space permissions

You'll probably want to build out new pages gradually, often with the help of other team members and stakeholders. We recommend keeping these pages hidden if they're not yet finished or if they contain comments. This applies to external users and internal team members who aren't contributing to these pages.

To maintain control over who can access your page, you can restrict permissions the moment you've created a new page. Limit access to draft content or share a public page purely with internal staff until it's ready for public access - it’s your choice. When you want to gather feedback from reviewers, be sure to update the restrictions.

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πŸ”§ Make it easier with this app!

Comala Document Management simplifies the documentation sign-off process. It’s a great way to add review and approval workflows for content publication in Confluence.

 

Step 3: Make your pages neat and easy to navigate

To improve the user journey, it's important to avoid overwhelming clutter on your pages. 

Break up large chunks of text into smaller, easily digestible sections for better readability, and make sure there's a clear hierarchy through your overall documentation. Avoid orphaned pages and ensure there are clear links between relevant sections.

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πŸ”§ Make it easier with this app!

Tabs and Numbered Headings (included with Content Formatting Macros for Confluence) are designed to organise relevant sections of text, helping your pages stay clean and tidy. When you've got large chunks of information, use these macros to help your users digest it at their own pace.

Screenshot 2023-05-31 at 07.59.33.png

You can further reduce text clutter using macros such as Footnotes and Tooltips (also included with Content Formatting Macros for Confluence). These macros provide discreet ways to include extra information on your page that users can access whenever they need.

Step 4: Make your content more engaging

Technical documentation doesn't have to be boring. In fact, it's good practice to improve user understanding with up-to-date screenshots, GIFs, and video walk-throughs of your product in action. Don't forget to use text annotations to highlight key features and steps for your users.

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πŸ”§ Make it easier with this app!

With Content Formatting Macros for Confluence, you can go beyond the limitations of out-of-the-box Confluence to make your pages engaging and user-friendly. Add attention-grabbing buttons and visual cards, plus much more, to create an interactive user experience.

Screenshot 2023-05-31 at 07.56.48.png

  

Step 5: Make your Confluence pages more interactive and seek out user feedback

UX designers understand that good websites are engaging and interactive. Your documentation should be no different!

By adding dedicated forms to your pages, you can capture valuable user feedback to improve your products (and your documentation, too!).

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πŸ”§ Make it easier with this app! 

Forms for Confluence makes it easy to capture feedback. With Forms for Confluence, you can run surveys, help users share their thoughts, or even ask for new feature requests.


Step 6: Share your Confluence documentation

Ready to make your documentation public? Use a macro like Scroll Viewport to share directly on the web, letting end users view your documentation as a stylised website without compromising the interface of your Confluence space.

Okay, you're ready to go! πŸŽ‰ 


What are your top tips for documentation success in Confluence? Comment your thoughts below! πŸ‘‡

2 comments

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Fabricio Valle August 8, 2023

1-I would like to know if the external public needs to register with Atlassian to access our public documentation.

2-Is anyone who accesses our documentation considered a user and included in the calculation of the 10 free users?

Like β€’ Roger Hsu likes this
Zoriana Bogutska_Adaptavist_
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
March 4, 2024

@Fabricio Valle 

1. If you have a paid version of Confluence, no. You need to make your spaces open for anonymous users to view

2. no, if you have a paid version.

More you read hereScreenshot 2024-03-04 at 18.06.28.png

 

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