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An update on Confluence Cloud customer feedback – January 2023

As we start a brand new year, I’d like to thank you again for your support and feedback and share another update on some of the exciting improvements we’ve released or are working on for Confluence in response to customers who take the time to share their feedback with us.

Usability and efficiency

 

”We have a space with articles for our customers. As we want to ensure the quality and correctness of each article we would like to review them in fixed time intervals. We are looking for some kind of automation rules to ensure that it actually happens.

 

In the past quarter, we’ve brought our powerful automation platform to Confluence Cloud Premium and Enterprise sites. Gone are the days of wasting time and energy completing repetitive tasks to manage content across your Confluence site.

Automation for Confluence allows site and space admins to create low-code/no-code automation rules to facilitate progress throughout the content lifecycle, keep content in spaces organized by standardizing the setup of pages and spaces, manage content and make it more searchable through labels, and keep content up to date by using reminders to review, edit or archive pages.

Users can also set up automation rules within their personal space for things like keeping track of tasks.

Learn more about automation and how to build automation rules or Join our Automation community group to learn from and connect with other Atlassian users leveraging Automation.

Notify about outdated content automation.png

Confluence users today are looking for sample content to be inspired by to create high-quality pages quickly and efficiently using existing content.

Now, if a page is created by a template, the template will be attributed at the top of the page next to the "created by" text. This improves the discoverability of popular templates, enabling users to easily reuse templates and quickly create their own pages. Simply hover over the "with a template" part of the byline, on a page that's been created with a template, to see the template name and a description, then open and use the template.

We’ve also introduced 10 new templates in Confluence in the last few months to add to the growing gallery of 100+ templates that have been used over half a million times by teams around the world. Our newest templates are designed to help you map out priorities, be prepared for change, promote democratic teamwork, and more.

 

Template – Prioritization Matrix.png

 

Lastly, some minor UI inconsistencies between the Recent dropdown in the navigation and Recent on the Home experience were addressed to bring the two experiences into alignment. There are a number of other usability improvements currently underway and we hope to be able to share more of these in the next quarter.

Using the Editor

 

”The smart links, or whatever you call them. The vast majority of the links I paste do not need to be fetched and re-rendered as a smart link. I'm pasting urls because I want URLs.”

 

The option to disable smart links for non-Atlassian products has been released. Thank you all for your valuable feedback and special thanks to those who participated in user testing sessions with us. This means all Confluence and Jira Software users can now either:

  • keep smart links as your default view, but add exceptions for the domains you want to insert as simple URLs instead (for example your dev/stage environments or third-party tools you use that you’d rather see the URL for), or

  • turn smart links off by default, but add exceptions for the domains you want to keep them for (for example Jira, Confluence, Google Drive or Figma).

You can manage your link preferences or access the settings page by clicking your avatar at the top right of your product, clicking ‘Manage account’ and then heading to the ‘Link preferences’ tab. Follow our step-by-step guide for more information.

While we're confident this solution will satisfy the needs of most users, we acknowledge that there's a need for a site-wide, admin-controlled setting as well. Follow our progress via Site admins can change the smart link default view for all users.

In other updates, the editing toolbar now includes indentation buttons, making indenting and outdenting content easier for those unfamiliar with the existing tab and shift + tab keyboard shortcuts. This has been a recurring pain point in feedback we hear from new Confluence users.

You can use the buttons to indent or outdent top-level paragraphs and headings, plus bullet, numbered and task lists. Learn more about indenting content in Confluence Cloud

 

Integrations and extensibility

 

“I love the sheer amount of integrations / macros Confluence offers, we can really integrate any tool that's out there.”

 

On 30 November, we completed the rollout of the ability to view and edit Confluence pages natively within a smart link and we’re working hard on more ways to improve integrations between Confluence and other Atlassian products based on feedback we hear from customers who feel we could be better at facilitating cross-product experiences and eliminating context switching.

Creating a Confluence page within another product such as Microsoft Teams just got a lot easier now that our embedded page component now supports templates.

Rather than having to switch context or start from scratch, you can now get a head start using one of our templates when creating a page natively within a partner product. This functionality is live for Microsoft Teams and will also be rolling out to Jira Service Management soon.

 

Creating a Confluence page in Microsoft Teams.gif

 

Navigation and search

 

“The Confluence search engine ignores special characters which are very important in an engineering wiki. Is there some kind of API or way to force actual string matches instead of just ignoring special characters?”

 

This past quarter we released support for special characters in search allowing you to easily find pages, blogs, and files that have special characters in the title.

We’ve also continually added improvements to our search ranking system, to ensure that the most relevant information is returned.

We know that sorting and filtering can be challenging in Confluence. We’ve spoken to dozens of you on how we might improve it, and with that feedback top of mind, the team is working on an improved filtering experience to help ensure you can more intuitively limit and refine your searches, and find faster. Look out for more updates soon.

 

Technical performance

 

”I find it quite frustrating that many apps/macros make the Confluence pages very slow, I feel there should be some improvement in the connection between Confluence & apps to prevent this from happening.”

 

Last quarter, we shared performance improvements for images, page tree, quick search and inline comments. We continue to invest in ensuring Confluence meets the performance needs of our customers and our latest area of focus has been extensions.

Extensions or macros make Confluence a power tool, but customer feedback highlighting slow loading (especially at scale) have helped shape the latest improvements:

  • 2x faster loading for Details macro (AKA page properties)

  • 2x faster loading for Expand macro

  • 2x faster loading for Excerpt macro

Learn more about our plans to continue to improve performance on our Cloud Roadmap.

Server rendered ADF based extensions.gif

 

Set up, configuration and administration

 

“Inviting users bypasses all of our approval processes. We need to have the ability to invite users turned off completely.”

 

Many customers tell us they rely on their internal user provisioning process in order to ensure the correct users get access to their Atlassian products, in the right way. This could be via Jira Service Management or other products such as Zendesk and ServiceNow.

We’re committed to helping customers to streamline their user provisioning process. So we’ve developed a way for org admins to turn off all user-to-user invitations and access requests in the admin.atlassian.com 'User access settings' area.

We’ll be rolling this out to all customers in the coming months, follow the Allow admins to disable user invitations ticket to find out more, including how you can opt into the beta.

 

User access settings.png

 

We've also made the difficult decision to pause the rollout of the new sharing experience. Your experience is of the utmost importance to us and we have a high bar for usability of critical features like sharing and permissions. We appreciate your understanding as we evaluate how we can bring the best experience to you. We’ll provide further updates on this Community article.

 

Thanks again for your ongoing engagement and enthusiasm as we continue our efforts to make Confluence Cloud better for all of our customers.

In addition to delivering new features, the Confluence engineering team is continuously working behind the scenes to fix bugs. We’re in the process of streamlining our bug backlog to help prioritize the most critical bugs based on their estimated impact. You can track the recent bugs we’ve fixed for Confluence on jira.atlassian.com

Watch this article to receive a notification when I share an update next quarter and follow our progress and plans for Confluence on our Cloud Roadmap.

– Genevieve

 

 

1 comment

Andy Gladstone Community Leader Jan 24, 2023

Thank you @Genevieve Sheehan for the authoritative update. This past quarter has been one of continuous improvement for Confluence Cloud and there is great momentum going into 2023.

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