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An update on Confluence Cloud customer feedback – June 2022

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28 September 2022: Thanks for your interest in helping us shape and improve Confluence. There's a new Update on Confluence Cloud customer feedback – September 2022 now available, so this older article may no longer be actively monitored.

 

Hi everyone,

We’re always looking at how to improve Confluence and customer feedback plays an important role in making sure we're investing in the areas that will bring the most value to the most customers. In this update, I’ll share some of the improvements we have planned or recently delivered to address some of the key feedback themes we hear from customers.

 

Usability and efficiency

 

”The ease with which I can create a new page, and give meaning to that page via the structure of my page tree. Super easy to navigate, and extremely performant. Our confluence instance is the envy of the rest of the company.”

 

We’re always looking at new ways to improve Confluence by making it more efficient and easier to use. Whether you’re writing up a new business strategy or organizing a team retro, there are now over 70 templates to choose from to get your page started. You can preview the Templates in our gallery from the top navigation bar or within the editor itself and find the template you’re looking for by filtering by category, sorting by top-recommended templates, or even using the search bar.

You also have the option to create your very own custom templates and we’ve also recently added image support to the template editor. We're adding more role-based templates to the gallery, allowing full-width in the template editor, and there will be more enhancements to share soon. Check out the latest and greatest templates from Confluence Cloud.

We understand that without the ability to automate tedious processes, it can feel more difficult to manage content at scale. We’re making good progress on delivering the ability to automate actions, so you can efficiently manage your knowledge base and ensure you’re always up to date. Automation for Confluence is currently running in a closed Early Access Program for our Premium customers. You can find out more about Automation in Introducing Automation for Confluence.

If you regularly work on long Confluence pages, it just got easier with the release of quick edit, which automatically takes you to the same spot you were viewing, when you enter edit mode on the page.

This has been a prominent ask from Confluence Cloud customers and appreciate all the feedback. Quick edit is currently rolling out, so if you don’t see it on your Confluence Cloud instance today, it should come to your site soon.

The question of whether links should open in a new tab or in the same tab by default remains divided in the customer feedback we hear. You’ll find that some products will open links in a new tab, and the rest will open in the same tab.

In most scenarios, we believe that opening a link in the same tab by default is the right choice as it still allows for users to choose to open links in a new tab easily if they want to (cmd/ctrl + click or right-click + ‘open in a new tab’). That said, there are a handful of experiences in our products where you’ll find ‘open in a new tab’ has been deliberately applied as the default where that behavior makes more sense. Even for those experiences, nothing is completely set in stone and the more feedback we receive the better our decisions will be.

Lastly, what if you could remove the inefficiency of needing to recreate your Confluence page as a separate presentation to share with others? Last month, we started rolling out Presenter Mode, a new way to share your work with others, free of distractions, without leaving Confluence. Learn more about Presenter Mode or watch our Work Differently, Together keynote from our Team '22 conference for a broader understanding of where it fits in the context of our product vision.

 

Using the Editor

 

”Page width is too narrow, especially when editing large tables. I understand that mobile is important, but not at the detriment to the desktop experience. Some pages and tables are meant to be desktop only. Creating warnings and info blocks within bulleted lists would be valuable when writing instructions and guides.”

 

We know from our customers that tables are an important form of gathering information on a page and in Confluence today, the limited table widths can make for a limited experience in creating, editing and presenting tables. In addition, we hear from customers about unpredictable horizontal scrolling that occurs in tables which further stops tables from being a powerful way of organizing content on a page.

We’re actively working on a better experience to resize tables in Confluence and look forward to enabling customers with tables you can resize for your needs. While we’re working on addressing how you can better adjust your table width, the workaround we share is to add a ‘Layout’ section to your page and then add a table to the Layout columns as a way to create smaller tables than before.

You can stay up to date on any changes to resizing tables in Confluence and any new features will also be announced here in Community, so stay tuned!

Panels are a popular feature that enables you to highlight important pieces of information on a Confluence page. We know that many of you have been limited by the lack of customization for panels, which is why we were happy to let you know that Panels are now customizable with a variety of colors and emojis, so you can easily create pages that your audience can skim and retain in seconds. Learn more about Customizable panels

We hear a mix of feedback from customers who want a better experience re-sizing and manipulating images, adding and referencing attachments and collaborating on Media with sharing, commenting, and reactions.

Recently, our focus has been on improving the scale, performance and reliability of Media. We’ve made huge strides in reliability when uploading or previewing a file and viewing a file on a page and can now support much larger Cloud instances.

There have been huge efforts to reduce Media’s bundle size, to contribute to a much faster experience in Cloud and now we plan to start addressing features related to manipulation, capture and collaboration on Media. We’ve also just released Confluence Reactions to offer a more expressive and lightweight way to engage with your team and collaborate on content.

We’ll continue to improve reliability, performance and scale, along with the features needed to ensure Enterprise customers know their compliance needs are met. There’s more detail in New year, better performance in cloud and we’ll continue to provide regular updates in Community and on our Cloud Roadmap

 

Representing work

 

”I find it infuriating that everything is done so manually. I despise that I can't edit pages in bulk, and that every page has to have a separate name even when they're nested. Trying to add/delete/edit multiple pages at a time, or archive them, is a nightmare.”

 

For Confluence users looking to present data dynamically from your tables as pie, bar and line charts without leaving Confluence – say hello to Table Visualization. Previously, the process of creating charts or graphs outside Confluence, then adding them to your page only to have a value change and have to repeat the process was painful and inefficient.

By bringing visual storytelling capabilities to Confluence, you can now go from analysis to presentation in just a few clicks. Table Visualization brings your data to life with interactive charts, so everyone can quickly glean the biggest takeaways.

We understand from customer feedback related to deleting or archiving work, that when pages become outdated, it makes it difficult to be confident that the content on your Confluence site is accurate. Some of you shared that without the ability to automate processes around page status, it can make it difficult to manage content at scale.

As I mentioned, there’s work underway to introduce Automation for Confluence and offer the ability to set automation rules to complete a variety of repetitive tasks and help you keep your content tidy and up to date. We’re also creating out-of-the-box automation templates for some of the most common use cases.

We’re also excited to bring the ability to assign page statuses to Confluence Cloud. Assigning a page status helps set expectations for people viewing your pages and allows for more confidence in content creation, without needing to lock down in-progress pages. Page status is currently rolling out, so it should come to your site soon if you don’t see it on your Confluence Cloud instance today.

 

Navigation and search

 

”Finding pages can be difficult; both from the main search prompt and when trying to link to another page, some pages don't show up even when you typed their titles perfectly.”

 

In response to customer expectations that Confluence search could be faster and easier to use, we’ve updated search to retain your query and selected filters to make it easier to continue a search or reformulate the query. Search also now loads faster, so users can start typing their search query sooner before the full page has loaded.

We’re continuing to improve the quality of search results each quarter. This quarter, we updated search to consider how recently pages were viewed, to make it easier for users to get back to pages they frequent. We plan to continue investing in the quality of search results and this will remain a major priority for the team moving forward.

We’ve also introduced page breadcrumbs to advanced search to provide additional context by revealing the hierarchy each page sits within and make it easier to find your content.

Some customers have requested more flexible sorting and filtering controls, such as sorting results by date, to make it easier to find the pages you’re looking for. Improving sorting and filtering is on our roadmap, but unfortunately not in the next few months. Instead, we’re focused on improving the quality of search results and some of the rough edges in the search user experience.

To help you quickly get back to your recent work, catch up on any relevant activity and discover what’s happening around you, we improved Confluence Home. Find and resume your work faster from the Pick up where you left off section and access the new Following and updated Popular feeds. Click on ‘Home’ in the top navigation of Confluence Cloud to give it a try or read Say hello to the new Confluence Home for more detail.

Discovering content just got easier with related pages, a new feature that uses smarts to help surface suggestions for further reading. This helps you gain context on collaborative work faster, and quickly discover relevant articles in a knowledge base, even when the pages aren't linked or organized together. Related pages is currently rolling out, so it should come to your site soon if you don’t see it on your Confluence Cloud instance today.

Last, but not least for Confluence mobile users, in addition to the navigable breadcrumbs, re-vamped page tree and contextual create enhancements we released earlier in the year, you can now also quickly jump to different sections of a page using the new Page Outline feature. Designed to make it quicker and easier to consume information effectively on the go, you can learn more in Introducing Page Outline, the new mobile page navigation tool.

 

Set up, configuration and administration

 

Would love to have a more immediately intuitive permissions schema so it's easier to create groups of users & permit them to do specific things in spaces or across all spaces.”

 

Some customers tell us they find it hard to understand the outcomes tied to permissions settings, resulting in either unintended restrictions or over-sharing.

We hear you and are making good progress on a combined share and restrictions functionality that allows users to grant permissions to and notify others of content in a single flow. For more details on the new share functionality, check out the New page sharing experience, coming soon to Confluence Cloud.

We're committed to making the experience of sharing and setting the right access easier and more intuitive for users. This will continue to be a high priority for us and we’ll provide updates through Community and our Cloud Roadmap.

We also understand that without more visibility on a user’s access across all products, it can make it difficult to understand exactly what a user has access to and how different groups affect that users access.

The recently released Organization-level user and group administration means customers can now have a single location across Confluence, Jira Software, and Jira Service Management to manage user access. We’re also one step closer to centralizing all user access information, not just for our core products. For more detail on how we’ve simplified admin screens, read User management for cloud admins just got easier.

Continued investment in granular admin roles, centralizing permissions and simplifying administration will be a major priority for the Cloud Administration team moving forward. You can find out more about our plans for granular admin roles and centralized permissions view via our Cloud Roadmap for Administration and Community articles.

 

Integrations and extensibility

 

”It's frustrating how some plugins for confluence server and others for confluence cloud. A more unified system would be nice. I would also like to see more of the common features be Atlassian provided, so I would have confidence in support. PlantUML plugin would be nice.”

 

Joint users of Confluence and Microsoft products tell us they want a more integrated way of working. While our existing integration between Confluence and Microsoft Teams enabled users to natively attach and view a Confluence page in Teams, a key pain point was the inability to edit or create a new page. This led to context switching and inefficiencies as users moved back and forth between Confluence and Microsoft Teams.

In May, we delivered an improved integration between Confluence and Microsoft Teams which allows users to create, view, edit and delete Confluence pages without having to leave MS Teams, so now they can start their work right where they are. Learn more about how to use Microsoft Teams and Confluence together.

We’ll continue to improve the Confluence Cloud for Microsoft Teams app in coming months.

We’ve also upgraded the Excel Macro, making it easier to view embedded Excel files in Confluence. We prioritized this work based on customer feedback, so the Excel Macro now displays content more similarly to how Excel works - tabs of sheets, instead of a PDF. In the new experience, the file is displayed as a spreadsheet with tabs and you can navigate the embedded Excel file in a Confluence page. See it in action.

Based on customer feedback, we know how important it is for Atlassian products to work seamlessly with each other. We’ve also heard that some of the integrations between Confluence and other Atlassian products like Jira Software, Trello, and Jira Service Management, at times fall short of expectations for their performance and ease of use.

We're always improving and updating Confluence and our other cloud products. In the coming year, we're planning on improving the Jira Issue Macro and continuing to prioritize fixing bugs. To see the latest changes, take a look at our Cloud Roadmap.

Other customers requested more flexibility on app pricing, so they can customize Confluence and their other Atlassian products according to their needs.

In addition to the recently released FREE price point for 1-10 users on Atlassian Marketplace, we’ve launched new pricing tiers and also reduced the price multiple from $.05 to $.01, so partners can get more granular with pricing for larger companies.

For more information on what we have planned visit the Cloud Roadmap or visit the Atlassian Marketplace to find out which apps offer a FREE version for teams of up to 10 users. It’s almost 900 cloud apps and counting.

 

Technical performance

 

”I like the design and ease of use but it does not load quickly enough in my opinion.”

 

Lastly, we understand how important it is to meet customer expectations for how Confluence should perform and enable teams to work effectively and efficiently at scale. This feedback drives our continued investment in these areas.

We’ve recently released several performance improvements for quick search, page tree and inline comments that mean you can now find and update Confluence pages even faster.

The page tree allows you to navigate pages within a space. It’s now 3 x faster and ready to use once you see it (no more loading states). Quick Search is now 4x faster and you can now use the search dialog without any delay. Once you’ve added input, enter takes you to the advanced search page immediately.
Yellow highlights for inline comments are also now visible and interactive 4 x faster than before.

There are several more features that we intend to make immediately interactive, including macros, Smartlinks, page comments, and more.

We continue to explore the best ways to make sure Confluence meets your performance needs. Learn more about our future plans to improve performance on our Cloud Roadmap.

Many thanks again to all of you who have shared your feedback with us. As you can see, there’s always a broad range of work underway to improve our products. As Group Product Manager, Confluence Experience; I’ll continue to share the work in progress with more Community articles like this one each quarter and you can also stay across what we have planned for Confluence on our Cloud Roadmap.

– Natalia

 

10 comments

Andy Gladstone Community Leader Jul 01, 2022

@Natalia Baryshnikova thank you for the summary. I found a few helpful links that I had not known/read before that I have bookmarked for future reading.

Like # people like this

There are a few marketplace apps that help with this, but can Atlassian experts (not vendors) suggest the best method for embedding a specific Slack channel framed on a Confluence page?

Thanks. This is a helpful.

It would be great to add to it a remind on how to submit and votw on suggestions. Can i vote on brining back [ (links) and { (macros) to the new editor? or at least links since macros can be done by /. Funny enough i use / a lot more in regular text than { so I found the old way to get macros was simpler.

Hi, I note that on the Cloud roadmap that custom domains are marked for 2023. Is there any indication yet of whether that mght be earlier in 2023? thanks

Like Henrik Wastegren likes this

Thank you - great stuff. Very much looking forward to layout and rendering improvements for tables! 

There should be no need for debate or inconsistency regarding opening links in the same tab or a new tab. 

Editors should simply be able to select which option they want when they create a link.  That way the link would behave in the way the person who created it wanted it to behave, in whatever context.  This seems to me to be the simplest option for all users (even if it may not be the simplest for the developers to put into the code).

If the the default behaviour could be set at an individual or organisation level then that would be even better, and help to provide even more reliable consistency. 

Like Dan Winkler likes this

Well, sounds okay so far - focussing on long-due homework rather than fancy new features.

As always, words are nice, but we'll see what actually sees the light of day in the upcoming weeks, recognizing this post is already from June. It's not like the feedback was new, and it's not like you folks haven't made (and then repeatedly broken) promises.

I stay tuned. Can't say I have much patience left.

Like Dan Winkler likes this

@Natalia Baryshnikova Is there any timeframe or priority for the work around re-sizing and manipulating images? We really need this feature, thanks.

Like # people like this

@Natalia Baryshnikova  if you or another Atlassian team member could respond, or let me know if there is somewhere else I should post this question, I would appreciate it.


I'd really love to know the anticipated delivery timeframe for custom domains, please. 

Hi @Helen Gosper - thanks for following up and apologies on the delay. 


We're continuing to prioritize items like this on our roadmap. Currently there are two open feature requests about resizing images. I'd recommend voting on those issues and watching them in our Jira instance if you're interested in getting updates about their progress.

In the meantime, here's how you can resize images in the product today:

After adding an image to your page, its starting width is the same as the content area. 

To resize an image, 

  1. Select it. Image handles will appear on each side.
  2. Hover over a handle, select it, and drag it out from the middle or in toward the center to change the image size. 

Images snap to the grid that appears offering you eight image sizes providing a responsive experience for page viewers regardless of device.

 

Custom domains are currently on the roadmap for 2023. You can find out more by following this open feature request: Allow custom domains for Cloud apps
Like Andy Gladstone likes this

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