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In the late year of 2012 started our cooperation with one Australian company specializing in creation and provision of complex Сloud-based solutions. Data Solutions Group is an IT company with the headquarters in Melbourne, Australia.
Their customer-oriented approach allows them to architect cloud-based infrastructure and re-innovate the existing solutions with the industry-leading technologies. Extensive expertise in Cloud technologies and the status of AWS Advanced Consulting Partner allows them to supply customers with the high-speed, flexible, scalable and reliable Cloud ecosystems.
The necessity to execute only the proven processes and use the situation-applicable methods in Atlassian Confluence made them contact us and add significant updates into their user experience. Confluence was chosen as the tool for easy and convenient team collaboration and quick communication and interaction with their customers. As of that moment, there were some missing features in Confluence that the customer wanted us as Atlassian experts to add.
The main philosophy of this project was to enhance the customer experience in Confluence and keep them maximally satisfied with the company services and aware of all the existing solutions. As it becomes clear, Confluence was shared between the company’s employees and customers. And each group required special enhancements for time-efficient collaboration and information tracking in it.
Once all the requirements were specified and the planning phase was completed, we determined the most needed functions. The project scope included the following:
- customization of the existing Confluence design and creation of the fully-branded portal;
- addition of the tool allowing real-time communication between employees and customers;
- development of the mechanism for quick page accessibility;
- setup of smart content sharing capabilities within the specified teams.
First of all, the customer wanted to customize design of Confluence and adjust it to the brand style and coloring. The brand building required creation of a new theme with completely refactored and customized interface, additional navigational elements and useful controls for rapid navigation across pages and sections.
The login form received the company logo and its look was fully customized to reflect the company specific colors.
Confluence Dashboard was also affected by customization and tailored to the needs of our customer.
The company styles and colors were accurately adapted and carefully used in a new Confluence theme. It offered a new experience for employees and customers working with the system, searching for information, making some requests or posting results of their findings. The theme was developed from scratch so this allowed the designer and developers to develop all sorts of enhancements and augmentations.
Content Filtration on Dashboard
For easy navigation across the stored content, we added the content aggregation block displayed on Confluence dashboard. This block provides customers and staff members with a quick opportunity to fetch the required content pages depending on the project, topic or author.
It simplified the process of tracking updates of particular users, viewing changes in spaces or watching progress on customers’ pages. Content aggregation works on the basis of labels assigned to Confluence pages and the administrator has a capability to define labels for selecting in the Topic dropdown list. Space names are used as projects, and users from the specific group are treated as experts.
For quick sharing information with the team we added the smart content sharing block that does not require entry of teammates for sharing. It shares the page automatically with the specific employees working on the project, including customers.
This handy function allows the staff members to instantly send notifications if someone’s input is required or information is important to everyone in the team. So attention of each team member can be captured with a letter sent to email and relevant updates will never be missed.
This project passed through a series of iterations, that’s so Confluence was updated several times over this time. And some of the developed improvements became deprecated with new updates of Confluence.
This fate followed the two features, as follows:
- Recently Viewed Pages – this feature was used for showing the block with the recently viewed pages including small excerpts from them. When the user opened a specific page, he/she was able to quickly and easily view the visited pages and open them at once. This was quite useful for large multi-level spaces with a plenty of information. The current block was collapsible, so any user was able to hide it any time.
- Discussions – this feature allowed employees to discuss projects and tasks on Confluence pages in the form of discussions. Once the discussion was completed, the user could resolve it, but the whole thread was kept on the Confluence page for reference. The customer decided to use inline comments instead with the new release of Confluence.
We have already completed over five iterations on this project over the four years. Confluence was updated three times over that time to provide better user experience and interaction with the system. Each new iteration required modifications in the theme design due to the updated cutomer’s requirements and changes in Confluence architecture.
At the moment staff members and the company’s customers are simultaneously working on projects in Confluence. The overall customer satisfaction with service provision and response time has significantly increased.
This platform introduced new collaboration opportunities for both customers and staff members. The offered approach had encompassed best practices of communication and cooperation between teams. Confluence has become some sort of the platform helping the customer to quickly and efficiently work on planning and delivering services.
Our team is looking forward to further cooperation with Data Solutions Group company and we are open to interesting projects for JIRA and Confluence.