Upcoming Help Center UI Changes Follow

On April 4, 2017, we are rolling out improvements to the Zendesk Help Center administrator interface. As we continue to add new features, it’s vital that we constantly improve the user experience so Zendesk Help Center remains a modern, easy-to-use application.

The changes will not change existing functionality and all current permissions will be retained.

What’s changing?

Here are the changes that we plan to roll out on April 4:

    • New way to navigate between admin pages and Help Center
    • New sidebar admin navigation
    • Help Center location
    • New way to add content

Navigation changes

Navigating to admin pages from Help Center

Currently, Help Center Managers use the top white bar links to access the Help Center admin pages. We are removing the navigation links for “Articles”, “Community” and “General” from the top bar.


Now, there’s a new Go to admin link on the right hand side of the top navigation bar to easily access all your admin pages in a single destination.


In the Help Center admin, use the new sidebar icons to access the "Manage articles", "Arrange content", "Moderate content", and "Settings" sections.


This change is part of our continued efforts to help administrators and agents access all Zendesk products in an intuitive and easy way.

Accessing Help Center from admin pages

Your Help Center is currently accessed via the Home tab in the top navigation bar.


There’s now a new Help Center icon on the right hand side of the top navigation bar for easy and intuitive access to your published Help Center.


Adding new content

Currently, Help Center Managers and agents with the right permissions use the top white navigation to add Articles, Sections and Categories.


With the new UI, Help Center Managers and agents will be able to add Articles, Sections, Categories or Community topics and posts from the new Add icon in the top navigation.


A Video Tour of all the changes

We’ve created a handy video to help you get a sense of all the exciting new changes below:


That completes the updates coming on April 4th. Feel free to share this article with your support agents so they are prepared for the change.

We know that there have been a lot of updates to Zendesk lately and we appreciate your patience as we roll out these changes. These improvements set the stage for more good things to come and we’re excited to reveal them in due course.

We’re here to answer any questions.

Have more questions? Submit a request


  • 2

    I really like how the proposed changes look. It's much more consistent with the regular Zendesk UI.

    I would expect the Theme Customizer workflow to have changed along with this. Can you detail any changes that were made the templating ui?

    Edited by Michael DeFrancesco
  • 5

    I like that it looks like you are separating the admin side from Managing KB articles. One of the things i Like least about roles is you have to allow manage Help Center in or to give people access to KB management.


    Does this mean you will also change the way roles are defined as far as KB articles and the actual design portion of the site? In my opinion these should not be the same thing. A person managing articles in the knowledge base could be very different from a person managing the look and feel of the entire user experience.

  • 5

    Would love the ability to link to other Help Center articles directly, rather than having to put the entire URL in the anchor. This has been requested in another thread somewhere...

  • 27

    More unnecessary cosmetic changes and still no way to publish one article to multiple categories / sections....

    PLEASE give us the ability to publish a single article in multiple places. Your customers need this so much more than the changes you list here, which appear to add no new functionality but instead move current functionality to a new location in the UI. 

    For anyone who reads this comment and agrees, please +1 the feature request thread at this link.

  • 0

    hi any sandbox or trial account where we could test this out before its implement on our help centers.

  • 3

    Hi, @Zendesk
    Happy to see that. Please also consider a way to add pictures thumbnails into forum posts and not full width images.

    Thank you!

  • -1

    Looking Great.




  • 1

    Some nice changes there. Looking forward to it.

    Do you have an idea on when should we expect a darker theme? You know, for the sake of the environment and our eyes? :)

  • 15

    Revision history for articles. That would be a nice feature, but new changes are always welcome!

  • 0


    There are no changes to the theming UI at this stage. The only change is that in order to navigate to it you would click "Go to Admin" and then from there select the Settings icon and then choose Customize design. Other than that the features for theming remain the same.



    With this release there are no changes to how roles are defined as this is merely a navigational change. It's definitely not the first time we hear that you want to split roles between someone who writes and manages content and someone who themes and brands it, so hopefully we can provide that option in the future.



    I will recommend you to add your vote and your feedback to this post about cross-referencing.

    When you do, please tell us what your specific use case is. Why do you need to reference without a URL? Is it for convenience or are there other reasons that you need this? By telling us this we can better assess what the underlying intent is and see if there are other ways of solving the problem.



    You are absolutely right that this is mainly navigational changes, which also mean that they are a lot smaller in size compared to when we do new features. We are definitely focusing on publishing to multiple sections, multiple brands and to have more levels and this is being handled by a separate team from who has been handling the UI updates. While we are definitely working towards the goal it will be a while before we reach it because Help Center was never built to support publishing to multiple sections, so it requires very significant changes.



    Please don't hesitate to add your vote and comment to this post.



    We do not currently have plans for a darker theme, but obviously as we expand our brand and build more products this might change.



    Working on it ;)

  • 0

    Hi, Christian

    As you can see on that post I already up voted and asked for the same feature, but no one answered back.
    Thank you.


    Edited by Julian Luca
  • 0

    Well hi Julian, sorry about that! It seems that your name is currently set to Lulian. If you want to update it, you can do so by going to the top of this page and then click your name > My profile > Edit profile.

    I'm sorry I didn't double check that you had already posted, but it's great that you have. We don't necessarily reply to all requests, but we do when we need more information because the use cases aren't clear, to announce betas or to announce that we've built the feature. So don't take the lack of reply as meaning that we don't read your feedback or take it seriously. We definitely do.

  • 5

    No problem, Christian
    I updated my profile.
    As far as my request goes I think that it had to be there from day 1. You cannot attach an image and force it full width no matter what. The users does not take time to edit their screenshots, they simply go and upload it into the forum post and when they finally post their message the image is blow out and huge in size, or is shrink down and you cannot read anything on it.


  • 1

    I think this is the 3rd set of cosmetic changes you have rolled out.  Each time you make a change, productivity actually goes down while you have to unlearn the old way and learn the new one.  To an existing user, this is not "more intuitive", its just different.

    Really it would help to focus less on cosmetics and more on new functionality. As an example, your customers have been requesting this improvement for 5 years: https://support.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/203431446-Allow-articles-to-be-posted-to-multiple-sections

  • 0

    Hi Dan,

    We do roll out changes from time to time. For Help Center specifically this is the first major reshuffling of navigation in a year, but I understand that it can be difficult to get used to new ways of working. On the other hand we want to continuously improve our product and ensure that they are easy to use and fit in with the rest of our product portfolio. This is also why we have posted this announcement, so you are aware that the changes are coming.

    The feedback we have gotten on the changes so far has been extremely positive, some saying it is much easier to use than the current UI where the division between Articles, Community and General is difficult to understand and remember.

    And don't worry, we a separate team looking into the post you are referring to, so that is not being deferred by any of these changes which in scope aren't comparable in size. Publishing to multiple sections is a massive undertaking. And doing these navigational changes are, believe or not, actually a step we need to take in order to support some of these more advanced publishing features.

    Edited by Christian Colding
  • 1

    How about the ability to show actual text for the sidebar options instead of the mystery meat navigation [0] icons? I only rarely go into Zendesk if I need to help out a support person so I don't get accustomed to what those icons represent and I find myself having to mouse over and wait for the tooltip just to find out what each one does.

    An open book, a pile of books, an eye, and a gear. Of those, only the gear is universally recognized as being some sort of "settings". The fact that you felt compelled to modify your screenshot of the sidebar to add text spelling out what these icons represent only reinforces the fact that they are not intuitive.

    Even Gmail lets you switch the icons to text [1] which results in an improved experience. Even though I'm used to the Gmail icons, I still prefer text as a button with "Archive" or "Move To" is instantly recognizable and takes all the guesswork away.

    [0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mystery_meat_navigation
    [1] https://support.google.com/mail/answer/2473038?hl=en

  • 0

    Hi Nick,

    Icons are always difficult to really hit right, but they are an important part of creating beautiful and uncluttered products that leave screen real estate for some of the sometimes complex interactions that we support.

    You are absolutely right that if you don't use the interface very often, icons can be difficult to remember. That is why we've implemented the tooltips. For the daily user of the product the icons should be easier to remember and don't disturb as much as text does.

    The icons that we've chosen have already gone through some heavy validation, where we've asked customers to identify what they think the icons illustrate and we'll continue to validate to see if there is anything we can do to improve them so they are as clear as possible. So far the feedback has been very positive.

    Should we get in a situation where the icons are not proving beneficial for the majority of our users, then we can revisit whether we should extend or replace with text.

  • 0

    Do you have any plans to help with the workflow of new KB articles?  I'd like agents to be able to draft content, but not publish it until a manager approves.

  • 1

    Sure, screen real estate is an important design consideration. But I'm using a 27" monitor and the design should be responsive to that. When there's limited space, icons make total sense. But if a user has an abundance of space why not make use of that as well? Use CSS media queries to choose the most appropriate way to maximize the use of the user's screen.

    If the user has the space, show the icon with the text as well. Or, like other apps do, have a sidebar that is expandable and collapsible. Expanded, it shows icon and text; collapsed it shows only the icon. Or make it configurable like Gmail does. Let the user decide their preference rather than dictating what's best for them.

    Your use of user validation is commendable, but it seems your experiment only discovers which icons are most recognizable rather than whether or not users think that including text in the sidebar is more usable than icons alone.

    I've found that your icons get more cryptic over time. For the apps selector, "Help Center" looks like an eject button. "Chat" looks like a broken pie chart. And "Talk" looks like a duck. Thankfully those icons have text underneath otherwise it would be indecipherable alien hieroglyphs.

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