Allow articles to be posted to multiple sections

Planned

324 Comments

  • Erin Cochran
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    @Primoz Cigler - this is fantastic! Like several of the others have said, I would absolutely love a tutorial. This would be extremely helpful for me and my company as a lot of documentation needs to be shared in multiple categories.

    I'm also tossing in my vote for this becoming a permanent Zendesk feature. I understand and appreciate creating a rock-solid management foundation, but I hope this will be developed sooner rather than later. An agile approach to documentation leads to easier maintenance and increased accuracy, but it's difficult to do with duplicate docs. Thanks! :)

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  • Paul Balenzano
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    @Zendesk peeps, considering this was submitted in June 2012 and has been requested by so many customers, can we get an update on where (if at all) this is on the development roadmap?

    Thanks!

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  • James Vanslette
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    Interestingly, there is a "Planned" button shown on the very first post in this topic. I wonder how many customers Zendesk loses because it cannot support a basic feature of a CMS...

    Then again, search and replace is a basic feature too. Maybe that is better starting point. :o)

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  • Christian Colding
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    Hey all,

    My update from May 22nd is still valid. We are still working on improving management and hope to have the very first beta out next month.

    I have decided to remove the Planned label for now. While it's planned in the sense that we want to do something about it at some point, we do not yet know exactly when.

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  • Starr McFarland
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    Seems like we're going backwards on this issue.  This has been a pain-point for me now at two different companies. I am generally a big fan of Zendesk, and extol its virtues to anyone who will listen.  But this really impedes the ability to organize content efficiently without duplicating it.

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  • Mike West
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    I don't mind copying content to use in multiple categories, but I wish the duplicates wouldn't show up in the search results.  Whether the search is from the Help Center or Web Widget by a customer, or from the Answer Suggestion app in the Zendesk dashboard by an agent, articles posted in two categories show up twice in the search results.

    It seems like a simple check box in the article edit section that would hide the article from search results would work for us.

     

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  • Veronica Apen
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    Personally, I would much rather see ZD address the root instead of spending time applying bandaids to the problem.  Please allow articles to live across categories!

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  • Christian Colding
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    Hi Veronica and Mike,

    We will definitely not do bandaids. While that can provide a quick solution, it often causes more problems going forward. Generally we prefer to build sustainable features that solve the problem correctly.

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  • Starr McFarland
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    @Mike West - There are two issues with copying content into multiple categories:

    1) Duplicate content.  This is a huge design no-no for any kind of data management system.  It quickly becomes an administrative nightmare trying to keep things in sync.

    2) As you mentioned, we get duplicate search results when we copy content into multiple categories.  We've tried to work around this by using {{search_in_category}} on category pages that correspond to user roles. There is also an "everyone" category, into which articles that apply to everyone are placed. 

    We do not present a search box on the home page, and make the user select a role before allowing them to search.  That avoids the duplicate search results, but also means that none of the articles from the "everyone" category are returned when they search.  If they want search results from that category, they have to navigate to it and search again.

    I'm now weighing whether or not it is more detrimental to the user to deal with duplicate search results, or to have to do 2 or more searches in order to get the information they're looking for.  No matter which route I take, there will be pain points, and it will be necessary to educate the user on the peculiarities of how our Help Center works.  

    @Christian - Unfortunately, as users, we have to do bandaids.  This thread has been going for 3 years, and there is still no solution other than bandaids.  It seems like there is definitely demand for this feature.  Can you share why it hasn't been implemented? Maybe it would be less frustrating for folks if we knew the nature of the obstacles.  I, otherwise, love the product.  But, this is  a particular pain point. Thanks.

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  • Chris Alfaro
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    I don't want to sound like a jerk but as a startup company we are finding populating our KB to be a large issue with Zendesk. We have been looking at changing to a new CRM and a integrated support system and KB is starting to look better each day. Many of them offer these types of functions. I truly love Zendesk but as we grow, Zen does not.

     

    I hope you can listen to the community that helped make you amazing.

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  • Christian Colding
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    Starr,

    I'll gladly tell you more about some of the problems we are seeing. I should point out that we don't see these problems as blockers to building a solution, but they are challenges that need to be addressed.

    Help Center was never built with the intent to have content in multiple categories/sections. When it was released 2 years ago we did not know that this was needed. If we did, at least we decided against building it - perhaps because it would have significantly delayed the launch of Help Center. Unfortunately I wasn't around then, so I don't know the exact reasons why it wasn't built.

    Either way, Help Center now uses categories and sections to organize content. These categories and sections are tightly integrated with the article itself, so unfortunately we can't easily add it. We would have to completely rebuild how content is organized which is a big task - a task we would prefer to do right, so we don't just create new problems that we can't solve.

    We could potentially just duplicate the article to another section, but then votes, comments and metrics would be different for each article, even though they are actually the same. While that would solve the problem partially, we are introducing problems with just keeping track of you best performing articles as metrics are now split between two (or more) articles and comments will also be split in two.

    So we do believe it should somehow be one article. When it's one article in different sections we start to ask ourselves what we do with breadcrumbs on page. Obviously, if you've clicked your way to the article, we could probably show the right breadcrumbs, but if you search or access the article directly, we need to determine what to show.

    Another problem is access restrictions. If this is truly the same article in different sections, it could have conflicting access restrictions, so which access restrictions do we respect and is it clear to both companies and end-users why they can or can't see a certain article?

    On top of that we see a need to create more levels then just categories and sections. Some only want one level. It's confusing which features are available for categories and which for sections.

    So lots of problems we need to take care of. We therefore need to take a holistic approach to all of these problems to make sure we are building the right thing. We have some great ideas and I spend a lot of my time working out how we can do this, but until we get everything settled we are focusing our engineering resources on a completely new knowledge management application which is a holistic solution to the many content management problems we also have.

    I hope that gives you a peek into some of the challenges we need to work out.

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  • Christian Colding
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    Chris,

    I understand the necessity and if this feature is of great importance to you, I can definitely understand if you are looking at other solutions.

    I agree that we have a lot of problems with our KB. We are close to releasing our first beta of a new knowledge management solution which is the first step towards solving those problems. It will still take time to build in all the features we want, but we have an exciting roadmap ahead so even if you decide to use another tools for your knowledge, I hope you will come back in a year and see the progress we've made.

    If you've left us, then maybe we can persuade you to come back :)

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  • Veronica Apen
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    Thanks Chris.  Can you let us know where we can sign up for the knowledge management beta?

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  • Christian Colding
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    Hi Veronica,

    It's not currently available for sign-up, but should be soon. I'll post here once it's open for sign-up.

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  • Chris Alfaro
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    Christian,

     

    Not gone yet. Sill in love with "most" of Zendesk. Can't wait for the KB beta. Thank you for finally giving the community an update. No sarcasm, we truly appreciate it.

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  • Starr McFarland
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    Christian - Thanks for taking the time to provide details, and for dealing with our frustrations.  I agree with Chris...still in love with most of Zendesk.  It's kinda like my mt. bike, (an older Cannondale) which is a ton o' fun most of the time, except for this one problem it has - chain suck going up hills.  Then I'm on the side of the road getting greasy and swearing at it.  But I love it again once it's back up and running ;-)

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  • Tony Maninha
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    I had the chance of helping ZenDesk design their KCS App and we are doing a BETA now. Really exciting stuff to streamline and enhance the publishing process using KM best practices. Not perfect, but a very good work in progress.

    Besides Christian's comments on the multiple categories issue, I still think that that feature is a must have and a basic requirement for any KB. ZendDesk needs to seriously consider on making that feature available.

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  • Christian Colding
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    Veronica,

    You asked me to inform you when you could sign up for the Knowledge Management beta. We've just opened up the first version of the beta. You can read much more and sign up here.

    Update: We have now launched a new overview of articles which you can find under Articles > Manage articles. This was the beta known as Knowledge Management. We will be creating more betas in the coming months with more functionality.

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  • Veronica Apen
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    Thank you!!

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  • Chris Alfaro
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    Thank you Christian.

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  • Danielle Leduc
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    +1 for this issue.

    I'm building our help centre knowledge base now, and we have a category called 'Getting Started'. It's a series of introductory articles pulled from elsewhere in the help centre. I was just assuming I would be able to link an article to multiple sections/categories, and am very disappointed that I'm not able to do this. There's no way I'm creating duplicate articles (it would create a terrible UX for search, and the 'popular articles'/'recent articles' sections. Creating link-through articles is not a very good solution, either. Grr.

    I hope you guys tackle this next!

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  • Gui-Berlin
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    Hi,

    this is definitely something we would love to have.

    We're planning too to have a collection of articles for our "getting started" category, but without the ability to link to multiple categories, this looks difficult to achieve...

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  • Primoz Cigler
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    Any update on this, since you finished now the upgrade to community? +3 on this from our team of 3 agents.

    Btw, we dislike already that you removed the markdown in community and replaced it with wysiwyg. Bad move guys :(

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  • Jonathan Collins
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    +1 for me....

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  • Antonio Comelli
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    We need this feature too

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  • SwapNights.com Support Team
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    +1 for me too.....

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  • Samantha Lester
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    Agree!

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  • Thor
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    Surprised this basic functionality is not built in. I have worked with a lot of CRMs over my career and this is the first time I have ever heard a Kbase not have this feature.

    Please add this as we cannot scale properly with the current Zendesk Help Center design.

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  • Gui-Berlin
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    Any update on this?

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  • Danny
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    We too would like this feature enabled. Having thousands of parents and children using our products, we often find the need to display articles which fall under multiple sections.

    Additionally, is it possible to gain access to the Beta program or at least view what is currently being considered within the Beta platform?

    Thanks!
    D

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