192 Comments

  • Cheryl Schmelzer

    We also need sub-sections in order to better organize our documentation. Without sub-sections, we will be unable to add our product documentation to the help center.

    1
  • Nicola Carraro

    this is a much needed feature for us as well. +1

    1
  • Claire Santos

    Definitely much needed!! I am pretty sure that if this was available for all users of Zendesk, it would get used and would not be a waste of your time to develop (as I am sure there is a small element of this from your side).. Should be the companies choice as to how we display our information too.. :) 

    1
  • Sergey

    Feels good to know that this is an issue requested by many other members of the community.

    Our team needs a simplified hierarchy, we want to be able to only have two levels: sections-articles. As we're building the mobile app, we want our FAQ within it to be as simple and straight-forward as possible. This will not only help our users find the information faster but also deflect tickets that could have been sent to our tiny support team.

    Could any Zendesk developer provide a comment regarding this matter? Is it currently being developed or postponed until later?

    0
  • Erin Cochran

    This feature also gets my vote. While I definitely understand and appreciate the wish for simplicity on Zendesk's behalf, I really think this feature is needed. My company is going from one product to two and keeping the unique content separate is proving to be a major headache without this feature.

    1
  • Carl Giardina

    This one's a no brainer.. From reviewing this thread it's clear that many of us share the need of having categories within categories, or sections within sections, while others require a much simpler structure.

    I think it goes without saying that what we need is the flexibility to choose how we structure our documentation.

    If I only had one product then life would be simple and the need for complicated hierarchies wouldn't exist.. however, that's just not the case, and as it stands, in its current state I'm not able to structure my documentation in a flow that allows users to drill-down and locate things in logical order.

    I'm following this thread and looking forward to further developments.

    Thanks guys.

    1
  • Christian Colding

    Hey guys,

    I wanted to just thank you all for pitching in with your feedback and use cases. There is no doubt that it helps us to understand how we could build this.

    Unfortunately I don't have much of an update since the comment I wrote back in January. We definitely understand the need and if we could, we would change this tomorrow. But making this as flexible as we want to, is a very daunting task. It's like we would do open brain surgery on Help Center. That is not to say that we don't want to do it - we do - but just that it will be a while before we can actually improve this.

    0
  • Chellie Esters

    I vote for open brain surgery.

    Reviewing earlier replies from @Christian Colding:

    "So we need to rethink how knowledge is organized in Help Center and perhaps look into building a taxonomy-based navigation rather than a hierarchical one" (31 Dec 2014).

    "The main purpose is to break free of the forced hierarchical organization and allow for a more customized experience, which would better support linking articles together across today's categories and sections" (4 Jan 2015).

    The perception is that ZenDesk would rather have its customers bear the frustration of trying to fit square pegs into round holes, rather than ZD's development team building square holes, or at least doing "open brain surgery" on the current round holes so square pegs can better fit.

    That's disappointing.

    5
  • Erin Cochran

    I understand the time and money that goes into new development, especially for something as big as this allegedly is, but I agree with Chellie. I'm starting to look at other help desk solutions because of this very problem.

    1
  • Christian Colding

    Hi Chellie,

    That is not exactly what I meant. All I am saying is that since this is basically like open brain surgery, it's not something we can easily fix. It will take time.

    1
  • Chellie Esters

    Hi Christian,

    I work in a software company, so I definitely understand that product development takes time, sometimes years. Where this falls short for me (and I think for others as well) is if this is even on ZD's road map. Based on earlier comments suggesting that the customer has to rethink how to organize their help, the perception is that ZD does not even want to make subsections (or the like) available to customers. There is a difference between something that will take time and something a company just does not want to offer; judging from other comments, the perception is that this use case falls in the latter.

    I guess what people want to hear is if it is on the road map, and if the "open brain surgery" will be finished in 6 months, 12 months, 18 months....right now, it seems that the patient isn't even in the OR.

    3
  • Christian Colding

    Hi Chellie and others,

    Sorry that I wasn't clear enough earlier. Let me be as clear as I can:

    We want to change this! We understand the need and why you guys want it. What I commented on earlier, was just that adding another level won't necessarily solve all the different use cases. We want to build something that can last. Even adding another level would be open brain surgery, so we would rather open up the brain to perform the right long-lasting surgery. No matter how we decide to implement this, we want to solve the problem.

    So I 100% understand your need. I just wanted to point out the difficulty in fixing this and that it will take time. To clarify further it's not something that we expect to improve in 2015. That is as specific I can be at this stage as I would otherwise promise something that I wouldn't know if I could keep.

    I hope it makes it a little clearer and if not don't hesitate to let me know. I'll glad elaborate.

    3
  • Christian Colding

    All,

    I have updated my comment from December 2014. Upon reading it again and based on Chellie's comments, it was definitely causing more harm than good. I hope the updates makes it clearer.

    1
  • Chellie Esters

    Hi Christian,

    Thank you very much for the clarification! I think this gives the ZD community some confidence that this is being seriously explored.

    Zendesk's customers have a need to build knowledge bases in ways that will, in turn, help their customers. Offering a more flexible Help Center solution will help not just us, but also Zendesk.

    Please keep us abreast on any updates, or any focus group opportunities.

    1
  • Christian Colding

    Hi Chellie,

    I am so happy I was clear this time. Thank you for your comments and I will definitely keep you and the everyone else in here updated on our progress.

    2
  • Samantha Flaherty

    @Chellie - thanks for eloquently explaining the community perspective here!

    @Christian - I also appreciate the communication, I'm glad to know that this is definitely something ZD are looking to work on (whenever that is - hopefully sooner rather than later, but it does sound like lots of planning will be required with this!)

    It'd be great to be kept updated with this - as with Chellie's comment, I'd be more than happy to provide use-case examples (etc) to assist this task. 

    Thanks both!

    2
  • Alex Gerulaitis

    Gmail didn't offer nested tags at first either. Then it did, and it didn't help a whole lot. I suspect most of those tags and filters get entangled into an unruly mess and that's exactly why Google came up with their new tabbed experience and Microsoft - with "clutter". Which isn't going to help ZD much either - document space is a whole different animal... :) Once thing for sure: tags can't be a sole hierarchy and navigation mechanism, if for one reason alone: security. Can't assign an ACL to a tag unlike a section. Hence at least one - yet a major - reason for freely nesting sections: ACL inheritance. Not Level 2 or Level 3 - but freely (as many as one chooses) nesting ones.

    Even a small enterprise support group needs multiple ACLs in their KB: junior agents don't need to, and often aren't allowed to, have access to higher level docs. Creating a new "brand" just for the purpose, or maintaining a separate doc space (sites? sharepoint? confluence? - all unlimited nesting btw) - unlikely a viable approach.

    Samantha and Chellie - thank you big time for communicating the user perspective and helping to shape up ZD's response and position.

    0
  • Christian Colding

    Hi Alex,

    I completely agree with all your feedback.

    That is also why we need to figure out how we do this the right way. While the underlying technology might end up being tags, we still need to make it easy to use and flexible at the same time. That goes no matter what type of technology we go with.

    0
  • Lauren

    + 1 on the option to add subsections to a section.

    0
  • Greg Sohl

    It has been 14 months since this was submitted and about a year since Christian Colding acknowledged the need. Can we get a timeline for implementation please? It get that it is hard and requires substantial change. Still, keep us in the loop please.

    Greg

    1
  • Chellie Esters

    @Greg Sohl, I ended up hand-coding the help center to death to create the illusion of sub-sections. I work for a software company so I had the means to do so, but it's not a solution. Please let us know, ZD, when we can use actual sub-sections.

    Chellie

    0
  • Corrin Duque

    We are currently maxing the functionality of our Help Center due to only 3 layers of depth.  With Category, Section, Article the content simply explodes in all directions as there is no ability to organize the articles in "nested" sub categories or sub sections.  I would vote for 5 layers.  But at least 4 would make the Help Center much more functional. Currently even our agents find it difficult to find articles.  Very difficult for our Customers.  I have added labels to each article to increase the search engine power but this has not helped.  

    Would love to hear an update on possibilities. 

    1
  • Corrin Duque

    Per Chellie's comment.  I work for a software company as well.  So we dug and did some major coding acrobatics to create the "illusion" of another layer as well.  We have these changes "in ice" so to speak as they do not solve the issue of the massive number of articles that result in what is still three actual layers of depth.

    Here are a couple examples planned:   

    Create hovering Table of Contents (Articles in the Section) in the left margin as ZD does here:  https://support.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/203921213

    Hide the Articles from view in the Section pages and leverage the added real-estate to add MORE sections and divide up the articles into smaller groups 

    Create rules to have a Feature Updates/Highlights information scroll similar to Zen Desks "What's Happening" and "Product Updates" sections on this page:  https://support.zendesk.com/hc/en-us

    These are certainly great enhancements if you have the technology know how.  They do not solve the problem of quickly running out of depth.  We did not deploy these as we realized our KB was growing too quickly to make this more than a short term work around.

    1
  • Christian Colding

    Hi all,

    Unfortunately there isn't much of an update. We are currently focusing our attention on overview and workflows for articles and have launched our first initial beta to address this.

    This is still something that is difficult to fix. While we could add a few more levels, even that is complex. We would like to make sure that whatever we go with actually addresses the needs both now and going forward. Unfortunately this means that we do not see a change to the categories/section in the near term future, but as mentioned before I fully acknowledge the problems in using the existing solution and hope that we can focus on this at a later stage.

    1
  • Greg Sohl

    Roadmap?????

    0
  • Corrin Duque

    Thanks for your response Christian.  

    As we too have a complex software to service platform we are constantly optimizing, I recognize the complexity of making a change and the importance of gathering specific needs from a large customer pool so as to design a best fit solution.  Creating an option to select additional tiers also requires that the new options allow for all existing Help Centers to remain completely operational and functions.  Making this a seamless transition is formidable.  So, I completely appreciate the leg work going into the dev teams evaluation, needs assessment, and requirements and risk analysis.

    Look forward to updates.

    And hope other ZD-Help Center users will chime in to articulate their specific level of need and articulate what that looks like.

    0
  • Emilie Vittini

    Hey, +1 on the sub-sections.

    0
  • Jennifer Woodson

    I made my own post, but I'm adding my vote here too, for a more flexible hierarchical structure. I don't need three tiers, and I would like the ability to remove one.  

    0
  • Andy Minshall

    The reason we also need this is, unlike the other 95%+ of Zendesk customers it would seem, we are needing to support two products inside one Help Center.

    An additional level to house FAQ, Help, Videos, etc on the functional use of our software is difficult in itself, but we have a huge overlap of users that need to access the information on two products as we transition the products into one (a long while off).

    Each way I turn, to organise documents by Product or by Article Type, we hit the limit right away. Any solution we have is not ideal and clunky, so please can we get an update on this soon?

    Thanks!

     

    0
  • Daniel Oakley

    This is practically required for our help centre. Unfortunately, just two levels of organisation simply isn't enough to make the sort of content we need to put into our knowledge base properly manageable.

    I understand that ZD wants to investigate other options and alternate ways to solve this, but this is something that should be looked at fairly soon.

    Given issues like this, it seems like the easiest way to go would be to keep categories, make sections nestable (so a section can go under either a category or another section, with the appropriate checks to make sure silly loops and such don't happen), and then let articles be attached to either categories or sections.

    Especially if you wanted to support letting articles get attached to categories themselves, it could even be worth looking at consolidating categories and sections into the same object (i.e. turn both Categories and Sections into a new object Section. Make it so Sections can contain other Sections and can contain Articles).

    Just an idea, but however you solve it, it would be really nice to see this looked at soon. This is hampering the capabilities of our knowledge base.

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