If this is decided to be moved forward with, I would be more than happy to have deeper conversations with development teams, EAP, etc.
What is the problem?
We have a lot of documents in our Guide to support articles, the same resources can be used throughout the entire Guide and the organization of the supporting documents can be relevant to certain sections of the article or different article.
How it works today - each article has its own "repository" for these documents, so you have to either:
- upload the same document over and over again to the different articles it may be helpful for
- copy the link of the document on one article and link it on the other articles, however this link will break if that document is removed - which includes when you have a new copy and have to replace the existing document (because you cannot just write-over a document, you have to remove and reupload, which gives it a new ID #)
- link back to a central article, which requires a user to scroll or appearing to have to "hunt" for the 1 document they may be looking for, causing frustration for the user and decreasing the likelihood of them actually getting the information (if it isn't easy to find/get to, they aren't going to use it)
Why is it a problem?
This makes document management extremely hard. If a document is updated we have to hunt for every where it is referenced and update appropriately, this wastes time. If there was one place to update a document and the link doesn't have to change, this would be a major time savings for the team and increase the reliability of content - we are human and miss things, however this can cause a lot of issues with clients who are using the Guide.
Because there is also only one place on the article to put attachments, you are not able to easily reference those within the text which makes the content more usable, you also have limited organization of the attachments, in order to have a certain order you have to delete and readd all attachments in the order you want, this is a pain and time consuming for an article that has multiple attachments.
How do you solve the problem today?
We link to the "owning" article - which is objective and requires our employees to know a lot. This is not working well, we miss updating all the areas documents are referenced. We tell stakeholders that we can't control the order of attachments, which results in them not wanting to put the resources up.
How would you ideally solve the problem?
Have an area that resides in the Guide Admin where you can centrally manage documents
Be able to copy a link or modify, just like with asset management:
Copy link would copy a link to the document that you can put anywhere in the Guide.
Edit Document will allow you to, in one place, update the document and it won't change the link so the links throughout the Guide will automatically have the new version.
Preview Document will allow you to preview what the document is so you can make sure you are editing the right document before you actually make the change.
Provide also the ability to reference the Manage Documents area from the article, like the added article reference area:
- Ability to see a list of all articles that reference a specific document
- A warning before you delete a document that says "this is linked on articles"
- Version history
- Last edited date and by who
- Ability to multi-select documents from the article (able to order them from the prompt also)
- Folder structure - i.e. similar to how the sections/subsections are organized, but for document folders:
How big is the problem (business impact, frequency of impact, who is impacted)
HUGE! I would label this as a "critical" impact. Our product Guides have supporting documentation for best practices, training guides, etc. that certain ones help throughout specific steps in different tasks. For our Internal Guide, we have departments referencing supporting documentation on other departments for cross-collaboration. A new employee does not necessarily know what department owns what information, so having these easily shared is critical.
Specific example: Each product has a Fact Sheet run-down that is specifically designed by our marketing team, this is a PDF. This Fact Sheet lives in a "summary" article of the product because just having an article with one link is extra clicks and doesn't provide context. A number of articles could reference the Fact Sheet. Linking just to the overview article, many users miss the Fact Sheet, duplicating where the document lives has the risk of going out-of-date.
Cross-selling is a major initiative for our company so the availability of these fact sheets and other similar supporting documents, quickly to the user is important.
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