Feature Request: Internal Annotations for Guide Articles
I'd love to see a simple, plaintext Annotations field in the Edit Article administration menu. Something like this:
Making Updates to an Article Draft Across Multiple Sessions
Sometimes article updates require a lot of work. Knowing where a writer/agent left off (whether it's myself or a colleague) would help communicate the progress made to a draft during a single editing session. It's not always so simple to accomplish this using the Article History feature, which is also kind of buried.
Communicating Article Status
Similarly, this kind of annotation would make managing updates to product-related Guide articles much simpler for teams in Agile development schemes. Since release dates are usually quite flexible, drafting content ahead of time and scheduling publication isn't always a great solution for us. Instead, I find myself making updates in advance, and saving the draft until I am sure when the relevant changes will appear in our product. This means I just have to remember whether I made the necessary changes OR I have to log a note in some other tracking system (for example, somewhere in the related Jira issue). I'd rather do this in the source of truth where I do my work: Zendesk Guide!
There are also times when several changes relevant to the same product feature are in progress on their own release schedules, and may involve multiple writers/agents making those updates. Annotations could help coordinate that work and prevent updates related to one piece of development from being made public inadvertently when updates for a different piece of development are published.
MVP versus Future State
As an MVP feature, I think this could remain quite lightweight. Something like a 300 character limit would probably be enough. Whatever is in the field when the article is saved or published could remain until it is changed by a user (and saved or published).
Presumably (lol), if it's a simple text string, it could also be added to a column in the Article Management screen. This kind of at-a-glance view would be a GAME CHANGER as a content editor/manager. I could open that screen up on Monday morning and know exactly where each article is in progress and be able to prioritize and assign that work as needed.
Down the line, potential enhancements could include seeing historical annotations with date- and timestamps saved to the article and associated with its own discrete "Article History" event type.
This suggestion is not dissimilar from the first use case described in Katarzyna Karpinska's pinned comment in the Internal Comments feature request. It sounds like those collaboration enhancements are under consideration at the moment.
However, I think this is request is less interested in improvements to the content creation/editing process than an addition to the metadata of the article itself.
I'd love to hear others' thoughts and about whether Zendesk would consider something like this.
Hey Patrick -
Thanks so much for taking the time to write up this detailed feature request, and for using the product feedback template - super helpful. Can definitely see why you would want something like this and how it would be useful.
If others like Patrick's request and would like to see something similar, please up vote their post, and add any other thoughts in the comments below. We'll make sure that the product manager is aware of the request, and if we see a critical mass of engagement around this idea, we'll ask them to chime in.
Hi Patrick Morgan,
You are correct the collaboration features are very much in focus for future development. One of the ideas we have that might address your need is leaving comments on article versions. We are definitely thinking about implementing it but for now, we still have a number of things in flight that are higher priority. You can see information on our roadmap and we're actively working on improvements that have been requested by lots of customers.
To add an addition to this request, being able to see the article votes on the article would be helpful as well.
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