In the era of the empowered and enabled consumer, the throne belongs to brands that deploy compelling content in the service of a strong customer experience.” – Augie Ray, Research Director for Customer Experience, Gartner

It goes without saying that the core of customer success is strong content. Support articles, product documentation, on-boarding guides, learning paths—all of these combine to tell your product’s story in a way that makes your customers successful. And that success directly correlates to customer’s confidence in your brand.

It follows that generating this content is an essential step in solidifying a brand’s relationship to its customers. The best authoring tools allow content generators to do their job hassle-free — tools that stay out of the way let an author’s creativity translate directly into compelling content.

So how do companies own their brand integrity? They do so by producing their own authoritative content. Traditional knowledge management solutions combine multiple tools in a workflow (if it can be called that) which often stretches across multiple teams within an organization. One team produces raw content, while another team ensures that it all looks and feels cohesive, and still another team manages publishing and SEO. To complicate the process further, multiple tools from multiple vendors all need to be maintained to work in unison. That in itself can occupy an entire IT department. And every time content changes hands, every time the ball is passed, there’s a chance that it can drop — costing an organization time, money, and, worst of all, the appearance of a cohesive, unified brand vision.

A single, elegant, end-to-end solution would not only mitigate these potential failures, but also exponentially increase the opportunities for successful outcomes. If one tool handles authoring, organization, optimization, and publishing, then operational costs fall, ROI grows, and content generators enjoy their work. Customers succeed, and the brand excels.

At MindTouch, we’ve preached this philosophy, and provided that elegant solution, for years. And while the ability to author support content is only a fraction of what MindTouch can do, it’s a fraction we take seriously. Our goal is to produce the best authoring experience possible for content creators, and we are taking a huge step forward with the release of our latest editor on August 2nd.

The goal is to transform the experience of creating content by refining and simplifying user interactions with the editor.” – Seana Rothman, UI/UX Designer, MindTouch

We began by analyzing usage data across MindTouch sites to identify which authoring tools were most often used. Based on that analysis, the editor interface was rearranged to streamline access to the most popular features. Less commonly used features were moved into drop down menus to increase the amount of screen space available for page content (and of course, no functionality was removed.) The reduction of UI clutter also leads to better mobile performance and faster page load times.

Editor Usage Map
The original editor layout. This heat map was used to identify areas of higher usage. Notice that over half of the UI is occupied by infrequently used buttons.

 

Updated Editor Usage
The editor, optimized. Less frequently used features were moved into drop down menus in the top row.

Next, based on user feedback, we completely revamped the process of customizing the editor. Site administrators often require standardized custom editor configurations so that content creators can easily choose pre-existing styles and formats. This provides a consistent experience not only for authors, but for end users, as well. Our new editor refers to a configuration page in the Dashboard, where a brand new UI enables administrators to customize the editor without resorting to custom code.

Editor Configuration
The editor can now be easily configured from the dashboard—no code required.

This newly simplified authoring experience helps companies establish a clear and consistent brand. As authors across departments easily push their content to a single, authoritative source, MindTouch handles the rest, automatically. It structures content into mobile-friendly pages, within a hierarchy that search engines like Google reward with top ranking results. These personal and dynamic content experiences define customer interactions, encourage trust, and allow companies to own their brand’s authoritative voice.

Stay tuned. This update lays the groundwork for future features, including the ability to drag and drop pre-built, mobile-friendly page elements directly into your pages to make the creation process easier, faster, and more reliable. Our pursuit of the perfect authoring experience continues.

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