An organization’s body of knowledge is a lot like a library. It’s a large collection made up of various media—product documentation and help, user manuals, videos, and so on—that are grouped, categorized, tagged, and organized to make it easy for visitors to find and interact with it.

At least that’s the idea.

The question is, what kind of library does your organization have? Is it modern and well-designed, à la Denmark Royal Library? Is it ordered and meticulously maintained? Or is it an outdated and confusing place in a bad part of town that people only go to when they have to?

Put the scaffolding in place with Guided Content Framework

In the same way that libraries ought to be more than just cavernous storehouses for books, organizational knowledge ought to be more than just a flat, hard-to-use repository.

The organizations that do it right are those that put customers first—they organize and optimize knowledge content for faster, easier retrieval by prospects, customers, and internal employees. MindTouch Guided Content Framework is designed to both enable and protect this kind of experience.

1. Categories to help build sections and shelves

Within Guided Content Framework, categories are the highest level of the hierarchy. In a library, categories would function like sections and the shelves within those sections where groups of books and other media are kept.

On a customer site, there might be categories for different product lines, product versions, or even the various personas that comprise a company’s internal and external audiences. For example:

  • Category: All Enterprise Products

2. Guides to help write the books

Guides are situated on the next level down from categories. In a library, guides would be the books themselves, each one organized into a specific subsection of the higher-level category. If a guide is situated under the category for a specific product line, for example, that guide would contain all available content specific to that product line, as follows:

  • Category: All Enterprise Products
    • Guide: A Specific Enterprise Solution

3. Topics to organize books into chapters

Books are divided into chapters for a reason: chapters organize the contents of a book for easier consumption, navigation, and reference. Within Guided Content Framework, topics are like book chapters—they are subsections of a given guide that cover a more defined and specific theme. These might be represented by reference materials, how-to articles, and other more granular pieces of content. Here’s an example:

  • Category: All Enterprise Products
    • Guide: A Specific Enterprise Solution
      • Topic: Overview of an Enterprise Solution
        • How to Install a Specific Enterprise Solution
        • Glossary of Terms for a Specific Enterprise Solution

Above all, make it faster and easier for users to find content

Imagine a large library where vast amounts of individual pages or chapters of books sit on random shelves without any context, markers, or cues for people to find them with. How are visitors supposed to get the information they need? And how are library staff supposed to keep things organized as the number of books continues to grow?

Just as it is difficult to navigate libraries without sections and shelves, bodies of organizational knowledge are difficult to navigate without an underlying and protected site structure. Guided Content Framework ensures site-wide adherence to fundamental best practices when it comes to how content is organized. Just as importantly, it will continue to maintain proper hierarchy and structure no matter how much content an organization adds.

This leads to two core benefits that are central to effortless customer experiences:

1. Increase speed to find

Poor page speed, a lack of search visibility, and inadequate click navigation can hinder the ability of customers to find what they need. Proper site structure helps customers find and navigate to the content they need faster. This is due to the faster loading times and simplified navigation that result from an intuitive content organization.

Yet, people aren’t the only consumers of content. Bodies of content that are properly structured, organized, and tagged make it easier for search engines to crawl them. This way, when customers search Google, your content has a better chance of appearing on page one of the results.

2. Improve the scalability of knowledge operations

Consistent and sound content structure is key to ensuring speedy and stable site experiences, too. Guided Content Framework automatically protects this structure: as you continue to add content, it will intuitively connect and link related pages. This kind of scalability is a must when it comes to multi-site deployments and the need to maintain large bodies of content in multiple countries and languages.

Most importantly, though, Guided Content Framework helps protect the user experience. It is your internal and external customers, after all—your prospects, existing customers, and employees—that need content to be successful with your product or service.

So, what kind of library do you have? Do you provide a modern, engaging, and intuitive experience like the Library of Congress? Or is your body of knowledge a flat, disorganized amalgam that sends customers down dark corridors and dimly lit basements to find what they need?

The answer will give a good indication of your customer experience. Guided Content Framework can help.

Learn more about Guided Content Framework

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Additional categories: Customer Experience, Featured Posts, Knowledge Management