Knowledge Base

How to organize your knowledge base

Article ID: 472
Last updated: 7 Dec, 2020

Before you start creating a knowledge base, it is very important to think through its structure.

In this article, we will look at the main issues that need to be carefully considered for the knowledge base to fulfill its intended purpose and for end users to find it easy and convenient to use.

1. Determine the purpose and themes

When creating a knowledge base, it is necessary to determine the intended audience. A knowledge base will fulfill different purposes and have different content depending on whether it’s aimed at an external or internal audience.

Once you have defined your audience, find out their needs. These needs will be the basis for new topics in the knowledge base.

You can use the following materials to search for topics:

  • answers to frequently asked questions from customers or users,
  • documentation on the new release of the product or service,
  • internal documents with information that may be useful to users,
  • feedback and reviews left by clients,
  • conducted surveys, and much more.

Compile all the relevant information. You probably have content that you can add to your knowledge base right now.

2. Think over the layout of the knowledge base and its structure

The next important step in creating a knowledge base is selecting its proper structure.

The layout will allow you to determine where and how the information will be arranged, as well as how the sections will look to the end user. The structure will give you an idea of how to organize the information for better navigation and search.

In the knowledge base, you can create categories and publish articles devoted to specific topics.

3. Generate article templates for each section of the knowledge base

There are many advantages to using ready-made templates when writing articles in the knowledge base. Ready-made templates simplify the process of writing articles and reduces the time spent on their design. Templates can contain fields that are already predefined for the article. This will allow the author to focus on writing the content of the article rather than wasting time filling out those fields.

Consistency across articles keeps the knowledge base neat and helps users navigate the content better.

Templates can contain explanations that help the author write the main content of the article. For example, a template for a How to article might look like this:

  • Title
  • Introduction (2-3 sentences)
  • Step-by-step sequence of actions
  • Conclusion (1-2 sentences)

4. Think over the procedure for publishing the finished content

You should determine in advance the procedure for publishing finished content.

Decide who will write articles and who will approve and publish them. Then, in the knowledge base, create and assign roles to everyone who participates in the procedure: i.e., writing, approval of articles, etc.

It is important to keep in mind that the publishing procedure may differ depending on the type of content.

Schedule the time when the material will be published. Also, decide when you need to update or delete outdated articles.

5. Set visibility of articles

You should always control visibility of or access to articles ‒ what external users can see and what internal employees can see. You must not allow certain documents, especially confidential ones, to be in the public domain for everyone.

Employees who are responsible for publishing content should set visibility and access parameters for that content, considering the intended audience. For example, certain HR documents should only be accessible to HR staff, etc.

To securely store the company's intellectual property and prevent leakage of confidential information, pay special attention to setting access rights to all materials in the knowledge base. You can define and assign privileges that allow only some activities: viewing, editing, deleting, downloading, printing, commenting, etc.

6. Improve access to the knowledge base

The knowledge base is effective only if users can find it quickly.

Place a link to the knowledge base in the menu of your website or, better yet, on all pages of the website. Consult with designers and other specialists who can tell you how to make the knowledge base easily accessible to your website users.

Article ID: 472
Last updated: 7 Dec, 2020
Revision: 1
Access: Public
Views: 498
Comments: 0