Spaces in Confluence – useful and versatile
Among other things, Confluence sets itself apart from other non-commercial wiki and social collaboration solutions by allowing organizations to structure their content in spaces. In Confluence, spaces form the superordinate organizational unit, helping to sort information thematically, give it context, and separate it from other content.
Furthermore, Confluence spaces can be assigned specific rights for different users and user groups. This can be particularly helpful because within an organization, different employees will use spaces for different use cases – to optimize project administration, collaborate on public content, simplify teamwork, share evaluations, or document knowledge.
And yet, the obstacles to creating and configuring a new space are quite low. Even less-experienced users are just a few clicks away from creating a new space. In just a few minutes, a team, project, or topic has its very own Confluence space in the instance.
The drawback of too many spaces
But this can have its drawbacks: Especially when it comes to large Confluence systems, creating new spaces can quickly get out of hand. Before you know it, the system has hundreds of them!
However, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. There is no sure formula for success, and the question as to whether a wiki should be made up of a few large spaces or lots of small spaces can lead to quite a range of answers and opinions.
Whichever strategy you adhere to, the approach that uses a very large number of spaces can have an adverse effect on the user experience. Every new Confluence space begins life with nothing more than a space home page. After this, team members are free to decide how granularly they want to organize the space, which can mean that structures are established very quickly, which aren't very clear to the user upon first glance.
Organizations want structure and conclusiveness
The reason why this can be so detrimental to the user experience is that the navigation from space to space can differ significantly, and there is no universal, conclusive guidance for the user. For example, this can prove especially problematic in Confluence instances that have been extended to become intranets using Linchpin.
One particular example is especially revealing here. Most companies require that the spaces for all of the departments and teams within a single intranet adhere to a universal structure. For example, each space should have a team photo, a brief description, contact details, and a list of team members on the home page.
Similar requirements in relation to structure and content then come up for specific project spaces, spaces with employee information, etc. too. In any case, the organization must be able to rely on the fact that the user that creates the space and enters the initial information will also adhere to the desired structure. In an organization with thousands of users and hundreds of spaces in its intranet, this is probably nothing more than a pipe dream.
Blueprint Creator: Space blueprints simplify many aspects
The Blueprint Creator for Confluence addresses this precise problem. This app offers a way to create templates for spaces, or Space Blueprints, without the need for programming. It can be used to create new spaces with pre-defined page structures with the click of a mouse.
While users have been able to use this app to create pages in Confluence using variables and placeholders in a form-based tool for some time now. They now have the option to make blueprints for spaces, too. This new feature enables companies to provide their own blueprints for almost any space – project spaces, team spaces, knowledge spaces, etc. – without a great deal of effort.
This option not only saves time but also ensures that space structures are standardized and makes it easier for users to navigate the system – in turn, increasing user productivity.
Using placeholders in Blueprints
Moreover, Blueprint Creator now provides the option to use placeholders. This way, the most essential information on a project can be retrieved right away, as soon as a new space has been started – simply and systematically. This information is then deposited in the right places by the Space Creator.
To avoid overwhelming the user right at that start and keep the process as intuitive as possible, the creator dialog can be adapted so that the system requests and explains information in several distinct steps.
Integration with authorizations
The space blueprints that can be set using the Blueprint Creator can also be integrated into the Confluence authorization system. As such, companies can restrict the use of specific space blueprints to certain user groups.
Furthermore, they can configure different authorization patterns that are automatically assigned to newly created spaces. This way, those building a new space do not need to figure out the rights and access restrictions each time they do so.
Standardization, improved user experience, less administration
The new features in Blueprint Creator have a number of key advantages for organizations that use a Confluence Wiki or Confluence-based intranet.
Firstly, space blueprints make a significant contribution to the structural standardization of the instance, which should not be underestimated and forms an essential requirement for a company intranet. Secondly, users also benefit from the assistance they now receive when creating spaces. The result is simplified, cross-space navigation that leads to more efficiency for all users.
Using blueprints, which provide spaces with the necessary framework, also reduces administration. This is particularly good news for those employees who – as Space Gardeners – are in charge of making sure that their spaces are (and remain) up-to-date and well-structured.
Find out more and try it out!
Do you want to find out more about Blueprint Creator for Confluence? Are you interested in testing the app, no strings attached? Blueprint Creator is now available on the Atlassian Marketplace. And if you have any further questions, our development team would be happy to help. Feel free to get in touch!