Structure and Organization with Refined Explained

They say that customers come to Refined for the theme, and they stay for the organization. Refined provides the tools to create a well structured and organized workplace communication system. 

Be it Jira Service Desk, Confluence, or Jira (coming soon) Refined includes tools to organize your content into groups, categories and ultimately improve navigation for the end user.

So how exactly does this work? The structure and organization in Refined can be a difficult concept to get your head around. In this blog we will attempt to provide clarity on how you can structure your content in Refined for Confluence and Refined for Jira Service Desk.

Structure in Refined for Confluence Server, DC and soon coming to Cloud

In standard Confluence, pages live in a space, directly accessible from the Confluence dashboard. In Refined for Confluence, pages live in a space, spaces live in categories, and categories are directly accessible from a top navigation menu. Essentially with Refined you have a clear overview of your spaces using the top navigation menu and a way of grouping spaces into these categories that sit in the menu.

Here is another way of grasping the structure:

The organization capabilities don’t stop there in Refined for Confluence. With Refined you also have the option of having multiple Confluence sites connected to one Confluence. As an example, Arctic Rim, one of the fake companies we use on our demonstration site set up their Confluence with Refined to have a Project Site and a Team Site connected to the one Confluence instance. You can follow the seven steps they took to build a kick-ass Confluence with Refined.

With multiple Refined sites in use, the structure looks more like this:

We have seen the site function used in the following ways (there are many more):

  • The organization has multiple office locations and each location has it’s own site connected to the one Confluence. E.g., One Refined Confluence site for the Tokyo office and one site for the New York office for example)
  • Confluence is used for multiple use cases and purposes. E.g., One Refined Confluence site as a knowledge base for the entire company and another site as a project collaboration tool for only the internal IT team. Both connected to the one Confluence. Users can be assigned to a specific site using permissions
  • For large enterprise instances. Large Confluence instances can garner a meaty amount of spaces and content and it can begin to get messy. These customers use us to better organize their spaces and split the content into sites. E.g., One site per internal department.

Here is another way of looking at the site structure:

Structure in Refined for Jira Service Desk Server, DC and Cloud

In standard Jira Service Desk customer portals live in the service desk help center directly accessible from the help center. In Refined for Jira Service Desk, customer portals can be grouped into categories which act like landing pages to direct users to the correct portal and display helpful resources. Both categories and customer portals are directly accessible from the themed and tailored help center. There are a number of easy steps to implement in our product engage both technical and non-technical visitors to your Jira Service Desk.

You can also choose to have multiple help centers connected to the one Jira Service Desk. We call these sites. It’s possible to skip the category function and just organize your customer portals into different sites. In Refined for Jira Service Desk, the overall structure is seen in a top breadcrumb menu. 

Here is another way of conceptualizing the site and category structure:

We’ve seen customers use the site and category function in the following ways: 

  • Categories are used to group customer portals all covering a similar purpose. A common example of this would be customer portals relating to IT being grouped into an IT Service and Support category while customer portals relating to HR are grouped into an HR Support category. The category itself acts like a landing page in which self service content can be easily added. 
  • The site function is often used to separate internal support customers to external. For example, if an organization has partners, or a B2B service offering, they would send those customers to a site directly meeting their B2B customer needs. Here the customer portals are only relevant to the B2B service offering. Meanwhile internal employees would visit a different site directly meeting their needs as an employee of the company. Both sites are connected to the one Jira Service Desk (making the agents very happy). Customers can be assigned to a specific site using permissions
  • For large enterprise instances. These are organizations who tend to have a lot of customer portals and need a way of grouping the portals. This in turn serves the customers better as they are more likely to visit a help center, category or customer portal relevant to them. 

We have more information on site and category structure on our documentation site. Otherwise give the product a try and you will get the hang of it pretty quickly!