Better wikis: the most popular design adjustments – marketing the wiki

These days wikis or intranets are deployed in many workplaces with often individually customized designs (which we strongly recommend). In addition to purely graphic customization of the basic layout to match the corporate design, many more factors have become standard. The objectives: user acceptance and employee engagement. A customized professional design in this context is often worth its weight in gold. In this post, I’ll explain various marketing techniques for the wiki and in a follow-up post, I’ll cover usability optimizations. In both of these posts, I’ll include some popular examples from our Confluence design projects. But first, a word on wiki marketing.

The name: What is the wiki actually called?

On one hand, fitting in with the internal tool landscape is important. On the other hand, the employees should warm up to and identify with the new tool as quickly as possible. This is why we encourage you to give your wiki a name.

Wiki, Confluence, Intranet? Communication Point, Wiki Lounge, Knowledge Base, the company’s name with “wiki” tacked on? Or perhaps a completely new name? The name of this tool can vary depending on how the wiki is to be used. But be careful, the name is omnipresent: It’s in the domain and the header area, communicated by email and uttered in conversation. Choosing a good, concise name is a success factor which should not be underestimated, especially in the introduction phase. Keep this in mind, right from the start.

The wiki logo

In addition to the name, the logo always plays an important role. In most wikis, the logo is placed in the header area and is visible on every page. In large businesses, often the business logo is used with the wiki name added. In other cases, a separate symbol is developed, and the company logo is elsewhere on the page, e.g.  in the footer area. Consider what function the wiki has within the business and how it is incorporated into the system structure when designing the logo.

Slogans and images

If a wiki is being newly deployed in a company, it’s worth considering other marketing measures for the wiki to introduct the company philosophy and business culture surrounding the wiki.

Image: In particular, an image motif can be a very good way of conveying the philosophy behind the wiki, which varies according to each company or department and use cases. For instance, an image of this kind might be placed on the start page or additional on help pages or in the header area.

Slogan: You can get across the purpose of the wiki excellently using a slogan. A slogan in a prominent (e.g. on the dashboard) and/or recurring location (e.g. in the footer) will stick in mind – and thus will help to achieve the business objectives of the wiki.

Mascots: For one of our successful design projects we developed a mascot. It has a name, is physically present as a figurine and even has its own user in the wiki, where it draws attention to particularly important or helpful information.

The paramount principle: to live the campaign beyond the tool

In addition to a small campaign within the new wiki about its name, slogan and image motif, there are no limits to the possibilities for extending marketing to areas in-the-flesh – i.e. campaign in the office itself. Posters, articles in employee magazines, pens, stickers or information stands are some of many tried-and-tested ways to generate attention and interest. (Here are some examples of giveaways and activities for internal wiki marketing.)

Such gimmicks and activities are typical, especially leading up to a new wiki’s launch. It’s usual to use these techniques less once users have become accustomed to the new system.

Conclusion

These design customizations in the context of an internal marketing strategy are actually extremely valuable and we advise our clients to take advantage of these ideas in every wiki project. They contribute to increasing user acceptance and engage employees with good ideas and at a relatively low cost, creating the best conditions for a successful rollout. In the upcoming second post, I’ll touch on usability customizations that also help to increase user acceptance and engagement.

Do you have questions about implementing a wiki or an intranet system? Or perhaps you want to extend your existing system? Do you need help with customizing the interface and engaging employees? We’d love to work together with you establish goals for your custom wiki design and find out how best to meet your requirements – perhaps by running a design workshop with you. Contact us – no obligations!

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Further information

Content design for wikis: Customization options for ease of use
Wiki and intranet design workshops by //SEIBERT/MEDIA
Launch campaigns drive the success of company wikis
Factors for the success of wikis: Organization is the key
Implement your corporate design easily in Confluence