Aura in Confluence: Make the functional beautiful

Aura in Confluence - a synergy of tools

In search of the perfect documentation and intranet tool, you and your team have landed on Confluence. Whether it is because the development team uses Jira or you heard from a friend that Confluence is great, it doesn’t matter. Now, here you are, learning about spaces, page trees, macros, and permissions.

At first, Confluence can seem complex and robust. It contains all the features most would like in a knowledge base software. You can organize your information into spaces and page trees, apply permissions to those spaces and restrictions to the pages, and design pages to fit your style and flare. Mostly.

The third feature is where Confluence probably lacks the most. It’s here where most organizations begin to get frustrated with the experience. We’ve heard “it just looks like Atlassian and not us.” so many times when we ask customers why their Confluence product documentation is not externally facing. This is not a dig at Atlassian’s design team either, sometimes people just want to feel more at home, and familiar design and layout do that.

So here you are, stuck at a crossroads. While your team’s decision to use Confluence may be final, it’s essential to not give up on the tool because it can still provide lots of value. In the following sections, we will talk through some of the situations where design matters in Confluence and how we typically tackle those limitations.

Limited

Everyone knows the design of a product is vital to the success of your business. The design can alter product perception, build trust, make your brand memorable, and set you apart from your competitors. 

Within Confluence, you have some control over design but not control over all of the design aspects. You can edit a Space’s style with CSS, create custom templates and blueprints for consistent page structure, and create a theme for your entire site (note, these are only available for on-premise instances). All of these are great ways to get started customizing Confluence to your needs and are available with varying degrees of technical expertise.

But what if your technical writers are not so technical? What if you don’t have available resources who know CSS? What if you want to take your designs to the next level and build trust with your customers? 

Let’s talk through some of these situations.

Documentation

Let’s say you have linked Jira Service Desk and Confluence together. Your support team is doing a great job deflecting tickets. It’s time for them to start writing “how-to” articles and other articles to deflect tickets. All of your product documentation is in a Confluence Space, and you are just waiting for the Product Manager’s approval to make the Space public. 

The approval never comes. What now?

The feedback from the PMs is that the Space doesn’t match company branding, and they are hesitant to make it public, worrying it could hurt the organization’s image. You needed a solution to make their pages more presentable. Your Jira Admin sent you to the Atlassian Marketplace to look, and you found Aura for Confluence.

With Aura for Confluence, your team could use the exact styling guidelines their designers had worked so hard to establish. They were able to add buttons to their documentation landing page and a background image that fit each landing page. 

Help Center

You and your team saw the fantastic benefits of branding within Confluence by using Aura. You then turned to the Jira Service Management portal and noticed that it wasn’t quite up to the level of branding that the knowledge base was. Several apps can help the team brand their Jira Service Management portal better, but you didn’t want another app.

You then came up with a brilliant idea. What if you directed customers to Confluence instead of the portal, then linked the different Request Groups and Types to the Confluence page? Then, when customers access the portal, they will initially see the company branding in Confluence with lots of buttons leading to documentation. If customers still need to raise a request, they could click one of the custom-made buttons on the Confluence page.

Overall this helped maintain the organization’s brand. It also helped gain the customers' trust because now they had the same look and feel in their help center landing page throughout the product experience. You accomplished this using the button, background content, and composition macros from Aura.

Now you start to get excited; you wanted to keep this branding consistent and saw that Aura was helping you do that. You had some new products to launch in the coming quarters and were already thinking about how you could use Aura.

Product Showcase

With the new products on the horizon, you needed a way to show off those products to your existing customers. After all, this is the first audience you would target your new products to.

With Confluence Analytics, you could tell the documentation and landing page were getting lots of traction. Your next idea was to use Confluence and Aura instead of the company’s website. Ambitious? Maybe. Practical? Definitely.

With Aura and Confluence, you could showcase your two new products that we're launching later this year. You made product pages that showed large, high-resolution, detailed images of the latest products. You also provided buttons to the places where customers could sign up for early access. Finally, you used Aura cards to display all of the organization’s products in one easy-to-read place. 

Aura makes the functional beautiful

We have gone through three pertinent case studies that you and your team can apply using Aura and Confluence. The best part about these tools is they don’t require any technical expertise. Regular, out-of-the-box Confluence customizations do require somewhat in-depth CSS skills.


Live demo and free trial

If you would like to learn more and see more examples and use cases, you can check out the live demo within Confluence's environment. If you want to try out Aura directly, you can simply install the app in your cloud or data center system via the Atlassian Marketplace to test the solution at your leisure and in full.

We also offer Aura training remotely to give you a quick start in the world of Aura!

Feedback, questions, and constructive input are greatly appreciated by our development team. 🙂


Read more about Aura

Create engaging Confluence pages in 3 steps with Aura
Aura and Aura Compositions: Easily create beautiful & appealing Confluence pages
Aura: Transform boring Confluence pages into beautiful, organized content


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