Reinventing Lithium documentation

Khoros Staff

Starting with the 13.10 release, Lithium has begun rolling out several documentation and in-product assistance improvements, all working toward single goal…make Lithium products easier to use and provide you with great answers so you can create best-in-class communities.


Some background

I joined Lithium earlier this year with the charter of assessing our existing documentation and taking it to the next level. Where to start? With you, of course.


A few months ago, I sent out Lithium’s first Customer Documentation Survey to learn from you what’s working and what needs improvement. Based on the findings from this survey, we’ve been making significant changes to our docs, relating to its content, distribution medium, and usability.


One of the top themes from the survey pertained to organization and usability. About 50% of you felt that our docs were too hard to find and use. We agree.


Other themes that bubbled up were:

  • Keeping content up to date with the product releases
  • Providing better in-context help in Admin/Studio
  • Examples, examples, examples



Time to shake things up…


Organization: We’ve overhauled how we organize and distribute our product docs on Lithosphere. Instead of pages of articles that link to long PDF guides, we’ve bucketed our docs into themed categories for easy browsing and converted most of our PDFs to targeted TKB articles.

(You'll need to have customer or partner access to navigate to the new documentation area)



One of the problems with distributing docs as PDFs is that it’s hard to keep them up to date (another common grumble from the survey), especially when we’re adding and updating features every month. As a result, we’ve ended up with a lot of stale and duplicate content across guides. No more!


By moving our doc into TKBs, we gain these benefits:

  • Less duplication
  • Faster updates
  • Crowdsourcing options
  • Ability to link directly to content from Admin/Studio (coming soon)


Join the conversation: One of the best advantages of moving to TKB is that we can work together to improve the docs. If you see an error or have a tip to share, let us know. Think we’re missing something? Email us or write an article and nominate it to be added to the Doc KB.  


Answers at your fingertips: We need to do a lot more that just change how we deliver our docs. We need to make it easier for you to get the answers you need. To that end, we’re moving a lot of content from the docs and embedding it right in the product. Need to know what a specific permission does? Just click the tooltip.






Coming Very Soon…In-product Help

We’re in the process of connecting the new Doc KB directly to Admin and Studio to provide you context-sensitive help (CSH). Soon, you’ll be able to click the Show help for this pagelink at the bottom of each Admin and Studio page.




The new help viewer will open and provide links to relevant content from Lithosphere's documentation so you can jump right to the article or category you need.




Beefing up our developer docs


You’ve already seen a lot of these improvements to our developer docs this year. We’re continuing to improve the REST API documentation page, which provides an overview of how to use the API, as well as categorized groupings of methods for easy browsing and searching.






Click any method to get the details you need.





Improved Studio component groupings and descriptions

Another one of your big requests was more useful information about all the components available in Studio. We’ve revamped the component tooltips to provide you with all the information you need.




Additionally, we have made these Studio component improvements:


  • More descriptive component names: We updated some of the component names in Studio so that they align with how the component displays in the community.
  • More intuitive component groupings: We have rearranged the components into more logical groups based on how you will use and look for the components.
  • Removal of internal components: We have hidden a handful of components from Studio that are intended for internal use only.

And, in the future, we’ll be making these component descriptions even better.



On the horizon…

We’re excited to hear what you think about these changes. We have lots more exciting improvements coming to Lithium docs over the next year. Stay tuned…


John and Suzie

Your Lithium doc champions