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How to create interactive user guides in Confluence Cloud
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How to create interactive user guides in Confluence Cloud

A headshot of Daniel Domene Martinez
Daniel Domene Martinez
28th June, 2024
6 min read
A Confluence page showing two user icons interacting on a stylised background
A headshot of Daniel Domene Martinez
Daniel Domene Martinez
28th June, 2024
6 min read
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What is an interactive user guide?
What are the benefits of interactive user guides?
Why use Confluence for creating user guides?
How to create an interactive user guide in Confluence Cloud

Flexible, engaging, and easy to follow, here’s how to create your own interactive user guides in Confluence Cloud.

Want an easy way to empower your users and bring support costs down?

If you’re already using Confluence for documentation, onboarding, or as a knowledge base, turning your content into handy user guides is a natural next step.

Let’s dive into why Confluence is the perfect place to host interactive user guides, and how to create your own (with some useful examples).

What is an interactive user guide?

An interactive user guide is a digital resource that’s designed to help users understand a product, service, or concept. Unlike traditional user manuals, interactive user guides are more dynamic, engaging, and have a more intuitive learning experience.

You can use interactive user guides for product demos, troubleshooting guides, online courses, onboarding, and customer help centres.

What are some features of interactive user guides?

Interactive user guides often have the following characteristics:
  • Multimedia elements such as videos, images, and audio, to make the guide more interactive.
  • Branching scenarios to give users more tailored instructions, helping them to find the relevant answer quicker.
  • A web-based platform so that anyone, anywhere can access the guide - all they need is an internet connection.
  • Mobile-friendly design so that users can view guides on-the-go as well as from their desktops.

What are the benefits of interactive user guides?

Interactive user guides make learning, troubleshooting, or following steps more engaging and easy to follow. Here are just a few reasons why you should use them:
  • Improved understanding: Interactive elements and tailored steps make it easier for users to navigate and learn the right information.
  • Better knowledge retention: Visual, engaging content helps users retain up to six times more information.
  • Greater flexibility: Users can go at their own pace and revisit steps if/when they need to.
  • Better self-service: Guides can help users find the answers they need themselves, which reduces the need for customer support.

Why use Confluence for creating user guides?

Confluence is a flexible knowledge management tool that is perfect for documentation, knowledge bases, and even user guides!

Confluence’s real-time collaboration lets multiple team members work on pages at the same time, and it seamlessly integrates with other Atlassian apps and third-party Confluence macros to make content immersive and engaging.

By using an app like Guided Pathways for Confluence, you can turn Confluence pages into branching, multi-step user journeys that are perfect for interactive user guides.

How to create an interactive user guide in Confluence Cloud

Step 1: Plan your guide structure

Before you start creating your user guides, make sure to plan out your documents first! It’ll save you time and help you understand the different page branches that will need to connect.

Use some paper or a brainstorming tool to draft a structure. Here’s a simple plan for a troubleshooting guide that we created with Confluence Whiteboards.

In this example, the introduction page lets a user choose from three different problems, which each have their own pages. If none of the solutions on the pages work, the user can navigate to the Support page, which lists Customer Support contact details.
A Confluence Whiteboard diagram of an interactive user guide with branching steps

Step 2: Create a dedicated space for your guides

Now you’ve planned your user guide, you need a place to house the pages for your interactive user guides. To do this, select Spaces in the top bar, then click Create a space.
The Confluence spaces dropdown menu
Choose from one of the templates or begin with a blank space. Don’t forget to give your Confluence space a useful name so you can easily find it later on!

Step 3: Create Confluence pages (one for each step in your guide)

Once you’ve built a dedicated space, you’ll need to create a page for every step in your interactive user guide. This is so you can link them all up later.

1. In your new Confluence space, click Create > Page in the top bar.
2. Add your information to each page and click Publish when each is ready.

Here’s an example of our Getting Started page for our troubleshooter. We’ve added a background macro using Content Formatting Macros to make the header stand out:
A Confluence page showing a troubleshooting guide
3. Once you’ve created your pages, you can nest the child pages to make them a bit neater. For example, this is our page structure:
A Confluence page tree showing different pages in a troubleshooting guide
If you’re not sure how to rearrange pages this way, read our guide on how to move Confluence pages.

💡 Top tip: Don’t forget to make your pages public! If you need help figuring out how, read our blog on Confluence permissions.

Step 4: Organise your pages with Guided Pathways for Confluence

Now you’ve got all your Confluence pages ready, it’s time to create your interactive user guide.

With the help of Guided Pathways for Confluence, you can quickly pull together pages into a branching, tailored guide with multiple outcomes. So first, you’ll need to install Guided Pathways.

1. Once you’ve installed Guided Pathways, select Apps > Guided Pathways in Confluence’s top menu.

2. From here, click the blue + Create a guide button.
The Create a guide button on the Guided Pathways for Confluence app homepage
3. Choose a title for your guide, a category, and a description, like we’ve done below, and click Create.
Details for a troubleshooting interactive user guide in Guided Pathways for Confluence
4. Add your first step by giving it a name and choosing a published Confluence page. Then, press the + (plus) in the left sidebar to create a new child page (this will link the pages together).
The “Add a child” step button in Guided Pathways for Confluence
5. Add a name for the child page, choose what will show on the parent page’s button, and then add your Confluence page to this page of the guide.
Details for a step in a user guide within Guided Pathways for Confluence
6. Repeat this for all the pages in your guide, adding extra child steps when linking to a new branching choice.

Here’s what the page tree for our simple guide looks like:
The Guided Pathways decision tree for a Confluence user guide
When you’re finished with your guide, click Publish in the top-right corner to make it viewable to other users.

Congratulations! You’ve now created your first interactive user guide. All your guides are easily accessible from the Guided Pathways homepage (Apps > Guided Pathways).

You can share the homepage URL directly with users or embed it in your Confluence knowledge base to help users self-serve quicker.

Create engaging user guides, onboarding documents, and more!

Guided Pathways makes it easy to build effortless journeys from your Confluence pages. Help your users find answers faster!
Written by
A headshot of Daniel Domene Martinez
Daniel Domene Martinez
Technical Product Marketing Manager
With over a decade of digital marketing expertise, Daniel is the Product Marketing Manager for Kolekti's latest Confluence app, Guided Pathways. He excels at taking products to market, capturing customer feedback, and transforming them into actionable insights for product enhancements.

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