How to build engaging Confluence pages with MacroSuite and Content Viz

 

A few years ago, scientists discovered that our brains are incredibly fast at processing visual content. In fact, we get images up to 600 times faster than we process text. Therefore, if you choose to use visuals to display your content, you could see your users’ comprehension and engagement increase significantly.

Confluence pages that consist primarily of text can be overwhelming and, let’s face it, not particularly inviting. So if you’re planning a redesign, it’s worth considering adding some visual customizations such as more exciting layouts, organizational graphs, images, banners, colors, cards, and icons.

What makes a Confluence page good?

Keeping in mind that information is definitely remembered more clearly through visualization, we should take a look at some popular Confluence page choices. After all, over 75,000 customers use Confluence in their daily work – not just internally but in collaboration with clients and stakeholders.

If you are an Atlassian Confluence user, chances are your landing page looks something like this:

Image: A text-only Confluence page

 

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with this layout. It’s just not particularly attractive. Confluence has been around for over 15 years, and for most of its life, it’s acted as a powerful wiki-like tool. Teams can collaborate and share knowledge, assign tasks, and manage calendars. However, in times when dozens of other apps and pages, not to mention meetings, are fighting for our attention… well, text-only pages like this can have trouble getting their message across.

However, there are two easy ways to turn a typical Confluence page into a more structured, colorful layout. Like this:

Image: A Confluence page built using MacroSuite’s Page Builder

 

Two popular solutions for building more engaging Confluence pages are Content Viz and MacroSuite.

What are Content Viz and MacroSuite

Content Viz and MacroSuite offer easy-to-use and customized macros to organize the content in your Confluence pages more engagingly and colorfully.

Content Viz can help you create stunning visualizations and present blog posts, pages, charts, and more using a variety of views or card types. These cards are handy for linking content types within Confluence, such as blog posts, pages, people, and spaces. They do this via dynamic filters or CQL, so the data is continually updated automatically. Content Viz also works with panels, which structure and organize information using different text formats and colors.

MacroSuite, on the other hand, offers content formatting options such as HTML editing, buttons, image carousels, and a powerful Page Builder for Confluence Cloud. They can help you create pages and user stories that are more interesting and engaging – promoting, at the same time, collaboration and knowledge sharing.

Both these tools are great ways to present content in a more visually appealing way. They can improve the user experience and make it easier for people to find relevant information. And the best news: You don’t need any training to start using them because they are incredibly intuitive and easy to apply.

Building beautiful Confluence pages with Content Viz

One of Content Viz’s most powerful tools is Cards, which allow you to create more structured and impressive Confluence pages.

Once you install Content Viz, you can find the cards by going to your Confluence editor, choosing “Other Macros,” and finding and selecting the “Card macro.”

There are several card types you can use:

Basic: Text, icon, and image.
Content: People, pages, and spaces.
Templates: Banner.

Content Viz also works with Content Cards, which are perfect for linking content types within Confluence. Content Cards have four options to work with: Blog posts (for updates around your organization), pages (for guidelines, notes, or collections of articles), people (ideal to put faces to names and visualize the team structure of a company), and spaces (to help guide your team members through the information architecture).

 

Image: Examples of content card types – news, spaces/pages, and people

 

Another tool available through Content Viz is Panels. These are perfect for organizing information as you can assign them colors to help them stand out on a page.

Building beautiful Confluence pages with MacroSuite

If you’re using MacroSuite, we recommend trying their Styleguide and Page Builder tools – as these are some of the most powerful macros out there.

Styleguide is a MacroSuite tool that can help your company achieve consistency across the interface of all of your Confluence pages – from blog posts to knowledge articles.

MacroSuite’s Styleguide includes the full range of colors divided into four palettes (UI Elements, Text, Text Highlights, and Background – which can be combined with Page Builder). Other sections that can be standardized are a buttons library and images (which can come from various sources such as AWS, Confluence attachments, internal server, Dropbox, and free online services like Unsplash and Pixabay).

On the other hand, Page Builder is the first drag-and-drop, flexible macro in the Atlassian Marketplace. This powerful tool lets you build product pages and blogs exactly as you want. You have a left-side navigation area containing all the macros available and can just drag them into the page to build your ideal layout.

Image: Building a Confluence page with Page Builder in MacroSuite

You will always start with an empty section. The first thing you should do is choose a background (which can be an image or video from your library, attachments, a link, a video, or just color). Then, you need to build a layout and begin drag-and-dropping macros to build your custom Confluence page. Or you can use one of Page Builder’s predefined templates.

You can define a column layout for every section in a row, which makes Page Builder a potent tool to create custom flexible page layouts. It’s generally recommended to use around five sections (each section can contain seven rows).

In summary

Your Confluence page doesn’t have to be a wall of text. Content Viz and MacroSuite are two powerful tools that can help you customize your site to make it more user-friendly, engaging, and attractive. We especially recommend Content Viz’s Cards and MacroSuite’s Styleguide and Page Builder.

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