knowledge-management

Knowledge Base Design Tips to Keep In Mind

8 min read
Jan 5, 2023
a notepad with ui design sketches

Building and maintaining a knowledge base requires a good deal of effort. But the effort doesn’t mean much if your customers aren’t using it!

Getting people to navigate your knowledge base for answers can feel like an uphill battle, but you’re not alone in facing this challenge. The secret to getting users to take advantage of your knowledge base is design.

Taking into account factors such as organization, searchability, relevance, readability, and visual appeal can make all the difference when boosting knowledge base usage among customers. With a well-designed suite of resources in place, customer service reps should have an easier time keeping up with tickets and delivering accurate help - because customers will already have access to relevant information before they even reach out!

Knowledge base design best practices

Product teams consistently strive to build great products by leveraging a mix of UX resources, roadmaps, and customer interviews. In a similar fashion, customer support teams can improve their customers’ experience by taking a product-focused approach when creating content for their knowledge bases.

By following best practices for knowledge base design such as optimizing the conversational tone throughout the articles, taking a data-driven approach to decision-making, and never lose sight of their mission - to help customers - they can ensure that each interaction with the knowledge base is both effective and pleasant.

Clear and concise content

Writing clear, concise and easily digestible content is key to ensuring customer satisfaction and good knowledge base design. When customers hit your knowledge base they want quick answers so they can get back to using your product, not a detailed and convoluted explanation.

Being up to date with the latest UI changes will show customers that you are dedicated to giving them a great experience. Keep it conversational, like you're explaining something to your friend - this helps explain difficult concepts in a simpler way.

By writing content that is clear, concise and easy to understand, customers will be able to find answers quickly and get back into the product feeling satisfied.

Good design

When it comes to your knowledge base, the design needs to be top notch.

After all, your customers want answers fast and it’s up to you to make that happen. Some things you can do are implement a prominent search feature so users can immediately find just what they’re looking for, as well as add links to your most popular articles on the homepage so they don’t have to leave the page right away. This way, customers get the answers they need without compromising on aesthetics.

So make sure you put in extra effort when it comes to designing your knowledge base; you won’t regret it!

Data-driven decisions

Making data-driven decisions is the best way to get a grasp on how customers interact with your knowledge base and make sure it's serving them in the best way possible.

It's not just about understanding where customers are going and what they're doing when they get there, but really delving deep into the metrics behind those behaviors. Page views, bounce rate and time on page can show you the whole story of customer engagement. Leverage that data to make meaningful improvements that users actually want, like optimizing user flows and helping people find the right content faster.

With data by your side, you can craft a knowledge base experience tailored to your customers' needs for maximum satisfaction.

Use the right tone of voice

Understanding how your customers talk about your offerings is key to making sure they can find you online. They may not use the same terms or language that you and your team do, so taking time to review support conversations, chat transcripts and other customer touch points can help ensure customers find you more easily. Doing this not only gives them what they're looking for but it also shows that you value their opinion and take the time to understand their unique language.

Make your knowledge base accessible

Making sure your customers are able to easily access your company's knowledge base is essential for positive customer support experiences. By connecting the knowledge base with contact points, customers can quickly get the answers they need and won't have to contact customer service directly.

This allows customers to find help in a fast and efficient way, providing them with an enjoyable experience overall. Furthermore, linking prominently to the knowledge base from these contact points makes it easy for customers to access without having to search for it - allowing them more time to focus on finding the information they need.

Ensure readability

When creating content, it's important not to overlook the design of your help documents.

Good document design is essential for helping your readers quickly understand and digest your content. Applying simple knowledge base design tips like contrast and white space can go a long way in making the information you provide more inviting and accessible. Taking the time to apply these best practices will ensure that your users are able to easily access the information they need with little effort and can find satisfying solutions more quickly.

Don't underestimate the power of good design!

Article design best practices

Whether you're designing for internal or external audiences, knowledge base articles should always be clear and concise. 

Have a look at a few knowledge base article design tips.

Use typography to create hierarchy

One of the most important aspects of good text page design is using typography to create hierarchy. Hierarchy simply refers to the way in which elements are arranged on a page, with some being more prominent than others. This is typically accomplished by using different font sizes, weights, and colors for different elements. By doing this, you can ensure that the most important information stands out and is easy to find.

Keep lines of text short

Another important tip for good text page design is to keep lines of text short. This makes it easier for readers to scan the page and find the information they are looking for. It also helps to prevent eye fatigue, which can occur when reading long blocks of text. To keep lines of text short, you can use wide margins and/or break up your text into smaller paragraphs.

Use ample white space

In addition to keeping lines of text short, it is also important to use ample white space in your design. White space refers to the areas of a page that are left blank, without any text or images. Ample white space helps to make a page more visually appealing and easier to read. It also helps to prevent information overload, as it gives the eye a place to rest between sections of text.

Choose an appropriate typeface

Another important consideration for good text page design is choosing an appropriate typeface. A typeface is simply a set of fonts that share certain characteristics, such as width, height, and style (e.g., serif or sans serif). When choosing a typeface for your design, you should consider factors such as the purpose of the design and the audience you are targeting. Additionally, you should make sure that the typeface you choose is legible and easy to read at various sizes.

Use color sparingly

While color can be an effective tool for drawing attention to certain elements on a page, it should be used sparingly in most cases. This is because too much color can be visually overwhelming and make a page difficult to read. When using color in your design, you should stick to one or two main colors, with additional accents as needed.

Use bullets and lists

Breaking up your document with bullet points and numbered lists can be a great way to emphasize key information and break up dense text. For example, if you have customers that need to follow a set of steps or other important details, including this information in an easily digestible list makes it easier for readers to grasp and quickly access. You should also consider adding a table of contents so your readers can quickly jump to the section they need. This is especially helpful when the topic is complex and the article is several pages long - it's an easy way to ensure clarity and efficiency.

Learn about other tips for building good knowledge base articles.

Over to you

Designing the knowledge base of your product requires more than providing access to user manuals and articles - it must provide meaningful ways to help customers, ensure that they can find what they need and make it easy for them to use it.

If you're looking for a knowledge base software, make sure you check KnowledgeBase. It's an easy-to-use and affordable tool you can use to build a help center.

When coming up with knowledge base design ideas, consider whether or not it will help customers with their goals. If the answer is yes, test it out and measure its performance. Make adjustments accordingly as well as focusing on creating great content that best meets customers' needs. Additionally, use data-driven insights to inform changes in knowledge base design so you can deliver an even more seamless customer experience.

After all, the goal at the end of the day is for your knowledge base to reflect the values of your company by helping customers find what they need quickly and efficiently.