Wikis need an individual design

This page and the included designs are based on the Theme Archetype which will not be supported anymore. If you are interested in an individual design for your Confluence, please take a look at our Linchpin Theme Plugin.


In many companies, the wiki system has become an important platform for communication and information, that sometimes even replaces the existing intranet. The more actively participating users, the higher the success of the wiki project - until it’s used naturally. An investment in the wiki design is still often seen critically at the beginning. Due to cost pressures, many companies work with standard wiki interfaces. It works - but doesn’t extract the full value.

Examples for Confluence layouts

By the way:

This Infothek of //SEIBERT/MEDIA is also based on Confluence, and therefore a good example of what you can do with individual design.

Acceptance and trust in the system

If the company wiki appears in the style of the corporate design, the software automatically takes on a more important and more official role. It becomes clear to the employees, that the system is especially individualized for the usage within the company and that money was spent on the development.

Examples for the adaptation of standard design to corporate design:

  • The wiki is adapted to the corporate design regarding colors, fonts, logo
  • Adaptation of design vocabulary, e.g. the use of eye-catching teaser boxes
  • Export templates, e.g. adaptation of PDF files to the corporate design
  • Different (company-) spaces with different designs if desired

Greater user-friendliness

For many people a wiki is a new media. What might sound trivial to employees of the IT department, is actually often a challenge for colleagues of non-technical departments and therefore may have a deterrent effect. Confluence is a very complex software with many functions and opportunities - and offers solutions for innumerable use cases. Not every colleague has the time and motivation to work intensely with the new system, before he works on the content. Especially in big companies, it is unrealistic to train every single employee. Therefore it is important to provide the relevant functions to “new” users and assist them with how to quickly and easily start working with the wiki.

Examples for the improvement of user-friendliness:

  • Important functions are designed to catch the eye so they can be more easily found and used.
  • The restriction of the maximum width doesn’t allow text lines to be displayed to long and enhances the readability.
  • The concept of typography is optimized to benefit a clearer layout.
  • The horizontal main navigation with drop down menu offers a better orientation regarding content aspects.

Over the course of our many years of project experience, some improvements to usability have emerged, which make most sense for Confluence as a company wiki. This has developed into our Confluence Theme Archetype (until Confluence 5.10.8), that is the basis for design individualization. You can find more information on "Personalized Confluence Themes based on Theme archetypes".

The theme archetype will not be supported anymore starting with Confluence 5.10.8. Beginning with Confluence 5.10.6 we encourage you to use the Linchpin Theme or Linchpin Theme Plugin - Enterprise.

Simplify the daily work

The possibilities to display wiki content even more clearly than through the standard theme are increasing with a design adaptation. Users get faster in finding the things they are looking for and get an easier access to - mostly very extensive - content.

Examples for design adaptation that make working with the wiki even more efficient:

  • Joint development of a useful design and arrangement of the content on the key pages (e.g. overview page, space start page)
  • Additional design elements for more clearly arranged pages
  • Simple export of presentable PDF and Word files, that don’t have to be adapted manually to the corporate design

Conclusion: Lower inhibition threshold, higher participation and therefore a more successful system

If you want to carry out a successful wiki project, you should also invest in an individual and professional layout. If you go without it based on budget reasons, you should plan the investment for a later date. You will be confronted with this issue frequently while thinking about wiki-acceptance. We are happy to inform you extensively about the possibilities and the next useful steps, e.g. the hosting of a joint workshop. It requires about 4 to 6 hours. In such a workshop the interface requirements are defined, which significantly differ from websites. Following this workshop, we prepare an offer for the next steps that exactly fits your needs.

The budget requirements for a simple, standard and a sophisticated, high-class design are available in example-calculations. We are happy to provide you this information on request - free of charge and without commitment.

Further information on wiki designs:

Reference B.Braun - Confluence based social intranet

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This content was last updated on 03/17/2017.

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