Creating a new information architecture (IA) and content strategy for the product documentation
Aim: Restructure and enhance the content of the webpages for Citrix Workspace product documentation based on the technical journey that administrators typically follow for installation, configuration, onboarding, and optimisation.
The existing product documentation for Citrix Workspace lacked a cohesive story that aligned with the processes and activities that an administrator must follow for onboarding. Instead, the documentation was organised based on the mental models of the engineers and product managers that created its features, resulting in oversaturated pages and content that could be hard to find, most notably the "Workspace configuration" article.
To these ends, I restructured the product documentation to:
a. Complement the stages of the end-to-end technical journey for administrators.
b. Help customers onboard to the product from common business starting points.
I created a high-level roadmap for organising, scheduling, creating, and publishing content based on a proposed restructure. Given the evolving nature of documentation, and the size of the existing Citrix Workspace doc set, I took an incremental approach over four implementation phases. The whole process took three months and allowed me to collect live feedback as it came in.
Assess and plan
Create summary pages
Cater to use cases
Desaturate the configuration article
Clarify additional options
Note: The images that follow aren't intended to be readable, but to demonstrate the amount of information that was collected and dissected so that the content could be understood and reordered.
0. Assess and plan
I assessed user needs, site content, and the existing navigation to create a foundation on which to reorganise, plan, and maintain content for the Citrix Workspace product documentation. The assess and plan process, as whole, involved the following overlapping activities.
Taking inventory and auditing content. I located, identified, defined, and documented existing content and structure. I evaluated content usefulness, accuracy, effectiveness, gaps, and opportunities, as well as potential improvements in the IA that could be made based on the administrator's technical workflow.
Mapping the technical workflow. I defined the main phases of the basic journey for administrators required for the product's end-to-end installation, configuration, onboarding, and optimisation. This was a dynamic task that involved continuous validation with subject matter experts (SMEs).
Assessing user needs. I collated insights from stakeholders, SMEs, survey data, and information-retrieval behaviour (search data) to assess administrator needs and pain points that could be addressed in a restructure of the product documentation.
Defining use cases. I identified, considered, and accounted for common deployment scenarios so that the product documentation could accommodate typical customer experiences of onboarding to the product.
Creating an IA framework and content strategy. I created and validated iterations of a new structure for the product documentation pages in the form of sitemaps and accompanying tables of contents; I drafted a plan for implementation, governance, and validation.
1. Create summary pages
Following interviews with colleagues in Marketing and Supportability, I first targeted individual articles that dealt with high-level concepts and summaries that would provide introductions to key activities. The focus was on creating new, self-contained content for helping admins understand the scope, process, and prerequisites for getting started with Citrix Workspace. This content included:
A new Overview page.
A overhaul of the Get started with Citrix Workspace page.
Significant updates to the Manage your workspace experience page.
2. Cater to use cases
Customers transition to Citrix Workspace for a variety of reasons. Common deployment scenarios and their uses cases were called out as part of the product documentation restructure. The aim was to provide the roadmap for ways in which the customer could use Citrix Workspace to meet common business requirements. The following deployment scenarios and their use cases were laid out in two dedicated child pages under Get started with Citrix Workspace. These represented common customer “starting points”:
Deliver DaaS with Citrix Workspace for helping Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops (CVAD) customers transition to Citrix Workspace.
Access and share files with Content Collaboration in Citrix Workspace for helping Citrix Content Collaboration (CCC) and ShareFile customers transition to Citrix Workspace.
3. Desaturate the configuration article
I broke down the Configure workspaces page, which involved creating six new pages and repurposing the seventh. These pages were ordered around the admin technical workflow and were outlined in the Get started with Citrix Workspace page.
This work involved edits to related content, adding and changing links to new pages and sections across the doc set, and updating the Table of Contents and landing page in Git. I updated stakeholders about important changes to links that they should be aware of in a table format.
4. Clarify additional options
The final implementation phase involved updating content and writing articles for additional access, security, and optimisation options, including authentication, on-premises, and connectivity options.
"Jeunese demonstrated not only her knowledge and understanding of IA, but also tremendous focus, determination, and desire to improve the user experience."
– Lead Information Developer
3 months project completion time
81% docs feedback ticket reduction
The entire restructure project, including assessing, planning, and all four implementation phases, took three months to complete. Stakeholders were updated at the end of each phase, and their input solicited.
Before the restructure, there were 60 feedback tickets for document fixes and update requests related to Citrix Workspace content. This reduced to 11 by the end of the restructure effort.
Aside from the documentation itself, consisting of a new Table of Contents, modified pages, and new content, the restructure effort produced the following artefacts, many of which were used by colleagues in product management and design.
Three workflows for getting started with Citrix Workspace, one for new customers, and two for customers transitioning from other Citrix products.
A summary of user needs and pain points with Citrix Workspace and with the respective product documentation, including recurring questions that come up for customer success teams.
An evolving sitemap to be used as a single source of truth and to be updated regularly for planning major changes.
A new proposed content strategy for the product documentation consisting of a governance and validation plan for the new framework.
Challenges and learnings
The main challenge arose when the company, itself, went through a major restructure during the first implementation phase of this project. This meant that SMEs and stakeholders I had been in contact and collaboration with were not always available. I had to develop new professional relationships and the product documentation restructure effort had to take into account these company-wide changes.
Before this, one of the main difficulties – but also a valuable outcome – was understanding and communicating the administrator workflows, the history of the product, the roadmaps to adoption, and the relationship between this and other products. Sorting through this was one of the main (internal) outcomes.