RE: any useful doc tools in Zendesk?

Subject: RE: any useful doc tools in Zendesk?
From: "Robart, Kay" <Kay -dot- Robart -at- tea -dot- texas -dot- gov>
To: Ryan Haber <ryan -dot- haber -at- gmail -dot- com>, Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>, TECHWR-L Writing <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 22 Jul 2015 20:04:54 +0000

We are using a customized version for customer support--tickets and so on. I can't imagine it being used for a depository, at least in our implementation.

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+kay -dot- robart=tea -dot- texas -dot- gov -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+kay -dot- robart=tea -dot- texas -dot- gov -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Ryan Haber
Sent: Wednesday, July 22, 2015 1:48 PM
To: Robert Lauriston; TECHWR-L Writing
Subject: Re: any useful doc tools in Zendesk?

Oh, ho.

Funny you ask. I just worked with a company a few months ago that was using ZenDesk for its docs. It is severely limiting.

1. There aren't any tools that we could find that integrate with it tidily.
So just use your HTML editor of choice and copy and paste. And hope.
2. The CSS controls for it allow lots of skinning, but not really any sort of substantial refactoring of the frontend.
3. Version control? Version control? What's that? You get neither multiple versions to match the product version, nor do you get any draft versioning or change tracking.

Flare can be made to integrate with it, I think, because I think you can upload HTML, but I'm pretty sure that to have a shot at it working right, you'll have to get really scripty and make sure everyone names everything just exactly so, etc. Good luck.

I think ZenDesk works fine as a front-end for all customer service and probably for a community Q&A forum. As a repository for documents, well, you can put a few best-practice or reference docs, but the structure they force you into (both information structure and visual presentation
structure) really preclude having very many topics. Basically, they must all be lined up vertically, each topic getting a thick-ish row, so that even if you use the sections (that they require topics to go into) wisely - anything more than 20 or so topics in a section means at least two pages of scrolling to find your topic.

Again, not trying to bash ZenDesk. It's great for what it is. Unless they've changed something, it's *not* a good repo for user documentation, not in my experience.

At another place, I used ZenDesk as a Q&A customer support/community thing and linked to it from our documentation site and vice versa. That worked fine. Nothing's perfect, of course, but it worked.

A handy thing about ZenDesk is that it generates tickets, which can of course be used to determine documentation needs.

My $0.02, or $0.20, maybe.
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References:
any useful doc tools in Zendesk?: From: Robert Lauriston
Re: any useful doc tools in Zendesk?: From: Ryan Haber

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