Goals & Purpose

A knowledge base typically has at least one of the following objectives:
  • Educate
  • Support
  • Act as a reference (single source of truth)

Impact on layout

The purpose will have an impact on how to structure the knowledge base and on the layout. To educate, with a user's manual or a how-to guide, a document layout will be more appropriate.
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To support or act as a reference, a layout where users explore by topics may be more appropriate.
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Of course, both types of layouts can be mixed together depending on what format is most fit for the job.

Impact on content

When writing guides and manuals, sequence is important. Maybe some help articles can live independently, but their value really is when they're grouped together in a specific order. It's important to keep that in mind when writing and managing educational content.

When the purpose is to support or act as a reference, there's not necessarily a particular flow that must be followed. Articles can be written independently from each other as they each cover a very specific topic.
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