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Downloads/associated documents in the sidebar?

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Luke Oatham 1 year, 5 months ago.

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  • #2269

    Alex Howell
    Participant

    Hi,

    For common tasks intranet users want to know how to do; there is often an accompanying document – e.g. a template to start from, or a form to fill out.

    Rather than having these inline, is there any way of adding these to a list in the right hand side bar (under a new heading similar to the “Categories” or “Tags” headers which appear on the RHS of this page – see attached mockup.

    The easiest way for intranet updaters to use this is if there was a widget that searched through the links in the main content, and identified those that pointed to media items of a certain type; and automatically populated a list.

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  • #2271

    John
    Participant

    Hi Alex,

    Could you maybe convert these associated docs into ‘Task’ pages, BUT hide them from search? So basically you just recreate an HTML version of the document, which would be horrible as a ‘proper’ page on the site, but OK for purely background info – and possibly better than linking to a PDF or Word doc etc.

    Then, you could use ‘Related’ so they are listed in the sidebar (but you wouldn’t stumble across them by other means).

    I’m wondering how important it is that people read these docs – I’ve found people often overlook the RH column. If it’s something there’s a real user need for, eg to perform a task, is it a such a bad thing to refer to them inline, or as a link from main text which sets out what they’re for (eg ‘find out more’ or ‘download order form’) ?

    Or even better, if it’s a form, embed it in the page using Gravity Forms, so they don’t have to go elsewhere to do the thing they came to do 🙂

    I’ve had bad experiences with ‘associated documents’ which are sometimes just an excuse not to explain things clearly, relying instead on people reading ‘see also’ stuff they don’t really need… Just a thought

  • #2276

    Luke Oatham
    Keymaster

    Hi Alex

    You could use the listdocs shortcode in the sidebar element of a task. However, like John, in my experience, users tend to view the right hand sidebar as “vaguely related” content that will take them elsewhere, and they tend to be blind to documents in the RH column. For documents that pertain to the task in hand, there is an “Attachments” panel where you can select documents to appear in a prominent box at the bottom of the task, which is more visually prominent than inline links to docs.

    Hope that helps.

    Luke

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