MindTouch Review

A great tool to keep our documentation up to date, and invaluable for our support department.

What is most valuable?

Being able to make quick edits so as to clarify points in the support articles based on the support feedback, and the powerful reorganization tools so as to move stuff around as needed, without breaking any existing links are the most valuable features.

How has it helped my organization?

We used to have a compiled help system where quick edits weren't possible without altering, compiling and deploying the changes. Since MindTouch is essentially a CMS which is tuned for technical support articles and to the likes of those, we can update and review documentation much faster.

What needs improvement?

Management of the screenshots is clearly an area that can be improved. We make DAM systems ourselves, so we're used to having a greater control of these assets. Considering the sheer volume of articles and screenshots that we have, a better tool for organizing, replacing and auditing screenshots in our documentation, if done right, would be a huge improvement.

Mindtouch recommends using a hidden category or article as the placeholder for uploaded screenshots. That way users won't see them in search results, but they can be linked to visible articles. Following their advice, I created media repos for each of our products to keep them separate.

Having run with mindtouch for several years, naturally the number of screenshots and explanatory graphics has piled up, and the task of removing old screenshots and/or replacing them with new ones could use some improvement. Right now this requires a series of tasks:

1) Edit the article with the old screenshot to find its filename

2) Access the media repo and search for that filename

3) Delete or replace the screenshot file with a new one

Alternatively I could just remove the screenshot from the article, upload a new screenshot and ignore the fact that my media repo over time would grow full of obsolete screenshots. However, this would make the task of finding screenshots harder when searching the media repo later...

With lots of screenshots to be replaced when we perform a service release, this is pretty tedious work.

At FotoWare we make Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems, so we're no strangers to using metadata to quickly locate, publish, replace and/or revoke assets, such as screenshots. Although I would never expect mindtouch to build a fully fledged DAM system, some improvements to the way screenshots are added, replaced and/or revoked would be very welcome.

A second option we have considered is integrating the mindtouch editor with our own FotoWare DAM solution. That would allow us to host the screenshots on our own system and cdn and easily handle these operations ourselves without relying on mindtouch's media handling.

For how long have I used the solution?

I can’t remember exactly, but it must be at least seven years, if not more.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've had a couple of random service outages, but they've been few and far between; usually, the service is back up within one or two hours. So, we've not really had any major issues with the service.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no scalability issues.

How is customer service and technical support?

We're in Norway and with MindTouch in San Diego, the time difference is obviously an issue. But, the response is swift and to the point. I've sometimes had to escalate cases to get the answer that I want, but their staff is always very polite and helpful.

How was the initial setup?

Being a cloud service, everything ran from day 1. We styled the site according to the company profile, and even then, we swiftly received the assistance we needed, when we had issues with CSS or other related issues.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I don't know much about the pricing honestly, but MindTouch has several tiers to accommodate different types of customers.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at one or two other options, but I can't remember their names. MindTouch seemed to deliver the complete package, and we've not looked back.

What other advice do I have?

Get a trial! We got a pretty extensive trial period where we could try to migrate existing content and see how we could organize it in MindTouch.

Being able to test the system with our actual content and seeing how it really worked had us convinced.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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1 Comment

author avatarGeorge Eckel (Intuit)
Real User

A *slightly* faster procedure of replacing image is hovering over the image in the Attachments tab and clicking the Update icon. Then you specify your updated image. But you're right, there's no metadata to search across the entire CMS for an image. I assume the use case if your UI changes and you'd like to change the corresponding image throughout the CMS.