MindTouch Lets Technical Writers Be Writers Again
Updated June 29, 2017

MindTouch Lets Technical Writers Be Writers Again

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version

MindTouch Responsive

Overall Satisfaction with MindTouch

MindTouch is used to house our customer-facing enterprise product documentation. As a software company, this documentation is aimed at several personas, including business analysts, data scientists, IT administrators, and developers. The documentation team which is part of the engineering organization is responsible for all content creation. IT assists in the administration of the site to ensure quality and security. The engineering organization is responsible for distribution, but we do work lightly with marketing and product management to deliver consistent messaging across all our public-facing sites. While customers are our intended audience, our primary and secondary audiences will include all internal employees such as sales engineering, sales, marketing, enterprise architects, trainers, and engineers -- the latter provide peer review feedback on the technical accuracy of the articles. MindTouch allows us to create a single site which can be used by internal and eternal customers alike. We can use the Groups features to allow broad access to "draft" documentation prior to public distribution. We are able to make real-time updates to the documentation. We are able to continue work on the documentation long after code freeze on our products. We are also able to use APIs to import developer documentation into MindTouch without copying and pasting. Overall, it's an efficient time-saver with a decent search engine -- two of our primary business needs when we purchased MindTouch.
  • Real-time updates to documentation without the need to compile documentation as with traditional doc tools. The interface is user-friendly so we can make quick edits to the documentation and publish it immediately.
  • Search tool. Traditional doc tools do not have good search tools. While there is room for improvement, MindTouch is constantly improving the Search capability to allow for more targeted search results. The ability to set "recommended search results" is excellent
  • User groups. The ability to assign Community users to a Group, and then assign that Group to "draft" documentation for early access and peer reviews has been a game-changer for us.
  • More fine-tuning with the advanced search functions in the search tool. A better UI for advanced searching would be great.
  • Track changes for drafts. The need for tracking changes between drafts is critical. More editing tools is a must to help writers. Currently, our writers still feel the need to use MS Word while drafting for their track changes tool.
  • Our developers would prefer the elimination of dekiscript in favor of javascript.
  • It's been positive in reduced churn. We're saving time and devoting our writers to writing, not to compiling help files and troubleshooting doc tool problems. Significant savings here.
  • We were negatively impacted by the initial change from one help site to the new MindTouch (MT) site. This is expected, but we did take a hit. We suspect this negative impact is going away after two years as new customers only know the new MT site.
  • Look and feel of the site is much improved and an overall win with external customers.
WordPress always seems to be the one that comes up as an alternative to MindTouch, but I don't find the interface to be much easier and it is a security nightmare. IT won't support WordPress sites because of all their vulnerabilities. SharePoint is mentioned as a possible competitor, but only if an organization is committed to producing books over a knowledge base KB. MS Word has great writer tools, but anything over 200 pages can become unstable. I do like traditional doc tools like RoboHelp and Madcap Flare for their in-product help systems. They are clean and efficient, but the templates are limited, compiling is time-consuming, and the timeline for loading the help system into the product is inflexible.
It's more challenging for organizations with a lot of proprietary documentation, but a ton of customers. Also, it's challenging for customers with a current backlog of DITA or FrameMaker documents to import all their existing content into MindTouch. It's great for customers looking to move to a knowledge base or moving from Wiki documentation.

MindTouch Reliability

MindTouch is a hosted site, so as a heavy user there are times when I notice that pages are slow to load, or something happens like Amazon Web Services crashing the entire east coast for a few hours, that you do notice even if it isn't actually the fault of the MT tool itself. It's the risk of using a hosted tool, but the benefits are pretty amazing and outweigh these performance issues.

Relationship with MindTouch

MindTouch has always been easy to work with in a post-sales capacity. The support ticket system is easy to use and they are responsive. Setting up meetings with reps is helpful as well, as they are willing to assure your customer success. Training via webinar is excellent and accessible to all MindTouch customers. They always get back to you when you have more customized questions.