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Being Specific: Easy to do and oh-so-helpful on the Spirent Knowledge Base

By Philip Joung On September 30, 2013
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Spirent Knowledge Base

The Spirent Knowledge Base (KB) contains content for every Spirent product we sell (or sold in the recent few years). That’s more than 40 different products. And as you know, much of Spirent’s business focuses on test and measurement. This focus has allowed Spirent to become a leader in our industry, but from a KB perspective, it brings unique challenges. First and foremost, it often brings a certain uniformity in the content we create on the Knowledge Base, requiring us to take into consideration how we make it easy for you to find content for your products. How do we do this? Find out after the jump.

The natural thing for us—in response to a question like “How do I interpret my results?”—is to offer a KB solution entitled “Interpreting test results”. The problem is, of course, that this title is generic enough that it could apply to almost any product Spirent sells. We don’t want you getting a long list of search results where all the titles are the same. It would force you to click through on each result one-by-one, hoping it brings up an article that is relevant to your product. Luckily, the solution to fixing this ambiguity is easy—we add the Spirent product name to the title of every article we create. Now, scanning through the search results is easier—you have a pretty good idea just through the title whether it might help you answer your question.

The next way we also help is with categories. These appear whether you search or whether you browse through the site, helping organize the content on the KB. As I discussed in an earlier blog posting (How to search the Spirent KB), a list of filters appear on the left after any search on the KB. You can use these to narrow your results, especially for searches that have dozens or hundreds of results. You not only have our Spirent products to choose from, but also network protocols and tech areas to help narrow the search.

With thousands of articles already in the KB, browsing would be a daunting task (browsing in this context means clicking through content in the KB without doing a search), but the same categories that appear after a search also help narrow your articles while browsing to the ones that are most relevant to you. The major categories are Hardware, Software, Protocol and Tech Area—each of these holds a wide selection of sub-categories to let you further narrow your articles to the content you’re most interested in.

Finally, since the KB is first and foremost a search engine, it does use your full search term to narrow the results to the content you’re looking for. In other words, you play a part in helping narrow the content—help the search engine offer better results by giving it more to work with. Include the Spirent product name, the part number or the error message in your search to get more targeted results.

Spirent Knowledge Base

 
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