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7 knowledge base examples to inspire you in 2021

6 min
January 13, 2021
Start building your knowledge base
A deep-dive into some of the very best knowledge base examples out there. Get inspired to build an internal or external knowledge base for your business.

We are in an age of organization and knowledge. Especially since early 2020 when most of companies went remote. To be as productive as possible, people and their processes need to be as efficient and streamlined as possible. At the same time, we cannot and do not expect people to know everything. No worries, knowledge bases are here for exactly that.

We see more and more businesses creating knowledge bases for their unique industry needs. Some are internal, others are external, but they all serve the purpose of providing information to help others get things done. Yet, what's lacking? Knowledge base articles on how you can create, optimize, and maintain an effective knowledge base. That's our cue.

We're about to explore seven of our favorite self-service knowledge bases out there. Hopefully, these unique knowledge bases, also known as company wikis, will serve an extra purpose of inspiring the knowledge base you create and help your business thrive.

Example of a knowledge base built in Slite

When do you need a knowledge base?

In short, yesterday. No matter the user or specific goal of your knowledge base, people will always benefit from having information in one place. Whether you're in the early growth stages of a startup or a corporate that's been around for a while, a knowledge base has massive potential to help your people succeed.

What's a good knowledge base example?

As well as sharing some of our favorite knowledge base examples in this article, let's take a moment to understand why they're a favorite in the first place. Not every knowledge base has it all, and that's okay as long as it still successfully serves its purpose. Some knowledge bases act more like an FAQ, whereas others aim to lift the customer experience. However, a few highlights that help to create an exemplary knowledge base are:

👉 Usable: Your knowledge base needs to be user-friendly. It should be easy to navigate, hyperlinked smartly, and as accessible as possible.

👉 Searchable: Your knowledge base should have a search function. Identify keywords and how your users or team members search for information. Make sure the articles they need appear when they run a search for them.

👉 Targeted: Great knowledge base authors know their audience and write for their audience. Knowledge bases are a tool created to serve and to do so; they need to understand who's reading. Those targetted knowledge bases out there will see so much more success and use if created with users in mind.

👉 Shared: What use is a knowledge base if you can't share it? Ensure people know how to access your knowledge base and have the permission they need to see the pages that will benefit them.

👉 Cooperative: A good knowledge base is one that's always worked on. If your knowledge base has a chat or tagging system built-in it will allow you to evolve easier.

👉 People-powered: You can't do it alone—nor are you expected to. Some of the best (and most famous) knowledge bases in the world are co-authored. Yours can be too. No matter who your knowledge base is for, build a responsible community around it and allow yourself to expand with help.

👉 Concise: Lastly, your knowledge needs to be concise. Nobody wants to search for the information they want and have to troll through mountains of text to get to the one line they need. Make sure your knowledge base is as short and sweet as can be: bullet points over paragraphs, low-grade readability, short sentences, and clear language over technical jargon—write for aliens. 👽

Remember, this doesn't always need to be with words; perhaps screenshots will provide a better customer experience and get your point across quicker.

7 best knowledge base example to inspire you

1. Slite—The one for the team

The example knowledge base we host in our management resources is perfect for those teams looking to keep everything in one place. From people and culture to hiring resources, this template has it all.

If you've found that your business is in a place that's torn between google docs, slack messages, and tedious email threads, then it may be worth considering launching a knowledge base using this template.

Why is it an example?

We've picked this knowledge base template because of its usability. Everything is clearly mapped out, and further templates and resources are either hyperlinked or have the power to be. Give it a whirl for yourself.

Our own knowledge base

2. Canva—The one for the newbies

The Canva knowledge base is the perfect example of how a knowledge base can be tailored toward particular people—depending on your knowledge base goals. If you're not familiar with Canva, it's a freemium platform that allows anyone to create quality designs.

The product userbase means that Canva is often dealing with keen learners, but not necessarily those with advanced design knowledge.

Why is it an example?

The Canva user niche userbase needs a knowledge base not only clear and concise but also searchable. Their search function auto-fills and suggests searches inline with what people may be looking for, just in case they don't have the terminology yet.

3. Mailchimp—The one for the brand

Mailchimp, often referred to in the same breath as Hubspot, is one of those brands continuously used as a stand-out example of good brand tone of voice, style, and placement. Why? Because they educate every employee on what their brand looks, feels, and sounds like.

The Mailchimp knowledge base is an essential way of educating their in-house team and creating a brand people love. This style guide covers every aspect of writing, from social media to email, technical writing, to translations. Mailchimp is everywhere, but it doesn't mean their tone is always the same. Their tone adapts and shifts depending on the channel they're working with.

Why is it an example?

Mailchimp has nailed who they're addressing with this knowledge base, and it's no wonder why considering what the knowledge base is about. This knowledge base is the perfect example of one that's targeted and the success it can help bring a company.

4. Asana—The one for product success

The Asana knowledge base gives its users options. Let's face it, we all learn differently, and whereas some people can read and take information in from text on a screen. Others are more visual learners and need visual elements to support their learning.

Before you even access the Asana knowledge base, you're greeted with four ways of learning, perfect for the varied users they have.

  1. Asana gives their users options to join a live webinar for those who struggle to discipline themselves on learning and need direct customer support.
  2. It also offers users the option to read tips (complete with GIFs—who doesn't like a GIF?).
  3. You can complete a course for those that are more competitive among us or thrive from excelling.
  4. Lastly, and probably our favorite option, you can jump over to their Youtube page where they've built out a wealth of video how-to content to help users engage.

Why is it an example?

Asana takes pride of place in this article because of its sharability. All of Asana's resources are accessible, whether you're a customer of Asana or not. Plus, it's working in their favor. Creating a knowledge base with such engaging content makes people want to share it, and organically recruits new users to their platform.

Asana has essentially built a self-serve CRM, saving their employees time and keeping their customer satisfaction levels at their greatest.

Asana youtube

5. Dropbox—The interactive knowledge base

Dropbox, you've done it again. You've gone and won our hearts. This knowledge base is a great example of how interactive your knowledge base can be. Dropbox has put together a heap of resources to help new customers and current users troubleshoot and learn the tool, and find answers to common questions. Plus, they've involved interactive opportunities to help people find their solutions quicker.

Why is it an example?

We're using Dropbox as an example because the brand has managed to take being concise to a whole new level. They're not just to the point when it comes to troubleshooting, but they actually have automated processes set up to help someone get to their solution quicker.

Their knowledge base has got it all, from a simple search bar to live troubleshooting, support team access, and tutorials. Their knowledge base homepage is clean, with easy access to use cases, video tutorials, and workflows. As far as functionality goes, Dropbox is up there for hosting one of the very best. 🏆

6. Buffer—The one for onboarding

For those that aren't familiar with Buffer, it's a social media management tool that helps any sized business build engagement. The brand has taken its social media skill set and threaded it into its onboarding knowledge base. They've used emojis and informal language to help represent the brand and what they do.

This knowledge base covers everything from values to an employee handbook. It's essential reading for all new hires and can be a vital resource for current employees to self-educate their way around the business's HR processes, rather than needing to ask for help.

Why is it an example?

The Buffer knowledge base example makes the list for its purpose. It's there to solve employee queries and provide a better onboarding experience—it does the job very well. This knowledge base serves as an important reminder to be goal-driven when building a knowledge base for your own business.

What problem are you trying to solve, and for who? Have that at the front of your mind as you create a knowledge base, and you'll create a successful one.

7. Optimizely—The one with everything you need

The Optimizely knowledge base is quite possibly one of the most in-depth knowledge bases we've seen to date. Admittedly, it's not the prettiest of knowledge bases, yet it certainly serves its function.

Nicknamed the Optiverse, their knowledge base comes with a wealth of information to inspire, educate, and keep customers engaged with the product. Their knowledge base content acts as a troubleshooting helpdesk while building customer satisfaction.

Why is it an example?

We're using the Optimizely knowledge base as an example because it hits one of our points from what makes a good knowledge base—discussed earlier—it's people-powered.

That's not to say that customers are churning out articles to help inform other customers. What Optimizely does well is they use their data to determine what help they give first, by presenting popular articles on the right. The chances are if many others are finding those pages useful, then new visitors probably will too. It's a subtle and smart way of powering your knowledge base by its users.

Get going with Knowledge Base Software

Knowledge management is no easy mountain to conquer. It takes a ton of research and requires a great mix of knowledge: from SEO to help form your knowledge base search engine to technical product knowledge to inform your technical support section. One thing you'll need along the way is some cracking knowledge base software, and if you haven't guessed it by now, we're right here!

Try giving Slite a whirl to build out your own knowledge base that's as brilliant and useful as your brand. Hit our knowledge base example features, and we hope to see you in the updated version of this article in 2022.

Written by

Laure Albouy is Slite's first marketing hire and in charge of Product Marketing. Her role? Making sure our users get the most out of Slite -- including guides, product announcements, market research and more. Laure lives in Paris and is a pasta afficionada.