The top
10 trends

The technical content industry underwent significant changes in 2023, with several key trends emerging that businesses must consider to remain competitive. Firstly, there is a growing trend of “opening up” content, with 63%*of documentation portals now public or hybrid, emphasizing the need for businesses to adapt to an increasingly open information landscape. Secondly, while mobile technology adoption for B2B tech docs remains slow, it is essential for companies to optimize their content for mobile consumption to cater to the increasing mobile audience. Another emerging trend is the rise of conversational queries, driven by generative AI such as ChatGPT, which is changing customer expectations and powering the incorporation of AI-driven conversational support systems. Additionally, direct linking has become the primary method of content navigation and discovery, underlining the importance of making content easily accessible and well linked. The shift to an HTML-first approach for content delivery is evident, with HTML-based documentation providing better findability and updates.

Businesses must navigate the challenges posed by omnisource and omnichannel to ensure a unified content consumption experience. Furthermore, providing case resolving content is vital to streamline support operations, reduce costs, and build trust among users. To stay ahead, content writers and leaders seek seamless integrations and ease of publication with on-demand content connectors. These are just a few of the trends we highlight in this report. The suboptimal external presentation of content can be detrimental to business, as users expect a seamless experience without redirection or siloed platforms. Emphasizing developer content and experience has become more critical for most companies, and the Total Experience (TX) framework gains traction as a crucial path to cost reduction and organizational efficiency. To remain competitive, businesses must embrace these trends, continually adapt, and prioritize user-centric content strategies for success in the ever-evolving technical content landscape.
*All statistics are based on data from the Zoomin global customers database analytics tool.

From the era of search to the era of answers

The recent introduction of generative AI technologies, and in particular Large Language Models (LLMs) such as ChatGPT, is introducing a major potential disruption to the technical content industry and to the ways in which such content is produced and consumed today.

Changing the way content is consumed, and adding the ability to quickly produce and analyze technical content in large volumes, ChatGPT poses a huge promise. This means that companies can realize not only significant cost savings and productivity gains, but also reduced customer effort directly leading to happier and more productive content consumers.

For customer support and the technical content industry this is a huge game changer that is going to transform the industry as we all know it.

• Historically, 99% of customer queries were brief and similar to keyword searches.

• Since December 2022 (corresponding tothe launch of ChatGPT), we have seen asteady increase in conversational queriesamong the Zoomin Customer Database N.

From the era of search to the era of answers

According to statistics from Zoomin’s Global Customers Database, 37% of companies are already actively adopting conversational AI for customer service.

59% of companies predict that generative AI would result in a major disruption to the techcomm industry.


To be AI and GPT ready, every company will have to make sure they have three key requirements in place:

Content consolidation

GPT is only as good as the content it is being given. If you don’t have all of your company’s relevant content placed in a centralized, always updated source of truth that can feed the AI, the results will never be good enough.

Content governance

Parts of your technical content are sensitive and confidential. Uncontrolled exposure of that content can result in intellectual property being leaked to either public AI models or to unauthorized users.

GPT functionality

You need to have a functioning GPT model that can analyze your content and surface the answers for your customers wherever they need them.

Unified Knowledge

For AI and LLMs to be effective, they need o have access to and be grounded in the most authoritative knowledge from across the enterprise. However, an average of 80% of the enterprise knowledge resides outside of your Support and Customer Service applications, and in various repositories (e.g. Google, Confluence, Sharepoint).

Without the ability to bring this knowledge in, your applications’ users cannot leverage all that AI goodness and your support and self-service KPIs will suffer as a consequence.


Unified Knowledge enables your developers to consolidate existing relevant enterprise knowledge from any source, and format. This fuels your AI application with the authoritative content it needs. Regardless if you are looking to buy a full turnkey solution, or have your developers build your applications internally, you will need to make sure you have a unified Knowledge platform for AI, that does two main things:


• Connects to any knowledge source you may have.

• Aggregates the knowledge into a single knowledge lake, exposing a single endpoint and schema to your developers over a REST API or S3-based storage.

Trust and security:

• Santizes any PCI, PII and PHI in the content.

• Enforces access control (through the API) or includes access-level metadata alongside the content so that you can build your own access control layer (throughS3 storage).

Omnisource & omnichannel approach

Multiple products, content sources, authoring tools, and content management systems are here to stay, especially with companies that go through M&A as part of their growth strategy. On the other hand, consumers still demand a unified content consumption experience, wherever they are. Users expect all technical content to be available to them whether they are in the community portal, the support

site, or right in your product. But, designated platforms such as those mentioned above are usually constrained with the types of content they can ingest. Therefore, businesses need to bridge this gap and manage the authoring-publishing consumption pipeline in a frictionless way with a future-proof content orchestration platform.


Retaining your current authoring andmanagement tools will be enhanced bycontent democratization. To ensure usersreceive a unified content experience inknowledge and appearance, companies

will embrace platforms that present diversecontent sources cohesively, enhancingomnipresence and user experience whilereducing maintenance costs.

Case deflection - anywhere!

Another critical trend is the availability of case-resolving content, which is crucial for companies seeking to streamline their support operations, reduce costs, and foster trust among their users. Despite its importance, up to 80% of this valuable content remains inaccessible on many community and support platforms. Providing easy and immediate access to

this information is essential for companies striving to build efficient and mature support organizations.

Our global database reveals that companies integrating In-Product Help on top of other touchpoints (such as Zoomin for Salesforce Community), experience are markable 41% case deflection rate.


The immediate way to track your case deflection is through a designated case deflection widget on your support site or documentation portal.

Alternatively, work with your support team to build a streamlined process that tracks case deflection and also case resolution through documentation.

Read more on how to measure, track and monetize case deflection in our report
“The ROI of Self-Service and Case Deflection”.

The “opening-up” of content

• 63% of documentation portals today are public or hybrid (up 26% YoY)

• Unsurprisingly, the most conservative verticals remain financial servicesand healthcare


Ungating your technical documentation is a smart move that can help your business reach a broader audience, foster self sufficiency among users, and strengthen trust and credibility in your product. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Ungating technical content is a strategic move that offers numerous benefits, including maximizing revenue growth and improving user experience. Technical content has become the primary source of many companies’ traffic, with around 70%*of all traffic flowing to product information. Providing ungated content grants easy access to both existing and potential

customers, with 90% of B2B customers referring to technical content before purchasing. By embracing ungating and offering demos within technical portals, companies have witnessed significant lead growth and potential business expansion. The user-centric approach ensures value, improved analytics, and enhanced self service capabilities. Furthermore, publicly available content positively impacts search engine rankings, reducing support costs and driving sales. Adopting this strategy creates a robust, user-friendly experience, ultimately benefiting companies and their customers a like.

Upcoming transition to mobile

The mobile revolution is soon to be realized in B2B tech docs:

• Techcomm consumption on mobile devices is only 6.8%(compared to the average of 59% on regular websites). Nonetheless, optimize the user experience for mobile users to have your content in a dynamic HTML format.

• Regions with a mobile-first approach, such as Asia, have higher adoption rates, but they are still mostly below 15%.


Our data shows that customers still prefer to access documentation on desktop or laptop computers rather than mobile devices. While mobile devices can provide a convenient way to access technical documentation on the go, desktop devices may offer a more comfortable, functional, and efficient experience for users who need to spend significant time working with technical information during working hours.

Nonetheless, to optimize the user experience for mobile users, it is important to have your content in a dynamic HTML format. User-test your content, especially graphic elements, and tables, on various mobile devices before publishing it for the end-users.

Non-linear content consumption

How users navigate & discover content using direct links:

• Most of the traffic originates from direct links to documentation, including Context Sensitive Help, related topics, internal linking within other topics or portals, and 3rd-party search engines such as Google or Bing.

• On average, only 14% of all sessions on documentation portals conclude with an internal search on documentation and only 6% of users are navigating with tiles.

This data emphasizes the necessity for user friendly, accessible information to meet user needs for fast and efficient navigation.


As users increasingly expect a direct link search experience in all aspects of their online interactions, there is a growing correlation between the opening up of content and non-linear navigation. This means that users want to quickly find the information they need and are less likely to follow linear paths through documentation or content. Here are some recommendations to optimize your technical documentation portals for non-linear content consumption:

• Incorporate metadata tags at various levels, such as topics and bundles, allowing for customization to meet specific search engine requirements, and enhance content discoverability and easy access through internal and external search mechanisms.

• Embed a section dedicated to related links within the navigation pane, directing users to supplementary

content that enhances their learning and exploration. This will allow for a faster and more interconnected user experience, guiding users to additional relevant content that complements their current page.

• Implement a mini-TOC that displays the subheadings of a topic, allowing users to interact and navigate directly to specific sections. The mini-TOC is responsive, and updates based on the user’s position within the document as they scroll, allowing them to scan information faster.

Integrate hyperlinks within the content body, to promote a seamless navigation experience, encouraging users to explore related content through embedded links within the documentation.

• Facilitate easier content consumption by organizing information into smaller, scannable sections. Utilize headings, subheadings, and lists to create a visually structured and easily navigable content layout.

Embracing HTML-first content delivery

In today’s fast-paced digital age, HTML-based documentation has become a necessity for businesses to provide their customers with a seamless and efficient user experience. PDFs are no longer the end goal; they are simply an additional service to customers who prefer to save the documentation for later, offline use.

• Only 0.87% of all sessions result in a PDF download.

• However, 40% of all available content is being downloaded in PDF format.


The shift from PDF-first to HTML-first approach is primarily driven by the need for better findability and ease of documentation updates. HTML formatting for technical documentation allows for better accessibility and usability across devices.

Here are some tips on how to adjust your technical documentation for efficient user experience:

• Break your content into smaller, scannable chunks: Online readers tend to scan through the content rather than read it thoroughly. Hence, it’s important to break your content into smaller, easy-to-digest chunks that can be quickly scanned through. Use headings, subheadings, bullets, and lists to make your content more visually appealing and scannable.

• Use visuals: Adding visuals such as images, diagrams, and videos can help make your content more engaging and easier to understand. Use screenshots

to illustrate the steps in a process, and create flowcharts or diagrams to help explain complex ideas.

• Incorporate internal linking: Use internal linking to connect related content within your documentation. This will help readers easily navigate through your documentation and find the information they need quickly.

• Offer a PDF download option: Even though HTML-based documentation is more accessible and user-friendly, some users may still prefer to download a PDF version for offline use. Offer a PDF download option for those users, and make sure it’s formatted correctly and up-to-date.

On-demand publication

Content writers and documentation leaders expect a continuous expansion of their ecosystem coverage with out-of-the-box content connectors and ease of publication through a “one-click” process. On-demand publications, content reuse, production boarding, and adoption require that documentation become an integral part of any product release, and the technical writer needs to work faster and more effectively to be right where the users are.

Among our SaaS enterprise customers, we see an average of 350%+ growth in yearly publications, with documentation teams producing on average more than 200 new and updated publications annually.


• Adopt Agile Documentation Processes :
Given the increase in content production and the need for rapid publication, consider adopting Agile methodologies in your documentation processes. This way, the documentation evolves as the product does, allowing for faster, iterative updates that align with product releases.

• Focus on Component-Based Authoring :
To enable content reuse and promote efficiency, consider shifting to a component-based authoring approach. This allows pieces of content to be repurposed across different documents or sections, saving time and ensuring consistency across all publications.

• Emphasize Collaboration : Foster a culture of collaboration between the documentation team and the product team. This could mean involving writers earlier in the development process, or using tools that allow for easy collaboration and information sharing. The closer the relationship, the better equipped the documentation team is to produce timely and relevant content that meets user needs.

• Templetize the look and feel of your published content: Utilize platforms which offer the ability to create uniform, templated design for all your published content. This ensures that all published documents have a consistent look and feel, regardless of where your content comes from. By abstracting the design aspect, writers can focus primarily on the quality of the content itself, leading to higher quality documentation without having to worry about the aesthetics of each individual document.

• Invest in Training: As the demand for faster and more effective technical writing increases, it’s crucial to invest in training your documentation team in advanced writing techniques, CMS usage, and new technologies. This would enable them to keep pace with the increasing workload and enhance their productivity.

Integrated developer content

Incorporating developer content directly into a product enhances the overall user experience, boosts developer productivity, and contributes to faster and more successful product adoption. Providing developer content directly within the product equips developers with the necessary resources and information they need to use the product effectively. This empowers them to explore advanced features, troubleshoot issues, and implement solutions without the need to search for external documentation or contact support. Developers can access relevant information within the same context they are working in, leading to a more seamless and efficient user experience. This reduces the time spent navigating between different resources and accelerates the development process, speeding up problem resolution and minimizing downtime, thus improving overall productivity.


Invest in solutions that can seamlessly integrate your documentation into your product or any existing digital adoption platform (DAP), allowing you to deliver powerful customer support right inside your product. This will allow you to fully reuse any help content you may have in your company, from any format, tool or repository, without content duplications and without forcing the user to search for answers on any of your other web assets.

There have been significant shifts in the technical content landscape in2023. Embracing open content sharing, leveraging artificial intelligence for conversational support, and prioritizing user-centric strategies like direct linking and the Total Experience (TX) framework are essential to success.

Still, the biggest disruption in the TechComm industry is just taking its first steps - the AI and LLM revolution.

Almost every company in the world is now looking to understand how Gen AI will impact the way we author, publish, deliver and consume content.

In addition, with the majority of AI applications requiring knowledge to be consolidated, compliant and secured -knowledge teams and developers will need to collaborate more than ever before.

It is too soon to tell how our industry will change with these disruptive technologies, and it is one exciting era to be part of.

Learn More

Connect with us!


© Zoomin Software, 2023. All Rights Reserved.