How to Customize Jira Help Desks with Refined

Looking to up the design quotient on your Jira service desk? Here's how to do it with Refined.

If you’re reading this, we don’t have to tell you that Jira Service Management makes for a great support infrastructure. 

But at the same time, you might be looking for a way to elevate your support service with a custom theme and an improved user experience.

And you’d be right to do so. Just like the websites you visit every day as a consumer, your Jira Service Management sites should offer good looks, easy UX, and effortless navigation if you want customers to come back for help a second time—or at least leave with a positive impression.

The user experience on Jira service sites is becoming even more important as the Jira suite scales to non-technical teams in growing numbers. Those users—say, a marketing or design team—may have a lower tolerance for native interfaces, not to mention a mandate for a sleeker look. And for those servicing customers external to the organization, a custom design is all but required.

Here’s how to turn native Jira Service Management into a custom, branded help desk or support portal with Refined.

  1. Download Refined for Jira from the Atlassian Marketplace
  2. Cloud users; Choose a custom URL
  3. Start building your site
  4. Set user and admin permissions for sites, categories and pages
  5. Design your site: apply a theme, add your logo and customize the layout with content modules
Refined's apps on the Atlassian Marketplace.
Refined's apps on the Atlassian Marketplace.

1. Download Refined for Jira from the Atlassian Marketplace

To start your site build, you’ll need to install Refined for Jira from the Atlassian Marketplace. You can find our apps here. (You can trial the app at no cost for 30 days.)  Choose data center, server or cloud to pair with your Atlassian deployment.

Depending on your deployment mechanism, there are additional steps to be aware of while installing Refined. You can find those on our documentation site:

2. Cloud users: Choose a custom URL for your service desk

Chosen wisely, a custom domain can make your site’s URL easy to remember on the fly, boosting adoption as a result.

Common URLs reflect the purpose of the site and, in some cases, the team it belongs to. For example, we operate:

Refined for Jira Cloud comes with one custom domain per subscription, but you can add more. Learn how to add custom URLs and see tips for choosing the right name here

A look inside Refined's cloud Site Builder.
A look inside Refined's cloud Site Builder.

3. Start building your site

Choose what will go on your site in the Refined’s Site Builder by adding:

  • Categories on DC/server; Pages on cloud. These act like landing pages on your customer-facing service sites. You can group Jira projects into categories and pages as a way to organize the content on your site — whatever you put in them will appear under the same drop-down menu, for example. 
  • Jira Projects
  • Service Desks
  • Outside links, if you want to send users to pages that live outside of Jira or JSM.

The items you select will appear in the Site Builder, where you can order them in a hierarchy and navigation of your choosing. The hierarchy you establish here will turn up on the front-end in the form of layered navigation.  

Read more about structuring Jira Service Management with sites and Categories/Pages here

4. Set user and admin permissions for sites, categories and pages

Who can access your site(s) and what will they see when they get there? Decide and set permissions based on user groups.

If you have multiple sites, you can apply a unique set of permissions for each site. Admins often make it so all logged-in Jira users can access a global site, but only certain user groups can view links to sister sites or the categories and pages within the site, for example. 

Get more tips on how to structure your site here

For the sake of sustainable maintenance and management, delegate Refined admin permissions to trusted users so they can configure and manage sites on their own. (Refined admins don’t have to be Jira admins.) Further, you can set View Permissions for pieces of content on a page — so certain user groups see certain things when they navigate there, personalizing the experience. 

Learn more about setting permissions for:

A customized service desk using Refined for Jira Cloud.
A customized service desk using Refined for Jira Cloud.

5. Design your site: Apply a theme, apply a logo and customize the layout with content modules

This is where it gets fun. Design your site using these elements:

Apply a theme: 

Choose from a host of built-in themes or apply your own custom theme. Most of our users do the latter, matching their JSM sites to their brand identity with colors and imagery. You can apply themes site-wide or to individual categories or projects. Learn how to use the Theme Editor for server/DC and cloud

Add your logo: 

Add your logo for a branded look and feel:

Customize pages with content modules and layouts: 

Content modules are the building blocks of custom pages. They allow you to turn something as simple as a link into a helpful, aesthetically pleasing portion of the page. Common modules include:

  • My Requests
  • Popular Request Types
  • Jira Issues
  • HTML module

Learn about 10 key Refined modules that can amp up your design here

And read the specifics of how to apply JSM content modules::

Try Refined for Jira for free for 30 days at the Atlassian Marketplace

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