2022 Product Year in Review
by Kate Mueller

2022 Product Year in Review

If 2021 was the year of infrastructure upgrades for our team, 2022 has been the year of process improvements. We finished several very long-running projects, redesigned our internal processes for planning and prioritization, and began to put that extra bandwidth and efficiency to work adding new features and improving support and educational materials.

We're hopeful that we can leverage this momentum to make 2023 an even more productive year. To learn more about what you might have missed from us in the last year or what you can expect this year, read on!

2022 Goals

We had several goals in 2022. From our official roadmap, we wanted to:

  • Finish the infrastructure updates we began in 2021*
  • Broken link checker/report*
  • New theme*
  • Modern Editor upgrade*
  • Adding support for multilingual knowledge bases*

Not on our official roadmap, but internal goals:

  • Refine our development/prioritization process so it works better
  • Overhaul our Getting Started Guide materials
  • Start some ongoing educational sessions
  • Release the redesign of our blog

Here's how all of that went.

Infrastructure upgrade

As I discussed in my 2021 Product Year in Review blog post, one of our key goals heading into 2022 was to finish up the infrastructure upgrades we began in 2021. We had planned to get these released by the end of Q1; we missed this mark a bit but did get things wrapped up in Q2.

Our final round of infrastructure upgrades was a major code base update, which we began in earnest in January 2022. We got most of those changes out the door in May and did clean-up on the things we missed in May and June.

What is most noteworthy here is that we leaped forward several major versions in our code base but had fairly minimal impacts to customers during that change.

New features & feature enhancements

We released two totally new features and a bunch of feature enhancements this year. To be a "new feature", it needs to be a standalone feature that hasn't existed before. So even the most amazing additions to existing features (cough File References cough) are classified as feature enhancements.

Our two totally new features for 2022 were:

Broken Link Checker & Broken Links Report

This feature won the popular vote in our 2021 Annual Customer Survey and was on our roadmap for 2022, so we're especially pleased to have this released!

The Broken Link Checker lets you look for non-200 HTTP status code links across your knowledge base and will generate a CSV report you can use to work through those links. It's the first addition to our Tools menu.

Article Favorites

This feature was voted 4th in our 2021 Annual Customer Survey, so we were also pleased to get it delivered! Previously we had only handled Article Favorites as a paid professional service, and we're very excited to fully enfold favorites into an officially supported feature.

With this feature, logged-in readers can click a star icon to favorite or unfavorite up to 10 articles, and you can choose where to display them in your knowledge base.

Feature enhancements

Though feature enhancements weren't a primary focus for us in 2022, we did make some solid updates to existing features, and I'd feel remiss if I didn't highlight some of the major ones here:

Editor & editing workflow

We made fewer direct changes to the editing workflow this year than in 2021, but we did add:

General look & feel

We also released a few enhancements that could impact your knowledge base's look and feel, including:

  • A new article-actions merge code to simplify the HTML used in your Custom HTML > Article template
  • Upgrading the version of Font Awesome used in all knowledge bases from Font Awesome 4 to Font Awesome 6, adding a whole range of icons that weren't previously available
  • A new template for your home page to display top-level categories with category icons 😍
  • A new Support theme to be used for new-from-scratch knowledge bases (* on 2022 roadmap)

File Library

This year saw several key improvements for File Library, including:

  • A new List View so you can see more of the metadata about your files and sort them
  • Updated file caching rules to help remove cases where updates to files in File Library weren't showing in live knowledge bases quickly
  • File References to see all the places your files are being used. This is kind of big enough to belong in the New Features section but it's also an addition to the library. Don't worry, File References--you're still a major feature in our hearts.

Contextual help widgets

This year we officially marked Widget 2.0 as a stable permanent feature and deprecated the Legacy and Modern widgets. Widget 2.0 also got:

Integrations & webhooks

We've been exploring ways to add more integrations between KnowledgeOwl and other tools. This year, we released several changes with that in mind, including:

  • An option to designate a reader account as basic auth so that you can integrate with third-party tools (like chatbots, etc.)
  • Webhooks to fire when an article is archived
  • Webhooks to fire when the New or Updated callout is added to an article
  • For webhooks that are unable to send, we added an automatic webhook deactivation process that deactivates webhooks that have failed for more than 24 hours, which can help troubleshoot broken integrations

Manage Articles

Thanks to customer input and our own continued use of Manage Articles for content audits, we delivered a few key enhancements here, including:


I will be honest and say that PDFs are about our team's least favorite thing to work on, since they depend on several third-party tools. But one of the perks of us making infrastructure upgrades this year was that we did update those third-party tools, which helped us add some functionality or fix several very old and annoying PDF bugs, including:


We continued to close security vulnerabilities and other loopholes in KnowledgeOwl. We also released a couple important security updates, including:

If you're using SSO, you may want to review and update your cert to match.

Process improvements

I'll likely write a separate blog post on some of our internal process improvements, so I'll try not to bore you here if you're not into process changes. This year we overhauled our annual and quarterly strategic planning processes and created a more formalized, nuanced product prioritization process. This included the creation of a product owner role and the official Chief Product Owl title (a role now filled by yours truly!).

As a whole, these process tweaks have helped us improve scoping and breaking large features into smaller, more discrete pieces. The flurry of new features we released near the end of 2022 are a direct result of these changes.

Since we really only got the process humming smoothly in the last quarter of 2022, we expect 2023 to showcase its advantages even more!


We strive to keep our documentation up-to-date, but since I am our primary documentarian in addition to the other hats I wear, we didn't have a lot of bandwidth for major documentation initiatives this year. But we were able to majorly upgrade two aspects of our documentation this year and start a new tradition within KnowledgeOwl:

  • We released a total overhaul of our Getting Started Guide (in our 2021 list of goals for 2022)
  • We shifted our support documentation syntax highlighting to Prism and documented how to do it
  • We held our first-ever internal Docs Day where nearly everyone on our team updated existing documentation or drafted some new (some external, and some for our internal knowledge base!)


We started our education efforts fairly low-key in October by introducing our new Wisdom Wednesday drop-in series.

At this point, we're running these sessions roughly every two weeks, and we're covering everything from new feature walkthroughs to best practices in editing or auditing workflows.

If you haven't heard about these or checked one out, you can see more at our support page linked above (where you can subscribe for updates) or go straight to the source on our YouTube channel to watch previously recorded sessions.

We're soon to have two new Lead Customer Success Owls who I imagine will help us plan and deliver even more educational content in 2023!

Blog redesign

Our blog redesign work began in January of 2021 as soon as we released our new public website. Yes, you read that right: it took us over a year from the moment we started working on the designs until we got the new design launched. I may still write a retrospective blog post about that process, so I won't say much about it here.

But we did quietly launch the new blog design in October of this year. You're looking at it right now. 😉

What we didn't get to

Our publicly-shared roadmap is always a little tricky for our team, since we can and do change priorities based on customer needs and trends we're seeing.

We fell short of our original aspirations in several places:

New theme

Our original plans for the new theme were to create an entirely new theme option in Settings > Style. We discovered that this approach would have created a lot of additional work to try to maintain backwards compatibility with the existing themes, and ultimately that didn't feel like the best choice for us.

We ended up creating the new support theme as a compromise--it isn't a menu option, but we share the CSS and HTML we use to generate it, so we hope this makes it easier to incorporate elements of the theme into your knowledge base.

Long-term, we do still want to add a lot more theme functionality but we'll need to make a clean break from the existing themes to do so, and that will require more planning and architecting than we had time for in 2022.

Modern Editor upgrade

This has been one of my personal wish-list items on the public roadmap for some time. We use third-party editors for both Legacy and Modern Editors. This generally saves us time and gives us a lot of great functionality, but our supplier for Modern Editor has made a lot of architectural changes that would greatly change the look and feel of the editor. Those changes made this work a lot more complicated than we originally anticipated, and we decided to hit pause on this--in part to evaluate editor alternatives to see if we still want to stick with this provider before we go down the long path of upgrading and heavily customizing it to our needs.

Multilingual support

Multilingual support has been on our roadmap since 2020, and if you check out the 2023 roadmap, you'll see it's still there. Multilingual had to wait for the infrastructure improvements to be completed and fully tested and verified, and then we had to work at breaking it into smaller deliverables. This took way more time than any of us expected.

Thankfully, we're starting off 2023 on the right foot: in the last week we released the first baby step toward this (the Customize Text tool), so we hope to continue to plug away at multilingual-related features this year.

Looking ahead

As you may have noticed throughout this post, there are a lot of references to our 2021 Annual Customer Survey. Your feedback at any time of year is always valuable, but that annual survey helped us (and me, especially!) make important feature prioritization decisions in 2022. So a huge thank-you to everyone who replied to the survey.

Here were the features you voted on in 2021, with most votes at the top:

  1. Broken link checker: Released 2022
  2. Find and replace: Phase 1 of find is currently in-progress
  3. Schedule articles for publishing: Released 2022
  4. Bookmark/favorite articles: Released 2022
  5. Activate/deactivate users
  6. Empty trash (permanently delete deleted articles)
  7. Zapier integration: In-progress

As you can see, we've made significant progress at developing these features and enhancements, and we're excited to continue rolling them out.

We're still finalizing this year's roadmap, and we haven't yet done our 2022 annual survey (it was that kind of year...am I right?). Feel free to check out and bookmark our official roadmap, but here are a few things I know our team is already working on or is excited to start work on:

  • A new subcategory display type option in categories so they'll display subcategories' icons (similar to the new homepage icon display)
  • An official Zapier integration
  • A more nuanced in-app search in Manage (part 1 of the feature set that will become find & replace)
  • A more formalized beta testing and feedback program for new features
  • A monthly product newsletter (perhaps with quick video walkthroughs? TBD!)

Thank you for sticking with us through these last few difficult years. I read a headline recently that said worker morale is worse now than it was in the middle of the pandemic. I feel very thankful to say that while this was a challenging year for us in terms of finishing a few long-running, despair-ridden projects, our focus on planning, process, and prioritization leaves us even better positioned to be owl-some in 2023.

If you have questions on any of this post or have additional ideas on how KnowledgeOwl could be even more amazing, please let us know!

Kate Mueller

Kate is our Chief Product Owl and Resident Cheesemonger. She has led a checkered past, including teaching college-level English and being the head of product for another small software company. She eats cheese. And in 2018 she hiked the entire Appalachian Trail, (which inspired her to eat more cheese). She scopes features, tests releases, writes our release notes and documentation, advises on writing and documentation architecture best practices, and tries to think of creative ways to solve customer problems. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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