In the implementation of our companies new website, we have a help page which lists all of our knowledge base articles and allows users to search through them to allow them to help themselves before having to contact us. At the moment the design coming from the designers has been implemented however I and another developer are thinking it's not as good as it could be in terms of usability.
Here's the current implementation:
With this, the categories of the knowledge base topics are in an inline list long the top and the topics themselves are down the side. When one of these topics is clicked it dynamically updates the copy on the right with the contents of the topic.
The alternative design that we've come up with is a little bit different, and unfortunately I only have it jotted down on paper at the moment:
Here, the categories are listed along the side and the topics are condensed into a dropdown box. When a topic is selected from the dropdown, the content is automatically updated to match.
Obviously, we're developers, not UX experts, and we'd love to hear some feedback on what the best way to implement this would be.