Let’s be honest here, it’s 2018. There’s no use in developing a great software or application if people won’t know how to use it.
Even if you had a fully-trained UX and UI team to help you build an intuitive design, every user is different and will have issues on their own. Believe me.
To deal with this, you will still need great user documentation that is useful and easy to read, if you want to retain users and provide a killer customer service.
It seems daunting at first right? How the hell am I going to ensure everyone can use my software effectively? But it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few tips to help you improve your support documentation.
Measure User Behavior through an Analytics Tool
To understand your audience and what they are doing is not only useful for marketers, unlike many of you might think. If you want to provide useful support documentation, you need to know where users are struggling with your application, and why they need guidance for.
Use analytics tools to measure the journey of your product, and put yourself in your user’s shoes. Is there a specific feature they are not using? Can they go through the payment process easily? This will allow you better insights about what you should include in your Knowledge Base.
Keep the information brief and clear
Whether you’re building team documentation or end-user documentation, you are still speaking to human beings, so write like one. First, define a structure for your content that is easy to read right from the start, and keep it consistent through all files.
Try not to develop extensive articles, but instead replace words with visuals often (we will get there soon). Make sure your documentation includes only the information that will lead users to get the job done, without having to contact your team. Not pages of needless details about your software.
Bet on Visual Content, Because It Is King
Statistics show that 4X as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than to read about it. So, maybe you should replace tedious support articles with videos, online courses, infographics, or even in-product demos.
Visual Content is a lot easier to understand, quicker to read, and plays a major role in helping users understand how to perform certain tasks. Besides, it’s definitely more fun to develop.
Centralize all your support documentation
This is a very important step in building documentation. People need to know where the information is so that when they need help, they won’t waste too much time looking for it. And the same goes for new team members.
Intercom, for example, will allow you to organize your articles in one place and even provide a powerful search for users to access information more effectively. Make sure you have your documentation organized, be it on a support page, an on-site application, or even an internal software.
Enable Knowledge Base Articles On Any Page
It’s true that online tools like Intercom, Zendesk, and Desk.com will help you build a great Knowledge Base. But it shouldn’t stop there… Make sure to enable these articles on top of your web application, and not only on a support page.
This way, users won’t have to look for documentation. But, instead, have all the information they need right there all the time. Softwares like Helppier, for example, allows to integrate desk.com articles into an on-page application, so users can read the information they need and follow steps simultaneously, without leaving the page they’re in.
Create Step-by-Step Guides
Step-by-step tutorials are a great way to demonstrate how to get things done. Since they allow a learn-by-doing experience that feels like a real-time lecture on top of your application. Tutorials are very powerful because they guide users to a specific flow. As they ensure users accomplish their task successfully by highlighting the right elements.
Create user guides that interact with all kinds of users and provide personalized help for different groups, to ensure users are familiar with specific features of your website or software and don’t have to engage on research or contact your team for support.
Great user documentation will not only allow you to help lost clients and reduce upcoming support calls but also improve your brand’s reputation, increase loyal customers and minimize workload since it’s quick and effective.
Now, go ahead and improve it!