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Posted on Nov 2, 2016 7:17:00 AM by Greg DeVore

Teaching vs. Reminding

If you are building a knowledge base for customer support or for internal training, then it is important to keep in mind what you want the article to accomplish.

In a perfect world you could write one article and use it for training, onboarding and support. And this is the approach that many people take. But it is a big mistake.

When someone needs to be trained, their needs are very different from when she need to be reminded.

The person who is being trained needs to understand concepts, definitions and workflows. The person who just needs a quick reminder only needs a quick step-by-step guide.

Posted on Oct 28, 2016 4:17:45 PM by Greg DeVore

Your PowerPoint Deck is Not Your Documentation

Oh, the all powerful PowerPoint Deck. PowerPoint is a part of almost every training event you will deliver or participate in. Whether it be live, a webinar or an e-learning module PowerPoint will probably be involved in some part of the process.

Posted on Oct 5, 2016 9:59:48 AM by Greg DeVore

Condense Your Documentation with Foldable Sections

  

 

 

 

About a year ago, we started grappling with the problem of long articles. Sometimes, a short article just wouldn't cut it--you need a lengthy onboarding guide or a long procedure that has a lot of content. The question became, "how can one best present lengthy content to the end user?"

 

Because if articles are too long, they force the reader to endlessly scroll down the page. All of that scrolling can be confusing, and readers can quickly lose track of what they are even looking at. So we wanted to fix that.

One option was to split the article up into multiple articles in a manual. This approach would let a reader finish an article, and then hit next. The problem we saw was that, often times, readers would either land in the middle of a lengthy process (from searching a keyword the knowledge base and clicking on an article), or they would get lost somewhere in the process and lose track of where they were.

Posted on May 20, 2016 3:53:11 PM by Jonathan DeVore

How Wide Should My Screenshots Be?

It's a small thing. But after I was told that one of my help articles looked sloppy, I realized that consistent screenshot width throughout a help article is important.

Posted on Feb 29, 2016 8:00:00 AM by Greg DeVore

Providing Your Customers with a Clear Path to Success

A step by step guide that gives your customers a clear path to success can really boost your customer onboarding and success efforts. Here are a few tips for providing that clear path.

Posted on Feb 22, 2016 8:00:00 AM by Greg DeVore

Helping Customers Define Their Goals

We will often see customers sign up for a trial without a clear idea of what their goals are. They know they have a general problem and they know that they need to do something but they have a tough time defining exactly what the problem or explains exactly how they plan on solving it.

Posted on Feb 15, 2016 11:35:39 AM by Greg DeVore

Components of Customer Success

A Clear Goal

You cannot help your customers be successful unless they understand what their goals are. You probably didn't expect me to say that. You probably expected me to say that you can't help your customers be successful unless you know what their goals are. But that isn't totally true. If you have a low touch sales process and provide a lot for self-service information, a customer who has a clear goal in mind can be successful with your product without ever contacting you. But if they don't know what their goals are then the chances of them being successful with your product aren't very good.

Posted on Jan 8, 2016 11:30:00 AM by Jonathan DeVore

3 Mistakes You Are Making When Onboarding New SaaS Users

What do new users experience when they first login to your SaaS? If you're not sure, you should sign up for a trial of your own product, and take a look. See if you're making one of the 3 most common onboarding mistakes.

Why Bother?

Why is onboarding important? Well, remember the time you went to a restaurant you hadn't ever been to before, and nobody was there to welcome you? You just kind of stood around, waiting for something to happen. That was uncomfortable, wasn't it? And even though you only waited around for five minutes, it felt like 30. And not knowing what to do during those five minutes (or having anything to help you out) was frustrating. 

A hostess greeting you when you walk in is a small thing--really, all she says is "Welcome," "The wait is about 10 minutes," "You can sit over there," "Your table is ready"--but she gives you assurance, and helps you feel more comfortable. 

Onboarding new users is kind of like having a hostess at a restaurant. It's a small thing. Maybe all your onboarding does is say, "Welcome," "Here are some options..." and "Here's how to do them..." But having something to tell your new users what's going on can give them assurance, and help them feel more comfortable.

Posted on Nov 5, 2015 8:55:44 AM by Greg DeVore

3 Ways Documentation Can Help Your Enterprise Software Product

1. Customer Onboarding

Most enterprise software companies do one-on-one onboardings by either going onto the client site or by hosting a training via a web meeting. When I talk to our enterprise customers about using documentation in their onboarding they think that I am talking about replacing their current onboarding practices.

Posted on Oct 22, 2015 9:53:25 AM by Greg DeVore

Chunking Information to Make It Easier For Your Attendees to Retain

Our brains struggle to remember more than 5-7 things. We just aren't very good at remembering more than that. But our brains are very good at chunking information.

Chunking information is the process where we break up large amounts of information into manageable chunks. It's almost like putting things into folders.

Let's look at how this works with phone numbers in the United States. I live in Northern Virginia
just outside of Washington DC. There are basically three area codes that I usually run into: 703, 571 (which are both in Northern Virginia), and 202 which is Washington, DC.