Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts by Jonathan DeVore

Recent Posts

Posted on Mar 29, 2017 12:18:47 PM by Jonathan DeVore

New ScreenSteps Feature: Revision Notes

Don’t you hate it when you finish up a project, release it to the world, and then get an email from your team with something like, “Hey! How come you didn’t address any of my notes and feedback?”

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 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 Aug 17, 2015 12:57:05 PM by Jonathan DeVore

Onboarding Review: Kajabi

In this week's review of how other SaaS (software as a service) products are onboarding new customers, we're going to check out Kajabi - a SaaS for building online courses, membership sites, and information products.

Posted on Jul 17, 2015 10:00:00 AM by Jonathan DeVore

One Overlooked Reason Your SaaS Isn't Being Adopted

After you've onboarded a prospect/new customer to your SaaS, and after they've gone through some additional training, your users may still have trouble using your product - not because your instructions are bad, but because your users may still not know what to do.

Posted on Jul 9, 2015 4:05:00 PM by Jonathan DeVore

My 3 Rules for Onboarding Customers to a SaaS Product

I'm not aware of any commandments, requirements, or laws for onboarding customers to a software platform - but I do have 3 rules that I try to live by:

  1. Find out what a user wants to do
  2. Motivate them to action
  3. Give them a map that shows them how to get wherever they want to be

Why live by those rules? Well, during the onboarding phase, it's really important that your customers experience "wins" early on. If you know what they want to do, it's easy to motivate and provide a specific map. If you don't know what they want, you end up overwhelming customers with too much information.

 

Posted on May 28, 2015 5:00:00 PM by Jonathan DeVore

14 Examples of Documentation Mistakes You Are Making

When it comes to doing something right, sometimes it helps to see common mistakes others make. So here are 14 examples of common mistakes you might be making (and yes, I even included a mistake we made in our own documentation).

You'll notice that none of it is internal documentation - unfortunately, organizations aren't keen on letting me see internal procedures. But the lessons we can learn from software documentation are definitely applicable to how you create your organization's internal documentation as well.

Check out 10 Examples of Great End User Documentation

Posted on May 19, 2015 5:13:00 PM by Jonathan DeVore

A Beautiful New Template For Your Knowledge Base

The old knowledge base template was a little outdated, and looked like this:

Which is fine, if you like that that look. But some of you mentioned that it was too text-heavy and difficult to navigate through when you had a lot of documentation (and many of you have A LOT of documentation... like, over 400 articles).

So, last week, we released a new template to make your knowledge base a little snazzier looking.

Posted on Nov 12, 2014 2:34:00 PM by Jonathan DeVore

ScreenSteps vs. MadCap Flare or RoboHelp

We often get questions about using ScreenSteps vs. MadCap Flare or RoboHelp.

I'm not going to go into a feature by feature comparison - both RoboHelp and MadCap Flare are very capable products and if you start listing all of the features, both will have a much longer list than ScreenSteps.

The main difference between ScreenSteps and these other authoring tools is philosophy.

Both Flare and RoboHep are built around the the idea of "documentation projects." A team or author using one of these products will go through everything you would do with a traditional project:

Posted on Nov 3, 2014 4:46:03 PM by Jonathan DeVore

2 Reasons Customers Aren't Using Your Self-Service

I was ready to checkout of Lowe's.

On my way to the register, I noticed there were a few available machines at self-checkout, and considered skipping the line to scan everything myself.

But I didn't.

On this particular trip, I purchased a few odd items, and I wasn't sure I could successfully go through the self-checkout. So I walked on by and found somebody who could help me.

That's the first reason customers will opt to skip self-service: they're not sure they can solve their own problems using the tools you've given them. Your customers might think of their problems as being unique, and assume your self-service hasn't considered their situation.