What is the similarity between a bad haircut and a bad help file? Both leave you feeling frustrated, helpless and annoyed! A good haircut can make you feel glamorous, sexy, cool and generally lifts your self-confidence. Although good help files don’t do that for you they most definitely can for a system. Users generally click that little button when they are stuck; often feeling frustrated and possibly even lost. A help file can either aggravate those feelings or turn them around to make you, the user, feel helped, comforted and good about using the system.
At Exact Online we know that within any help system there is always room for improvement and that’s what we are working towards. We have redesigned the help and used the new layout for two of our latest offerings – Subscriptions and Time & Billing.
The underlying theme
The underlying premise of the new design is to make it as user driven as possible in answering your potential questions. As well as giving some background information there are now ‘How to’ descriptions, placed not only on the main help document accessed from the main menu page, but also in the help files for individual pages. These help files now also have Troubleshooting and Tips & tricks sections. Although we have populated these sections, the idea is for this information to also come from you, the user. Different people have different experiences that can all add value for other users.
Linking with Customer support
The help system isn’t a completely independent entity. It works in harmony with the rest of the system and its customer support structure. The questions you pose to Customer support should also be incorporated into the help system, most likely being used to populate the Troubleshooting sections. We want to try and make sure that once one person has a problem, no-one else has to have the same one.
Watch this space!
More news from us on the redesign will be coming soon. Furthermore, we realize that the key to making the new help as good as it possibly can be is to have you involved as much as is possible. You can really make a difference to how this project develops. We’d love for you to evaluate these first versions of the redesigned help files and give us feedback. Tell us about what you would like to see in your ideal set of help files – and we will do our best to try and make it happen. Please consider getting involved – it’s your chance to really influence your product and to get it helping you in the ways that you want it to. Give it some thought and let us know what you want to see. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!