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Improving WordPress Themes & Plugins Support Documentation
 

Improving WordPress Themes & Plugins Support Documentation

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Solid user support documentation of WordPress themes and plugins is key for Users Experience. Many WordPress theme and plugin developers have frustrated users. Users are digging through websites, ...

Solid user support documentation of WordPress themes and plugins is key for Users Experience. Many WordPress theme and plugin developers have frustrated users. Users are digging through websites, forums and surfing the web for answers on how to setup, use or modify WordPress products.

Learn how to create an effective learning channel incorporating Information Architecture and User Experience techniques. Develop a blue print to organize your step by step guides, video tutorials, troubleshooting tips, FAQ, and forums for easy findability for both novices and pros. Points to address include reducing your user’s pain points and learning curve, the value of UI consistency, alternative concept map of information and a developer’s documentation check list before release.

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    Improving WordPress Themes & Plugins Support Documentation Improving WordPress Themes & Plugins Support Documentation Presentation Transcript

    • Improving WordPress
      Themes & Plugins
      Support Documentation
      By Gloria Antonelli
    • About.me
      Fine artist
      Started web dev in mid 90’s
      Crazy about learning new technology
      Learn from the best
      Love to teach what I learn
      Go to a lot of conferences
      Shy online but not in person
      I consult, train and sometimes write.
      http://2011.chicago.wordcamp.org/2011/07/23/interview-with-gloria-antonelli/
    • Support documents
      & learning channels
      arekey for great
      User Experience.
    • The Problem
      Too many frustrated users are searching for answers on how to use your products.
      examples: All in one SEO & Thematic
    • It’s been the Wild West in WP development land.
      Are we ready to settle down with some standards in support document creation?
    • WP Gold Standard
      three
      d’s
      the
      development
      design
      documentation
      Create standards without
      stifling innovation and creativity.
    • Questions to ask yourself.
      What is your business model?
      Business goals?
      Full-time venture?
      Who are your target users?
      What is your development philosophy?
      Why are you making themes & plugins?
      Once you know tell your users!
    • the team :
      many hats, jobs & skills
      CODE DESIGN UI UX IA SEO
      The holy trinity
      UX IA Dev
    • Are you wearing all the hats?
    • For users to easily find information to configure, modify & use your products.
      EXPECTATIONS
    • The Long Tail of Users
      Head
      experienced users
      Long Tail
      new & non tech users
      Unlimited niche users with various skill sets
    • The Learning Curve
      Difficult
      Head
      experienced users
      Easy
      Long Tail
      new & non tech users
      Unlimited niche users with various skill sets
    • The Learning Curve
      Difficult
      Head
      experienced users
      Easy
      Long Tail
      new & non tech users
      limited
      Unlimited niche users with various skill sets
    • The Learning Curve
      Difficult
      Are you addressing the needs of this market segment?
      Easy
      [new & non tech users]
    • Target Users Skill Set**
      **an estimate of skill sets
      *refers to all JavaScript libraries
    • “please care about your end users”
      Gary Vaynerchuk
      FOWA Vegas 2011
    • WP Learning Curve
      html
      Multiple learning layers
      WordPress UI
      Theme Functionality
      Theme Options
      Theme Widgets
      Many Plugins
      css
      php
    • WP Learning Curve
      Advanced learning layers
      html
      WordPress UI
      Theme Functionality
      Theme Options
      Theme Widgets
      Many Plugins
      css
      php
    • Users Process
      Decide to use WordPress
      Plugin Selection
      Set up
      Theme
      Modify
      Theme
      Theme Selection
      >
      >
      >
      >
      repeat as needed
      read docs
      search web
      view videos
      view tutorials
      search web
      read reviews
      select & hope
      for the best
      read docs
      search web
      view videos
      view tutorials
      search web
      read reviews
      read docs
      search web
    • Theme Support,
      Option Page UI,
      & Plugins
      everyone is
      different
      Don’t know what to expect until you buy in.
      are you
      making
      users
      crazy?
    • Move from Dev Centric
      to User Centric
      Is there a clear learning path
      for all users?
    • Create a [UX-Centric] Process
      • Think of users needs throughout each step.
    • Create a [UX-Centric] Process
      • Think of users needs throughout each step.
      • Brainstorm ideas/solutions to ease pain points.
    • Create a [UX-Centric] Process
      • Think of users needs throughout each step.
      • Brainstorm ideas/solutions to ease pain points.
      • Collect data from users in each target segment.
    • Create a [UX-Centric] Process
      • Think of users needs throughout each step.
      • Brainstorm ideas/solutions to ease pain points.
      • Collect data from users in each target segment.
      • Develop a prototype of learning channels.
    • Create a [UX-Centric] Process
      • Think of users needs throughout each step.
      • Brainstorm ideas/solutions to ease pain points.
      • Collect data from users in each target segment.
      • Develop a prototype of learning channels.
      • Create a foundation for the learning center.
    • Create a [UX-Centric] Process
      • Think of users needs throughout each step.
      • Brainstorm ideas/solutions to ease pain points.
      • Collect data from users in each target segment.
      • Develop a prototype of learning channels.
      • Create a foundation for the learning center.
      • Write content, create videos, and tutorials.
    • Create a [UX-Centric] Process
      • Think of users needs throughout each step.
      • Brainstorm ideas/solutions to ease pain points.
      • Collect data from users in each target segment.
      • Develop a prototype of learning channels.
      • Create a foundation for the learning center.
      • Write content, create videos, and tutorials.
      • Conduct usability testing as you go along.
    • “Don’t Make Me Think”
      By Steve Krug
      A Common Sense Approach
      to Web Usability
      The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems
      http://www.sensible.com/
    • User Pain Points
      • Don’t know where to start.
      • Understanding features in different themes.
      • Unfamiliar with terms & finding info.
      • Different naming conventions.
      • Next iterations of WP core.
      • No theme support evaluation system.
    • Don’t start with just a forum!
    • Don’t start with just a forum!
      Users need more step by step:
    • Don’t start with just a forum!
      Users need more step by step:
      “get started” instructions – install & configure
    • Don’t start with just a forum!
      Users need more step by step:
      “get started” instructions – install & configure
      guides for troubleshooting, option page, features,
      modifying the theme
      Forums have a
      place but best to
      give answers
      before they are
      asked.
    • Don’t start with just a forum!
      Users need more step by step:
      “get started” instructions – install & configure
      guides for troubleshooting, option page, features,
      modifying the theme
      advance code & developers guide
    • Don’t start with just a forum!
      Users need more step by step:
      “get started” instructions – install & configure
      guides for troubleshooting, option page, features,
      modifying the theme
      advance code & developers guide
      videos, tutorials and faq
    • Don’t start with just a forum!
      Users need more step by step:
      “get started” instructions – install & configure
      guides for troubleshooting, option page, features,
      modifying the theme
      advance code & developers guide
      videos, tutorials and faq
      links to external resources
    • Don’t start with just a forum!
      Users need more step by step:
      get started instructions – install & configure
      guides for troubleshooting, option page, features,
      modifying the theme
      advance code & developers guide
      videos, tutorials and faq
      links to external resources
      Forums have a
      place but best to
      give answers
      before they are
      asked.
    • Create Multiple Channels
      Guides
      Forum
      Videos
      Tutorials
    • Documentation Tips
      Information Architecture
      Findability
      Visual Presentation
      Instructional Creation
      Concept Map Model
      Best Practices
    • Information Architecture
      is the categorization of information into a coherent structure.
    • Information Architecture
      Arrange in order of importance
    • Information Architecture
      Arrange in order of importance
      Arrange in order of skill level
    • Information Architecture
      Arrange in order of importance
      Arrange in order of skill level
      Clear calls of action (Start Here)
    • Information Architecture
      Arrange in order of importance
      Arrange in order of skill level
      Clear calls of action (Start Here)
      Clear navigation
    • Information Architecture
      Arrange in order of importance
      Arrange in order of skill level
      Clear calls of action (Start Here)
      Clear navigation
      Use descriptive headlines
    • Information Architecture
      Arrange in order of importance
      Arrange in order of skill level
      Clear calls of action (Start Here)
      Clear navigation
      Use descriptive headlines
      UI consistency for ease of use
    • Information Architecture
      Arrange in order of importance
      Arrange in order of skill level
      Clear calls of action (Start Here)
      Clear navigation
      Use descriptive headlines
      UI consistency for ease of use
      Link to external resources
    • Findability
      ability to locate and present usable information easily, accurately, and quickly as possible.
    • Findability
      Create a visual map
    • Findability
      Create a visual map
      Create a sitemap
    • Findability
      Create a visual map
      Create a sitemap
      Create a table of content and index
    • Findability
      Create a visual map
      Create a sitemap
      Create a table of content and index
      Use Search Engine Optimization
    • Visual Presentation
      Use color coding & icons
    • Visual Presentation
      Use color coding & icons
      Use white space for readability
    • Visual Presentation
      Use color coding & icons
      Use white space for readability
      Use bullet or numbered lists
    • Visual Presentation
      Use color coding & icons
      Use white space for readability
      Use bullet or numbered lists
      Chunk instructional content
    • Instructional Creation
      Break down processes into clear
      step by step instructions.
    • Instructional Creation
      Break down processes into clear
      step by step instructions.
      Create new tutorials from the forum conversations.
    • Instructional Creation
      Break down processes into clear
      step by step instructions.
      Create new tutorials from the forum conversations.
      Provide written content for videos.
    • Instructional Creation
      Break down processes into clear
      step by step instructions.
      Create new tutorials from the forum conversations.
      Provide written content for videos.
      Clarification of terminology.
    • Concept Map Model
      Create an infographic
      about your theme and theme learning channels.
      http://yoast.com/wordpress-theme-anatomy/
    • Standards & Best Practices
      UI Consistency reduces learning curve
      and leverages previous experience.
      Establishes UI conventions for Option pages and Plugin Documentation.
    • Gloria Antonelli
      Emerging Technologist Strategist
      Consultant & Trainer on Web 2.0
      Techcocktail.com writer
      gloria@gloriaantonelli.com
      socially @gloriaantonelli
      on facebook, linkedin & twitter
      Thank You
    • Photo credit
      “Learn” Aaron Schmidt
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/aaronschmidt/
      “Hat man” Andrew Warren
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/27273053@N05/4507100640/
      Most others are my iPhone images from Art Museums in the US.