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Framework for development of Software User Documentation

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A presentation introducing the concept of adding integrated resources to the Software User Documentation developed by Afour Technical Communication.

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Framework for development of Software User Documentation

  1. 1. Enhancing your user’s experience with your software S p e c i a l i s i n g i n S o f t w a r e U s e r D o c u m e n t a t i o n Alan Andrew Helping you put back support into your software info@afour.co.za www.afour.co.za
  2. 2. Do your users struggle with your software? Many software applications are intuitive and easy to use, but many are complex systems
  3. 3. Do your users struggle with your software? Complex business processes Many software applications are intuitive and easy to use, but many are complex systems
  4. 4. Do your users struggle with your software? Complex business processes Cross-system integration Many software applications are intuitive and easy to use, but many are complex systems
  5. 5. Do your users struggle with your software? Complex business processes Cross-system integration Information management Many software applications are intuitive and easy to use, but many are complex systems
  6. 6. Are your Helpdesk & Support teams overwhelmed? Is a lot of time spent hand-holding your customers?
  7. 7. Why don’t users of software read the manual Well, there could be a number of reasons
  8. 8. Why don’t users of software read the manual Well, there could be a number of reasons It’s difficult to read
  9. 9. Why don’t users of software read the manual Well, there could be a number of reasons It’s difficult to read The information that users want is not there
  10. 10. Why don’t users of software read the manual Well, there could be a number of reasons It’s difficult to read The information that users want is not there What is there, is not really helpful!
  11. 11. How you can solve this scenario? Think about it!
  12. 12. How you can solve this scenario? Think about it! Support systems cost you money What will a user need to work effectively without your hand-holding?
  13. 13. How you can solve this scenario? Make broad-based relevant information available
  14. 14. How you can solve this scenario? Make broad-based relevant information available 24-hours a day — Everyday
  15. 15. How you can solve this scenario? Make broad-based relevant information available 24-hours a day — Everyday Help your users do a task without a phone call
  16. 16. How you can solve this scenario? Remember, a user document is not a novel, it is a reference document. When your user wants information they want it now!
  17. 17. Software brand value What will you benefit from this approach?
  18. 18. Software brand value Saving time and money More profits Users are happy Trust What will you benefit from this approach?
  19. 19. Simply integrate a framework of resources into the online document
  20. 20. Firstly, the architecture of the online user documentation The video that follows this slide illustrates more detail of the architecture.
  21. 21. Further ReadingVideo Tutorials Software Learning Knowledgebase Then, let’s add the architecture elements of the available resources
  22. 22. Further ReadingVideo Tutorials Software Learning Knowledgebase And finally tie it up in a nice neat package Using Embedded hyperlinks Relationship menus Active videos Controlled browse sequences
  23. 23. Further ReadingVideo Tutorials Software Learning Knowledgebase And there it is, a Framework for Software Documentation
  24. 24. Further ReadingVideo Tutorials Software Learning Knowledgebase The documentation framework is part of a new trend and is based on an integrated synthesis of existing learning elements.
  25. 25. Video Tutorials Not everyone learns easily by reading! Often the best way to learn is to watch someone else do it first Rather than having to call the helpdesk and wait for support, users can find answers for themselves They can watch a tutorial — start it, pause it, rewind it, fast forward it — view it as many times as required
  26. 26. Further Reading Further reading implies making use of multiple opportunities for your users to access extra information • Further reading of procedural documents (Reading Aids) This information is usually outside the direct use of the software but directly related to business processes within which the software operates Depending on the nature of the software — business complexity using the software may be beyond the confines of the user documentation requiring consideration outside of the software • Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) • Encyclopaedic information (Wikis) relevant to the business and operations • Accumulation of knowledge within a knowledge-base environment
  27. 27. Software Learning Software Learning also provides an extended method beyond just teaching your users using Video Tutorials This also adds the opportunity for certification Another dimension of Software Learning provides an opportunity to teach your users how to use your software product through the provision of learning content using a Learning Management System (LMS) in structured controlled manner And possibly a further opportunity for developing soft-skills
  28. 28. Knowledgebase It makes sense to associate the user documentation to an external information architecture of knowledge It is thus self-evident that any modern business should have all it's information and knowledge in an easily accessible form Located in a Knowledge-base or Document Management repository available to all users of the software but should also include shareholders, employees and even customers
  29. 29. IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS OR WANT MORE INFORMATION? Browse our website for lots more. THANK YOU FOR WATCHING info@afour.co.za www.afour.co.za

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