Road Map to Great User
Documentation
by Gloria Antonelli
WordCamp Grand Rapids 2013
forTheme & Plugins Developers
about me
artist
designer
technologist
trainer
consultant
web strategist
wordpress developer
WordCamp Grand Rapids 2013
@Gl...
stuff i know
html
css
php
wordpress
web standards
ux
ui
seo
graphic design
content strategy
usability testing
information ...
long tail of WP users
documentation culture
doc types for learning
writing tips
visual presentation tips
instructional pre...
Improving WordPress
Themes & Plugins
Support
Documentation
By Gloria Antonelli
WordPress.TV
Slideshare.net
The conversatio...
development
design
documentation
WP GOLD STANDARDS
new & non tech users
experiencedusers
The Learning Curve
Difficult
Easy
Long Tail of WP Users
Unlimited users
with limited ...
Multiple Learning Layers
Essential Advanced
WordPress Admin UI HTML5
Theme Functionality CSS3
Theme Options PHP
Theme Widg...
Buried in support requests?
A great learning center can
transform your business.
http://flic.kr/p/dqKrEJ
Stand out in the Market Place
Decrease Support Requests
Increase Customer Satisfaction
IncreaseYour Happiness Level
http:/...
Users select themes
& plugins by learning
channel quality.
@GloriaAntonelli #wcgr
Documentation Culture
Your Job
Provide instructional
information to users.
Documentation development time up front
or more support time on the b...
Improve Users Productivity
Identify
your user
goals &
learning
outcomes.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lac-bac/7509282230/
Provide Road Maps
User Road Blocks
Different skill sets, technical
expertise, & learning styles.
No single format works for
everyone.
Provid...
Learning Doc Types
Start Guides FAQ Overviews
How to’s Code Snippets eBook
Videos Deep-Dive Glossary
Infographics Trouble ...
Infographics
http://marktimemedia.com/redesigning-the-template-hierarchy/
Forums
Theme companies closing forums &
moving to ticketed support systems.
Sometimes good
Sometimes not!
Start Here
Just Start Writing
http://flic.kr/p/DGUbY
Then Edit
Edit • Revise • Proofread
http://flic.kr/p/7DhKhD
edit on paper
read slowly
read out loud
review 3X
Successful Editing
Writing Tips
Target each audience group.
Act like a personal instructor.
Be conversational.
Be brief, clear, concise.
Writ...
Visual Presentation Tips
Create a documentation style guide.
Chunk instructional content.
Use tables & lists.
Use callouts...
Instructional Tips
Break down into step by step
instructions.
Create new tutorials from forum
conversations.
Provide writt...
Anticipate Questions
1. Write down real questions.
2. Develop detailed instructions
to answer the question.
3. Plug into l...
Table of Content
Site Map
Index
Findability
http://flic.kr/p/7PTDDm
locate & present info
easily accurately quickly
Doc Sprints
http://flic.kr/p/PWNcf
Collaboration
Doc Sprints
Mozilla Doc Sprint Planning Guide
Document Sprints organize people to
help write documentation in a short
time...
Garden WallBy join the dots
Avoid Learning Centers
behind a walled garden.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dillemma/8740718365/
Information Architecture
categorization of information
into a coherent structure.
Arrange for Importance or Skill Level
Start Here Call of Actions
...
verify content & code
learners skills & abilities
iterate, iterate, iterate
Evaluation
Assessment
Modifications
http://flic....
Time for Updates
Continual Document Review
http://flic.kr/p/4PeAb
Easy Docs Theme
Easy Docs Sample Page
Obox - an example of multiple learning channels
http://kb.oboxsites.com/
Disclaimer:A review of the learning channels layo...
Main
Obox
Note sidebar
Theme Documentation Sample
Obox
Note sidebar
Obox
Note sidebar
Solutions &
Know Issues
Obox
Sample of a Knowledgebase page
Obox
Sample of a Knowledgebase page
Obox
Continuation of WooCommerce
set up page
OboxFAQ & How To
Obox
No clear path to the
plugin information.
http://yoast.com/wordpress/seo/
Example of a clear path of learning.
Join the
WordPress Global
Community
thank you!
Gloria
Antonelli
@GloriaAntonelli
google +
linkedin
facebook
Emerging Technology
& Web Strategist
WordPress Dev...
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Road Map to great User Documentation for WordPress

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For WordPress Theme and Plugin Developers. WordPress users want to improve their productivity by selecting themes and plugins with quality learning documentation. Their user experience is to find information to install, implement and modify your products with as little problems as possible. Develop an effective learning channel, architect the site for findability and engage in quick user testing should be a priority not an afterthought. Stand out with tips on writing, instructional and visual presentation for all types of learner. Doc Sprints and case studies also included.

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Road Map to great User Documentation for WordPress

  1. 1. Road Map to Great User Documentation by Gloria Antonelli WordCamp Grand Rapids 2013 forTheme & Plugins Developers
  2. 2. about me artist designer technologist trainer consultant web strategist wordpress developer WordCamp Grand Rapids 2013 @GloriaAntonelli #wcgr
  3. 3. stuff i know html css php wordpress web standards ux ui seo graphic design content strategy usability testing information architecture WordCamp Grand Rapids 2013 @GloriaAntonelli #wcgr
  4. 4. long tail of WP users documentation culture doc types for learning writing tips visual presentation tips instructional presentation tips findability user interface doc sprints case studies learning channel overview WordCamp Grand Rapids 2013 @GloriaAntonelli #wcgr
  5. 5. Improving WordPress Themes & Plugins Support Documentation By Gloria Antonelli WordPress.TV Slideshare.net The conversation started at WPChicago 2011.
  6. 6. development design documentation WP GOLD STANDARDS
  7. 7. new & non tech users experiencedusers The Learning Curve Difficult Easy Long Tail of WP Users Unlimited users with limited skill.
  8. 8. Multiple Learning Layers Essential Advanced WordPress Admin UI HTML5 Theme Functionality CSS3 Theme Options PHP Theme Widgets JQUERY “Learn” image Aaron Schmidt http://www.flickr.com/photos/aaronschmidt/ @GloriaAntonelli #wcgr
  9. 9. Buried in support requests? A great learning center can transform your business. http://flic.kr/p/dqKrEJ
  10. 10. Stand out in the Market Place Decrease Support Requests Increase Customer Satisfaction IncreaseYour Happiness Level http://flic.kr/p/
  11. 11. Users select themes & plugins by learning channel quality. @GloriaAntonelli #wcgr
  12. 12. Documentation Culture
  13. 13. Your Job Provide instructional information to users. Documentation development time up front or more support time on the back end. @GloriaAntonelli #wcgr
  14. 14. Improve Users Productivity Identify your user goals & learning outcomes.
  15. 15. http://www.flickr.com/photos/lac-bac/7509282230/ Provide Road Maps
  16. 16. User Road Blocks Different skill sets, technical expertise, & learning styles. No single format works for everyone. Provide multiple learning channels for success. @GloriaAntonelli #wcgr
  17. 17. Learning Doc Types Start Guides FAQ Overviews How to’s Code Snippets eBook Videos Deep-Dive Glossary Infographics Trouble Shooting Webinars
  18. 18. Infographics http://marktimemedia.com/redesigning-the-template-hierarchy/
  19. 19. Forums Theme companies closing forums & moving to ticketed support systems. Sometimes good Sometimes not!
  20. 20. Start Here
  21. 21. Just Start Writing http://flic.kr/p/DGUbY
  22. 22. Then Edit Edit • Revise • Proofread http://flic.kr/p/7DhKhD
  23. 23. edit on paper read slowly read out loud review 3X Successful Editing
  24. 24. Writing Tips Target each audience group. Act like a personal instructor. Be conversational. Be brief, clear, concise. Write short paragraphs. Don’t buried important info in a wall of text.
  25. 25. Visual Presentation Tips Create a documentation style guide. Chunk instructional content. Use tables & lists. Use callouts. Format for scanning. Use header hierarchy. Use color coding. Use white space for readability.
  26. 26. Instructional Tips Break down into step by step instructions. Create new tutorials from forum conversations. Provide written content for videos. Include clarification of terminology.
  27. 27. Anticipate Questions 1. Write down real questions. 2. Develop detailed instructions to answer the question. 3. Plug into learning channel. @GloriaAntonelli #wcgr
  28. 28. Table of Content Site Map Index Findability http://flic.kr/p/7PTDDm locate & present info easily accurately quickly
  29. 29. Doc Sprints http://flic.kr/p/PWNcf Collaboration
  30. 30. Doc Sprints Mozilla Doc Sprint Planning Guide Document Sprints organize people to help write documentation in a short time - same location or virtually.
  31. 31. Garden WallBy join the dots Avoid Learning Centers behind a walled garden.
  32. 32. http://www.flickr.com/photos/dillemma/8740718365/ Information Architecture
  33. 33. categorization of information into a coherent structure. Arrange for Importance or Skill Level Start Here Call of Actions Descriptive Headers Site Map & Topic Overviews GroupTopics @GloriaAntonelli #wcgr AI
  34. 34. verify content & code learners skills & abilities iterate, iterate, iterate Evaluation Assessment Modifications http://flic.kr/p/L5v2U
  35. 35. Time for Updates Continual Document Review http://flic.kr/p/4PeAb
  36. 36. Easy Docs Theme
  37. 37. Easy Docs Sample Page
  38. 38. Obox - an example of multiple learning channels http://kb.oboxsites.com/ Disclaimer:A review of the learning channels layout not of Obox theme quailty.
  39. 39. Main
  40. 40. Obox Note sidebar
  41. 41. Theme Documentation Sample
  42. 42. Obox Note sidebar
  43. 43. Obox Note sidebar Solutions & Know Issues
  44. 44. Obox Sample of a Knowledgebase page
  45. 45. Obox Sample of a Knowledgebase page
  46. 46. Obox Continuation of WooCommerce set up page
  47. 47. OboxFAQ & How To
  48. 48. Obox
  49. 49. No clear path to the plugin information. http://yoast.com/wordpress/seo/
  50. 50. Example of a clear path of learning.
  51. 51. Join the WordPress Global Community
  52. 52. thank you! Gloria Antonelli @GloriaAntonelli google + linkedin facebook Emerging Technology & Web Strategist WordPress Developer Consultant & Trainer gloria@gloriaantonelli.com

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