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Give your clients support they need through better UX and tools


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30 out of 30 questioned subjects (any size companies to individuals) don't have any proven solution nor process how to handle support. They have tried screencasting, making thorough manuals with screenshots and many more. Most of them didn't even consider offering a documentation, instead they just gave up and provided a phone number for the cost of being stuck on the phone, while they could be doing something more meaningful.

We will look at how small UX changes can change the users perception, what tools there are that can help us and our clients. Making our clients happy and us too.

Marek, the founder of INLINE MANUAL and long time Drupal developer have faced the same problems while building Drupal sites and one day he decided to fix this problem. During the time while he was looking for a solution, he interviewed many companies and individuals, gathered quite a lot of valuable feedback and insights into processes of others.

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Give your clients support they need through better UX and tools

  1. 1. PHONE IS RINGING OH MY GOD Marek Sotak @sotak @sotak
  2. 2. I AM... Marek Sotak - @sotak web developer for the past 14+ years Drupal developer - themer for the past 8+ years design, research, UX, rootcandy,... FrontEndUnited co-organiser,... – – @sotak
  3. 3. You: Hello, how can I help you? Customer: I can't login to my site. Y: Are you sure you used the right password? C: Yes, I'm sure. I saw my colleague do it. Y: Can you tell me what the password was? C: Five stars. @sotak
  4. 4. THE PROBLEM Once the site has been done – … – … – Provide client with sufficient support ● end-user manuals ● learning resources ● knowledge base ● ... @sotak
  5. 5. RESEARCH Is it really just us? How do others do it? There surely must be a solution @sotak
  6. 6. RESEARCH Interview calls – 30 subjects – Drupal companies – Individuals – Other companies Subjects from all around the world @sotak
  7. 7. RESEARCH RESULTS Hypothesis 1 – Interviews will reveal difficulty creating agile documentation-manuals for end-users @sotak
  8. 8. RESEARCH RESULTS All interviewees expressed frustration with creating and maintaining documentation for end-users with theirs current solution 40% of the interviewees are not doing any documentation at all and rely only on the phone call support Some interviewees expressed an idea to have a documentation department – but no budget there @sotak
  9. 9. RESEARCH RESULTS Hypothesis 2 – Problem interviews will validate our belief that customers use one or more - custom - alternatives and that there are no alternatives to a better application documentation @sotak
  10. 10. RESEARCH RESULTS NONE of the interviewees have a service/product inplace that they will be happy with. All of the solutions were semi-custom All of the interviewees have no process implemented or are/were experimenting with different approaches (unsuccessfully) @sotak
  11. 11. RESEARCH RESULTS Screenshots 30.8% Interviewees stated that they are using screenshots in documents sometimes they allow client to react/give feedback within the document via notes/comments (Google docs) everyone expressed high pain level, especially when it came to updating the docs @sotak
  12. 12. RESEARCH RESULTS Screencasts 23.1% - often used to show the basics of how to deal with the applications (overview) the rest of the functionality client has to deduct themselves based on the overview screencasts more popular in terms of happiness of selected approach re-used screencasts from other sources were often being used successful with clients/end-users but failed for developers @sotak
  13. 13. RESEARCH RESULTS Workshops held when it was necessary to educate a team of people painful and expensive, since there was a preparation needed and approximately one developers time Workshops were often followed by phone call support @sotak
  14. 14. RESEARCH RESULTS Phone Call Support Interviewees were aware of loosing much more time on phone support, if they rather had a better documentation, but since it was so painful creating one, they didn’t care that much @sotak
  15. 15. RESEARCH RESULTS well established companies - no idea how to improve the process usually there is no budget for creating the documentation @sotak
  16. 16. RESEARCH RESULTS @sotak
  17. 17. WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS THEN? Support calls Support chat Workshops Web ticketing Knowledge base – Screencasts – Screenshots – Solutions Better UX @sotak
  18. 18. WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS THEN? Support calls – expensive – approx $12/call Support chat – still requires person to answer, exp. Workshops – expensive – lots of preparation needed Web ticketing – still requires person to answer, $2/iss Knowledge base – Screencasts – reusability?,... – Screenshots – don't get me started here – Solutions – good content helps Better UX – won't cover workflows and processes @sotak
  19. 19. MY PERSONAL BEST Better UX Self-help support Knowledge base ● Screencasts ● Screenshots ● Solutions @sotak
  20. 20. BETTER UX Things that are aesthetically pleasing, which we enjoy looking at or touching, and which are attractive make us feel good. And when we feel good our thinking is more creative and we have an easier time solving the problems we face. How to use a particular object, for example. That is why attractive, beautiful, appealing, aesthetic objects work better, because they evoke positive feelings and inspire more creative thinking. @sotak
  21. 21. @sotak
  22. 22. UCD – User Centered Design “In broad terms, user-centered design (UCD) is a type of user interface design and a process in which the needs, wants, and limitations of end users of a product are given extensive attention at each stage of the design process.” @sotak
  23. 23. UCD – User Centered Design A system can be designed to support its intended users’ existing beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors as they relate to the tasks that the system is being designed to support → increase userfriendlines, usability, ... → increase sales, reach business goals,... @sotak
  24. 24. UCD – User Perspectives Needs and wants Goals motivation and triggers Obstacles and limitations Tasks activities and behaviors Geography and language Environment and gear Work life and experience ... @sotak
  25. 25. UCD – Not that It is NOT just that you have to do what the user asks for “Our customer is our Master.” Tomáš Baťa’s motto, 1909 @sotak
  26. 26. UCD – Not that “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want to buy a quarter-inch hole!” Theodore Levitt Harvard marketing professor @sotak
  27. 27. UCD – Disciplines Information architecture Interaction design Visual design Research Usability ... @sotak
  28. 28. UCD – Process Research Concept Design Evaluate @sotak
  29. 29. UCD – Process Research Concept Design Evaluate – Deploy Learn @sotak
  30. 30. @sotak
  31. 31. WHAT TO RESEARCH? “Micro” approach - take just one thing and analyse access log examination @sotak
  32. 32. WHAT TO RESEARCH? The SEARCH Needs RESEARCH The search is one of the most valuable functionality of the self-help portal @sotak
  33. 33. RESEARCHING THE OBVIOUS? Sometimes we take granted that things that are out of the box on a widely used system work as they should. We tend to be lazy @sotak
  35. 35. SETTING MY PERSONAL GOALS Show the team that we don't know much Showcase research approaches Make search to be used more often Make UCD one of the processes @sotak
  36. 36. OUTPUT An analysis of how the search works Delivered as a presentation Sent out to all team members and managers @sotak
  37. 37. THE SEARCH ANALYSIS We wanted to increase the use of self-help content > decrease raised tickets We assumed that the search is not working based on the feedback from some users @sotak
  38. 38. THE SEARCH ANALYSIS Making a simple scenario – user story The ideal simplified workflow – find the search field – enter the search term – click the available action to perform the search - search button – find the solution on the first page – --if not found, refine the search by adding a keyword or using filters – read the solution – optionally perform any action that might help others (rate the solution,…) – exit peacefully with problem fixed and spread how much they loved the portal @sotak
  39. 39. THE SEARCH ANALYSIS Keyword Searches Raised tickets Percentage Searched again blank 3000 66 4.5% 2000 lync 1000 33 7.8% 300 nicpassword 900 24 5% 400 mindaling 800 54 4% 220 password 800 32 3% 60 outlook 700 67 6% 340 blackberry 700 12 7% 56 shared drive 700 4 8% 98 headset 600 15 5% 3 @sotak
  40. 40. THE SEARCH ANALYSIS Total searches performed in last 10 days > 10000 out of 1000000 page views What is that blank keyword? Why are people searching for this? Blank > 4.5% searches – 6% exit rate It IS an expected behavior! > intention to make it easier for user to navigate through portal! @sotak
  41. 41. THE SEARCH ANALYSIS Reality check, are the filters being used? Starting page: search/apachesolr_search/blank? filters=undefined&retain-filters=1 Filters used page: search/apachesolr_search/blank? filters=”content”&retain-filters=1 @sotak
  42. 42. THE SEARCH ANALYSIS home – 1100 search – 510 referral – 110 ticket-page – 5 taxonomy – 5 user - 1 @sotak
  43. 43. THE SEARCH ANALYSIS Home – 1100 There is a problem!  @sotak
  44. 44. THE SEARCH ANALYSIS Search – 510 There is a second problem!  @sotak
  45. 45. THE SEARCH ANALYSIS Referral – 110 There is a wrong link on the intranet  @sotak
  46. 46. THE SEARCH ANALYSIS Ok, if you remember, we were trying to find out whether the filters are being used  @sotak
  47. 47. THE SEARCH ANALYSIS 20 Is the number how many times the filters were used Conclusion: The page does not work as it was designed  @sotak
  48. 48. THE SEARCH ANALYSIS So what did we just achieve by just looking at one keyword, we were able to identify quite a lot of major problems the search box might be confusing on all pages the "blank" page is not working as designed we found two defects related to search and one wrong link on the intranet Conclusion the basic search user experience seems frustrating and adds time spent on the site while searching @sotak
  49. 49. THE SEARCH ANALYSIS And importantly, the points mentioned are not assumptions this is what is happening on the site there are numbers behind it  @sotak
  52. 52. MEASSURING Define your KPIs based on the goals - are users searching from HP more often? - are users clicking search button only? - are users asking questions? - are users entering more than one word?  @sotak
  53. 53. @sotak
  54. 54. @sotak
  55. 55. @sotak
  56. 56. @sotak
  57. 57. @sotak
  58. 58. SELF-HELP Portals Knowledge base – Effective search – Categorisation Web-ticketing – Support agents @sotak
  59. 59. SELF-HELP Source: @sotak
  60. 60. SELF-HELP Source: @sotak
  61. 61. SELF-HELP Portals Zendesk – Desk – Uservoice – ... Build your own with Drupal Support ticketing system Search – Apache SOLR,... @sotak
  62. 62. END-USER Manuals Usually exported as PDF, or HTML Never updated Never read All above leads to frustration of the author @sotak
  63. 63. END-USER Manuals Manuals were here centuries ago @sotak
  64. 64. FACTS ABOUT DOCS... Documentation is hard to budget Documentation can't be reused Documentation is time consuming Documentation is boring Documentation is boring Documentation is boring Documentation is everything BAD you can imagine BUT, think again... @sotak
  65. 65. When we feel good our thinking is more creative and we have an easier time solving the problems we face. @sotak
  66. 66. Documentation is ONE OF THE PROCESSES in web development to make your client HAPPY @sotak
  67. 67. TAKEAWAYS - research Start your research NOW with one small thing Learn from your own work after you launch → post analysis Analyse, don't assume too often Think about users but keep business needs in mind @sotak
  68. 68. TAKEAWAYS - self-help Users want self-service Providing a help is part of our process There is a solution! @sotak
  69. 69. HOW DID WE SOLVE THIS @sotak
  70. 70. THANK YOU! Marek Sotak @sotak @inlinemanual @sotak
  71. 71. CREDITS Prague photo by Grim Berge Other icons by Font Awesome by Dave Gandy Historical Manual image - @sotak