Content Feedback Methods


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The user's experience is essential to producing quality documentation. There are many ways to learn more about your user audience and their needs. This understanding can lead to product improvements and increased customer satisfaction.

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Content Feedback Methods

  1. 1. Content Feedback Methods DocTrain East October 31, 2008 Mirhonda Studevant & Jennifer Shankle
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>“ Information breeds confidence. Silence breeds fear.” -The West Wing </li></ul><ul><li>Importance </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Methods </li></ul><ul><li>Process </li></ul><ul><li>Costs </li></ul>
  3. 3. Content is… <ul><li>Both information and communication… </li></ul><ul><li>Discourse as comprehended or received by its intended audience. </li></ul><ul><li>The glue that makes a website “sticky” – makes visitors return and keeps them from leaving. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  4. 4. Let’s Play The Feud! <ul><li>37 documentation professionals surveyed. Top four answers are on the board… </li></ul>
  5. 5. Customer Feedback is Important <ul><li>RoperASW reports word of mouth as the best source of product information. It exploded from 67% in 1977 to 93% in 2001. </li></ul><ul><li>BizRate found that 59% of their users considered customer reviews more valuable than expert reviews. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Customer Feedback is Important <ul><li>Journal of Database Marketing & Customer Strategy article (June 2008) showed that companies who adopted customer feedback program (CFP) business practices, had 17% higher customer loyalty percentage rankings. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Customer Feedback is Important <ul><li>Quality and Voice of the Customer </li></ul><ul><li>Customer Satisfaction and Retention </li></ul><ul><li>Product Development </li></ul><ul><li>Application within Documentation </li></ul>
  8. 8. Challenges to Obtaining Feedback <ul><li>Writer/Requestor Perceptions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Time/Resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ineffective Methods </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reader/Respondent Perceptions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Complexity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Effects </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. The Continuum High High Medium User Forums/Groups (virtual) 11 High Low Low Listing an email address for users to forward comments 10 High Medium Low Feedback Link directly within online documentation (single question) 9 High Medium Medium Online Surveys (multiple questions) 8 High High High Formal usability studies 7 Low High Medium Informal usability studies 6 Low Low Low Impromptu customer comments 5 Low High High User Forums/Groups (face-to-face) 4 Low Low Low Listing a telephone number for users to forward comments 3 Low Medium Low Rating question directly within documentation (single question) 2 Low Medium Medium Paper-based Surveys (multiple questions) 1 Tech Level Complexity Cost Method #
  10. 10. The Continuum
  11. 11. Your Place on The Continuum Leverage existing resources Justify future investments Maximize automation Promote results
  12. 12. Content Feedback Case Studies <ul><li>Ceridian </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Low-tech </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>High-tech </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Combination </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other Industries </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Low-tech </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>High-tech </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Combination </li></ul></ul><ul><li>From the Audience? </li></ul>
  13. 13. Content Feedback Process <ul><li>Determining Your Approach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SWOT analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understanding your audience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establishing goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identifying constraints </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Content Feedback Process <ul><li>Developing Your Mechanism </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Assigning roles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Capturing data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Compiling results </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Content Feedback Process <ul><li>Analyzing Your Data </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identifying trends </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recommending improvements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promoting findings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluating process/mechanism effectiveness </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Keys to Content Feedback <ul><li>Acknowledgement </li></ul><ul><li>Awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Alertness </li></ul><ul><li>Budget </li></ul><ul><li>Time </li></ul><ul><li>Promotion </li></ul><ul><li>Accountability </li></ul>
  17. 17. Content Feedback Exercise <ul><li>Group recommendations for: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Scenario 1: “Outnumbered, Outgunned” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scenario 2: “Lone Writer” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scenario 3: “New Era” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scenario 4: “The Intern” </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Closing Thoughts <ul><li>“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us” –Ralph Waldo Emerson </li></ul>
  19. 19. Resources <ul><li>Survey Design </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Customer Relationship Management </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Usability and Documentation Testing </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Content Feedback Programs </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  20. 20. Contact Me <ul><li>Knowledge Base Content Developer Ceridian [email_address] </li></ul>Mirhonda Jennifer
  21. 21. Paper-Based Survey <ul><li>Customers without online access </li></ul><ul><li>Missing user contact info (email or phone) </li></ul><ul><li>Users more comfortable with paper </li></ul>
  22. 22. Rating Question <ul><li>Evaluates effectiveness of content </li></ul><ul><li>Usually electronic format </li></ul><ul><li>Automatic data compilation </li></ul>
  23. 23. Telephone Feedback <ul><li>Assessing market feasibility of a new offering </li></ul><ul><li>Compare perceptions of strengths/weaknesses </li></ul><ul><li>Usually strongly associated with technical or specialized functions </li></ul>
  24. 24. User Forums <ul><li>Customer Meetings (product, client, or customer based) </li></ul><ul><li>Local – frequent; Distant - seldom </li></ul>
  25. 25. Impromptu Customer Comments <ul><li>In conjunction with other activities </li></ul><ul><li>Establishes goodwill; good customer relationship management </li></ul>
  26. 26. Informal Usability Studies <ul><li>Less intimidating than formal labs </li></ul><ul><li>Can be managed as individual or group activity </li></ul><ul><li>Varying degrees of specialized equipment </li></ul>
  27. 27. Formal Usability Studies <ul><li>Automatically captures multiple streams of data </li></ul><ul><li>Robust analysis features </li></ul>
  28. 28. Online Surveys <ul><li>Web-based or electronic </li></ul><ul><li>Customizable with automatic data compilation </li></ul><ul><li>PDF survey sample </li></ul>
  29. 29. Links Within Online Doc
  30. 30. Direct Email to Forward Comments <ul><li>Perceived as more personal and direct </li></ul><ul><li>Inexpensive to establish </li></ul>
  31. 31. User Forums/Groups (Virtual) <ul><li>Various options for level and method of interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Relatively cheap to operate </li></ul><ul><li>Permits diverse opinion across broader demographic </li></ul>
  32. 32. Knowledge Base Feedback 1 2 3
  33. 33. Online Documentation Feedback Form