There are a lot of different types of content online, which serve to help a reader learn about how to use a certain software or fix a small problem that seems to prevent them from using it. But not all of them are good and up to the mark.
When faced with content that’s tough to understand and technical, the onus lies on the author of help content to remove this barrier and improve your pages.
The great thing is that you don’t have to rewrite it completely or introduce some major changes to it. If you implement small innovations to your own mindset, you’ll be able to make it quite helpful.
Hence, go through the next five steps and apply them to your help content accordingly.
Use Pages for Simpler File Navigation
The majority of help files that are made to explain a piece of software are quite difficult to navigate. Just look at this situation from your own perspective. When faced with a problem you’re already frustrated with and your search for a solution online is a long process, you don’t feel like going through a document that is tough to understand.
Well, the whole thing gets worse when you find a solution, but you can’t seem to understand it, which results in even more situations. Also, you really don’t want to read the whole manual in order to find that small paragraph that will resolve your issues.
So, before you upload that help content you authored, make sure that it’s not just one file in question, but that there are pages which are separate parts of your text and which will enable users to browse through your content.
Make Sure that Your Content is Easy to Read
Another very important thing that you need to do in order to make navigation easier is to format your content. This is done with the proper usage of chapters, headlines, subheading, bullets and numbering.
When a reader enters your file, they won’t start reading it as if it were an exciting book – they will begin scanning it until they find the keywords they are actually looking for. With these very simple help authoring tools, and perhaps the use of “bold” and “italic” to emphasize the right words, you’ll make this whole process significantly easier for them.
Mind Your Style – Be Concise
Your help content may be completely genius and contain every situation explained in small detail, but that won’t be of service to anyone if just a small percentage of people are able to understand it, right?
Go through your content and read it like if you were a layman – or better yet, give it to a friend or a member of your family to go through it and show you which parts of it is found problematic.
Some proofreading here is in order – once you have all that feedback, you can go through your content, break your sentences into two or three smaller ones and thus enable anyone, no matter their area of expertise, to understand your content properly.
Including Help Aids is a Must
Not everyone has the same capacity to learn from a dry text which is why help authoring software needs to offer multiple options here. Now, it’s not at all necessary for you to create new videos or something like that if your funding is limited, but you can use photos to further explain a solution.
Also, it’s not necessary for you to have graphic designers and a creative team behind you in order to do this – good help authoring software can be very useful if it provides screenshots which are placed in the right parts of the content and which provide step by step guidance.
It Needs to Be a Part of Your Brand
The fact is that people trust legit brands – customer relations are built in time and loyalty is something that requires a lot of time to evoke in a certain target audience. Therefore, it needs to be very clear to every reader that your help authoring software is part of a bigger brand – this will get every visitor to find your content and be a part of an already developed company which is known for its expertise.
This can be done quite easily – you can use fonts that your company is using. Use those particular shades your business is colored with and don’t forget to add watermarks and logos to your pages.
It’s not at all difficult to create help authoring software – you just need to place yourself in your reader’s shoes. This is something many professionals often neglect because they get too deep in their own field of expertise, but everything will be a lot simpler if you do this change of perspective.
Also, you shouldn’t hesitate from correcting yourself – if you encounter feedback that can help you improve your content in order to make it more helpful and useful to your target audience, this is something you should definitely do for them. If creating authoring help software is something you’d like to do to make progress in your career, improvement is one thing you always need to strive towards.