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Who this is for
Cherryleaf’s online Help technical writing services are for organisations that want:
- To keep their users happy with Help content that provides the right answer to their questions, every time
- Help and onboarding content for their product written for them, simply and efficiently
- Their existing Help content updated or improved
About the problem
Here are six typical Use Cases for needing to create or improve your Help content:
- You’re releasing a new version of your product.
- The current documentation needs updating, but you just don’t have the time (or the technical communication skills) to do it.
- You’ve released your application, but its poor documentation means not enough people are using it, you’re getting too many Support calls, or it’s seen as worse than your competition’s products.
- Your product offerings are going to get a lot more complex.
- You know you’ll need great content to explain what the product does, how to get started, and how to use them effectively.
- You’re launching your first application, and you know you’ll need to provide a great user onboarding experience for you to succeed.
- There’s a lot of content, but it’s spread over explanations on Jira, readme files, files in a shared folder on Google Drive, PDFs originally developed for a single customer, web pages, wikis, video walkthroughs etc.
- Your developers are too close to the product to explain it fully in a way that a new user would understand.
How Cherryleaf can help
Cherryleaf’s Technical Authors can write online Help, onboarding screens, embedded Help, UI text, or a knowledge base, for your product or service.
We’ll create these for you, simply and efficiently, and within an agreed schedule and budget. We have experience of working with companies both big and small. This means you’ll keep your software project schedule and costs on track.
We can use a writing process that suits your workflow and technologies. Cherryleaf works with a wide range of authoring tools. We have close links with the leading Help tool vendors. For example: Adobe (makers of RoboHelp) and MadCap Software (makers of Flare). We also work with Markdown-based tools and Microsoft Word.
Writing UX microcopy, UI text and Embedded Help
UX microcopy, UI text and Embedded Help places the Help information in the application screens. The user doesn’t need to leave the current screen to find the answer to their questions. We write the Help in text or Markdown format, which is then compiled with the application code files.
Writing online Help pages and knowledge base articles
We mean Help that’s delivered as a set of HTML files. These can be in a knowledge base, a Help section, or linked to your support ticket system. This type of Help is used for Software as a Service, other web-based applications, and mobile apps. It can also be used for desktop applications.
Developing onboarding screens and walkthroughs
Onboarding screens introduce the application to the user, and demonstrate what the product does. Cherryleaf can help you create your onboarding screens – getting the content and the design right for your product and your audience.
Creating troubleshooting topics
This is a type of help content that helps people when they get stuck, without having to call the Support line.
We can also create print versions in PDF, Word, or another printed formats
What success looks like
Online Help examples
Online Help portal example
Here is a proof of concept for an online Help portal that deflects calls to the support lines.
Knowledge base example
Here is a proof of concept for a knowledge base that deflects calls to the support lines.
Writing Help files is one of the key things that we do. However:
- We are nearly always under a non-disclosure agreement with our clients.
- The information is sometimes integrated with the software. This means you’d need to buy and install the application if you wanted to see the content. In other cases, the content may be on the web, but behind a firewall.
This means we prefer to understand a little more about your situation, so that we can show you the most appropriate examples. Contact us, and we can do this.
The size and complexity of your product (or procedures) has an impact on what needs to be done. Let’s start by discussing that:
Here are the main steps for creating an effective knowledge base and online Help content. Cherryleaf can help guide you through each step, contributing when and where you want us to.
Identify your audience
Before you start creating any content, it’s important to identify your audience. You need to understand who will be using your product or service and what their needs and requirements are. This will help you create content that is relevant and useful to your target audience.
Our initial planning phase can include identifying the audience, purpose and scope of each content deliverable.
Organise your content
It’s important to organise your content in a way that users find logical and easy to navigate. This includes having a search bar as well, so users can search for specific topics.
We apply information design principles to organise the content into a structure and sequence that helps users find the information they need quickly and easily.
Write the content using clear and concise language
Your content should be written in clear and concise language that is easy to understand. Avoid using technical jargon or complicated terms that your users may not be familiar with.
Visuals such as screenshots, diagrams, and videos can help users understand complex concepts more easily. Use visuals to supplement your written content and make it more engaging and easy to follow. Take care not to use too many though, or your users won’t find it easy to read the text, and you’ll have technical debt you’ll need to maintain every time the User Interface changes.
We use clear language that is easy to read and comprehend.
Keep your content up-to-date
Your knowledge base and online help file should be regularly updated to reflect any changes to your product or service. Make sure to keep your content up-to-date and accurate, so your users can rely on it to find the information they need.
If you don’t have the ability to maintain the content in-house, you can engage Cherryleaf on a retainer basis.
Free 11-point checklist for fixing online Help documentation problems
Get our free 11-point checklist to help you identity some of the common problems with online Help. With it, you’ll find some notes and explanations to help you answer each point on the list.
We’ll also send you links to a video and two of our most popular Help-related episodes from our podcast.
To get the checklist, enter your details into this form.
Need someone to write your online Help or onboarding content?
Complete the contact form below. Don’t worry if you don’t know the answers to all of the questions.
We will contact you to discuss your situation and requirements.
You can always phone or email us, if you prefer.