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<  >  naar bron The best user manuals EVER


bron artikelWe say users won't RTFM, but they do. Just not the one that comes with the product. Personally, I hope companies don't listen to me about making better end-user docs, support, and online help. If y'all made better FMs, I'd be out of a job... along with all the other third-party tech authors and training providers. David Pogue's worst nightmare is that all those Missing Manuals will be found. Until more companies recognize the value (yes, even ROI) of helping their users kick ass, there's an opportunity for the rest of us to help fill in the gaps. But this post describes a company that actually charges its users big money for high-quality learning materials, and people are thrilled to pay it.

User Documentation Users Pay For
Parelli Natural Horsemanship sells horse-related products including saddles, bridles, ropes, etc. But you have to pay more to learn how to use them properly. Much, much more. Users are paying anywhere from $200 to $1000 for home-study kits including booklets and DVDs. Yes, horse training is not the same as using a project management app--clearly the markets and context are different--but the main point is the same--people place an extremely high value on quality learning and support materials. And I'd rather see a company make top-quality manuals and charge extra, than turn out the after-thought-barely-functional docs that ship with most products today (or are posted online for most web apps).

(I believe the better approach would be to NOT charge, and exploit end-user training as a competitive advantage--remember, all things being equal, he who gets his users past the suck threshold and into the kick-ass zone the fastest wins.

FYI: Parelli has one of the largest, most loyal passionate fan bases I've ever seen (and it's what finally motivated me to get back into horses). There are unofficial fan clubs and user groups worldwide, including over 1500 local members just in the little part of Colorado I live in. Parelli is one of the best possible case studies for Creating Passionate Users.


Characteristics of World-Class User Learning Materials
  1. User-friendly
    Easy to use when, where, and how you need it.
  2. Based on sound learning principles
    i.e. users actually learn from it, not just refer to it.
  3. Motivational
    Keeps users willing to push forward to higher "levels"
Lees verder...
Gevonden op Creating Passionate Users


• WEBSITE ONTWERP • KENNIS DELEN •
2007-03-05, door
Inne ten Have



How to write good FAQs 
FAQs don’t have that great a reputation, but recently, I’ve been working on FAQs for a client. Their computer help desk was annoyed about answering the same things again and again. Why not divert potential callers to a FAQ instead?

Sounded reasonable, so we did the usual: created a prototype, ran some usability tests, did the necessary pile of changes and launched the revised version, rather quietly. And bingo: a modest success. Calls to the help desk are down 10% and users are rating the FAQ answers highly, on the whole.

So what distinguishes a good set of FAQs from a dreadful set?
  • FREQUENTLY ASKED, NOT EASILY ANSWERED
  • FREQUENTLY ASKED, NOT FREQUENTLY VISITED
  • QUESTIONS, NOT STATEMENTS
  • FORMAT THE FAQS INTO SECTIONS
  • OFFER A WAY TO GET SPECIFIC ANSWERS
  • GET RATINGS FROM YOUR USERS
  • REVIEW YOUR CONTENT
Lees verder...
Geschreven door Caroline Jarret op Usability News
2007-03-10, door Inne ten Have


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