transforming client user guides

content strategy, ux copywriting

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Working with clients that have very particular business needs, Vibethink never uses a template to design or develop a website. Therefore, providing content editors with a user guide beyond WordPress basics is incredibly important. The agency has always passed along some sort of documentation, typically a shared Google doc of 100+ pages. We needed an easier, cleaner way to transfer this knowledge that didn’t give the optics of being a digital agency stuck in the past.

 

Objectives

  • Grouping and labeling information. With every guide containing different content, I needed to look at the guides from 100 feet away and see how we could merge information to create sections.

  • Assembling a team. Vibethink is a small agency, so finding the time for internal projects like this isn’t easy. I needed to consistently work on my free time and get designers/developers excited so they might do the same.

 
 

approach

I started by finding a more extensive guide from a large project, writing down sections, placing each into a parent category, and organizing subcategories when necessary.

 

Google doc versions

A glimpse into the past to learn from our mistakes.

 

rewriting for consistency

While each guide comes with specific instruction on the unique functionality, they also have generic WordPress and content-editing instructions.

I focused on rewriting these sections to have consistency (italicizing page titles, using greater than symbols to indicate the next step, etc.), simplicity, and brand voice.

 

pairing with design

Working directly with a designer, we talked through visual ideas and how to layout pages, categories, and subcategories.

 

delivering

Pairing with a developer, we built the guide to appear directly the WordPress backend, allowing content editors to follow along with our custom step-by-step instructions.

 

cutting out the middle man

We originally had our email placed in the top right corner of the guide and directed users there to ask questions and suggest edits. I decided to work with the development team to build a pop-up modal with a comments form directly tied to the user accounts.

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outcomes

User Guide 2.0 launch is scheduled for later this year. We know this will be an improved experience for clients, empowering their content editors and site owners to truly master their site functionality.