The wonder of walkthroughs – ASTC 2017
I’m attending the Technical Communicators Conference 2017, the annual conference of the Australian Society for Technical Communication (ASTC). This post is a live blog of a session at the conference. In other words, I’m writing as the presenter speaks. Any mistakes are mine, and all credit goes to the presenter.
Sonja McShane presented a session called The wonder of walkthroughs. This was her second talk at the conference. Nice work Sonja!
The problem that led Sonja to use walkthroughs was a very confusing experience that her company’s website presented to customers. Sonja demonstrated a tool called WalkMe. According to Walkme’s marketing content, the tool helps you to “foster optimal customer journeys, reduce needed support and ensure user adoption with intelligent guidance”. [Sarah’s note: It looks like a tool that helps you build a guided help experience on your application or website.] In Sonja’s session we saw a “quick tour”, a “help centre”, and a “show me how” walkthrough. In the “show me how”, for example, the user can click a button and follow the guided tour to complete fields on the form.
Using WalkMe, you can add tooltips, validate field values, and lead a user through a process. There are a number of other options too, including surveys, live chat, search, and more.
What about single sourcing? A walkthrough solution kind of does it for you. Because each piece of information is linked to the UI, this means that you don’t have to repeat the same information for each separate use case. The help content for the shared functionality uses the same tooltip or help item.
How do you choose which parts of the website need a walkthrough? Sonja’s team looks at user feedback, customer surveys, and other channels. WalkMe provides analytics and insights that help you see how your customers are using the site and the obstacles they encounter. You can use the output of the analytics to decide which walkthroughs to create next.
There are other tools available that offer similar functionality to that offered by WalkMe. [Sarah’s note: Try searching the web for “guided help tools” or “walkme alternatives”.]
Thank you Sonja for an introduction to a useful tool.