Most software suppliers deliver their solutions with some kind of help file. Similarly, we have such a solution and are confident that the information we provide is relevant, helpful and accurate for our users.
But, many software users try to avoid ever reading these help files. It is in fact often the last place people want to look for help. This is odd. The help should be the first place to turn to. Instead, people use different tactics to avoid help texts. Some use trial and error to learn, some ask others for help, some use whatever knowledge they have from other systems to try to figure out how things work.
A typical software user tends to be focused on the end result and is not willing to spend time on studying the help file and, in doing so, reducing productivity instead of saving time.
There are a few possible reasons for this:
- Information in help files is incorrect or misleading or missing.
- The wrong information is presented.
- The help can be far too basic with too many obvious instructions, or too complex.
- Help files are often difficult to navigate or search.
- The information is not predictable and there is no standard way of writing.
- Help topics are too long and difficult to read.
And what about Projectplace?
Projectplace used to deliver the help file in a standard help format. The help was based on functions and features. Whilst the information provided was of a high quality, it was difficult to search. It offered no support for films. It was a typical help, one of those helps that you would rather avoid. It is like your in-laws, you know that deep down they are good for you, but you never have enough patience to find out.
However, we wanted to improve. We wanted to offer a help that:
- Is context sensitive to direct the user to the correct information
- Has a powerful search function that presents results according to relevance
- Can be searched using regular web searches
- Can display filmed material
- Can be updated quickly
- Makes it possible to present the material from different perspectives.
A little over one year ago we launched Projectpedia as a replacement for our traditional help. It still contains much of the information that the old help had. We have also added information that is useful to know, information like why you do things in Projectplace and what results you can expect.
We have also structured the information differently. Rather than focusing only on the individual tools, we stress what you need to know in your role in a project. This reduces the number of topics a user needs to browse though to find the information he or she is looking for.
Information is also added to make it easier for users to know where they are in a workflow, what they need to do before they perform a task, and what they can do with the outcome of a task.
Projectpedia is also supposed to be more than just a place where a user can get help with a task in Projectplace. We have added:
- More printed manuals that can be easily downloaded
- Information about what is new in the most recent Projectplace releases
- Information about and links to our Add-ons
- The possibility for everyone to compile customized manuals
- Articles about project management in general, and an introduction to Social Project Management.
We hope that our users will find Projectpedia the place to turn to when they need information about Projectplace.
You find Projectpedia here: https://help.projectplace.com/index.php?title=Home_-_Projectpedia