Ideally, your product should be so easy to use that the users should not even need a documentation and help. But more than often, users do run into problems and might need ways to resolve them. In such a scenario, having a clear documentation and ways to help could invoke positive feelings. That is help and documentation.
It’s the tenth guideline of Nielsen’s Heuristics. Put in Nielsen’s words,
Even though it is better if the system can be used without documentation, it may be necessary to provide help and documentation. Any such information should be easy to search, focused on the user’s task, list concrete steps to be carried out, and not be too large. read here
In one of our recent research with various product stakeholders, we unanimously got to know that the users prefer talking to the customer care even when the websites have elaborate FAQs.
An important question then is, what are these elaborate FAQs clear and understandable to the users? Are they easily discoverable? Calling the customer care executive is usually the last resort for many customers. From the financial perspective, These customer calls ensure huge costs to the customers.
Examples of Help and documentation –
Slackbot is an example of how Help and Documentation can be more than just long pages of content.
Also, the right cues and information should be present in the right place. If a user is making a purchase online, showing them the return and refund policy or a link to it on the product page would be more beneficial than putting it on the FAQ section. Similarly, the size guideline relevant to that product will also help users in making a purchase.
Want an in-depth understanding of Nielsen’s Heuristics?
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A good help and documentation can be very crucial in times when the users are struggling with your product. Look at the following online furniture buying website which gives their users a number where they can call to make a purchase if they are facing issues.
Your number one goal obviously must be to ensure that they do not have to face any frustration in the first place, but with that in mind, how do you prepare yourself for times when users are struggling?