This article will explain the differences between where you edit your knowledge base and where you will send your customers to read your knowledge base articles. Then, it will show you how to update the look of your knowledge base.
What You See vs What Customers See
ScreenSteps is a web application. You will use an internet browser (we recommend Chrome or IE) to access ScreenSteps and create an online knowledge base.
The view you see when creating a knowledge base is not the same view your customers will see when they visit your knowledge base. Click the links below to learn more about the differences.
The screenshot below is the view you see as an Admin or Editor. You can access this screen by typing [your account name].screenstepslive.com into the address bar of your internet browser, and logging into your account.
Save the URL as a bookmark so you can easily get there when you need to create documentation.
To see what your knowledge base will look like for your customers, click:
- Site Contents (dropdown arrow)
- Open Preview
What your knowledge base looks like
This is a screenshot of what your knowledge base will look like to your customers. Right now, it doesn't look like much--but you can modify it by following the instructions below.
Notice the web address of the knowledge base. This is the URL you will send to your customers when you want them to visit your knowledge base. Note: You can change this URL to be something like help.mycompany.com. Instructions on how to do that can be found here >> Custom Domain
Modify the Look of Your Knowledge Base
You can modify the look of your knowledge base. Click on the links below and follow the steps.
- How to add a custom logo to your site
- Customizing the colors on your site
- Customizing the sidebar to show messages, printing, PDF, and other options
Now that you have an organized knowledge base, it's time to create some help articles that your customers and/or co-workers can look at when they have questions. >> Click here to learn how to create great help articles in ScreenSteps.
Organize Your Knowledge Base
ScreenSteps can organize your knowledge base documentation so that your customers and/or co-workers can easily navigate to the help articles they are looking for.
Click the links below to learn more about various ways you could organize your knowledge base, and how to organize a knowledge base in ScreenSteps.
Once your knowledge base moves beyond a few FAQs, you will quickly start wondering about how you should organize your B2B software knowledge base. Many companies still implement a very flat structure to their knowledge base - a flat structure is just a list of articles with no hierarchy to them.
If you take the approach of a flat structure, you are really just relying on the search feature of your knowledge base since that is the only way anyone is going to find anything. A flat structure will make it very difficult for your customers to browse your knowledge base.
To make it easier for your customers and co-workers to browse your knowledge base, you can organize your documentation. The first step would be to decide on some basic groupings of articles to help organize the content for your customers.
Here are some suggested approaches (as well as mistakes to avoid).
Organize Your Knowledge Base By Role
Do you have administrative users, developers and end users that use your application? If so, then organizing your knowledge base by user role can be a good option.
Create a section for admins, developers and end users. By grouping the content in this way, you make it easier for customers to find the information they need without being bothered by the information they don't.
Organize Your Knowledge Base By Intent
Do you have different customer segments that use your product? Do they use it in very different ways?
We ran into this problem. For example, we have customers that integrate with Zendesk. Instead of creating a single integrations section, we created a separate section for each integration.
Much of the help content for each integration is similar, but that is fine. By segmenting our documentation by the intent of the customer we have seen a big decrease in confusion and support requests.
Organize Your Knowledge Base By Tasks
Does your software perform tasks that fall into logical groupings? For example, creating invoices, generating reports, and reconciling payments. Those are three separate tasks.
Those tasks could be a good way to break up your documentation.
Don't confuse this with breaking up your documentation by feature. Feature-based documentation is rarely as effective as task-based documentation. Focus on the tasks (i.e. jobs they need to do at work) your customers want to perform and create your sections based on tasks, not features.
Organize Your Knowledge Base By Goals
Do your customers have different goals or purposes for using your software? Organizing by goals can be a good option.
For example, if you were an email marketing application you might create sections such as follows:
- Growing your subscriber list
- Using email to sell your product
- Using email to sell your services
- Using email to establish yourself as a thought leader
Each section would have articles that would help your customers reach their particular goal.
Choose One to Start With
Whichever method you choose, choose one. Some organization is better than no organization. Your customers and your authors will thank you for having a clear organizational strategy.
For example purposes, we are going to assume that you would like to organize your knowledge base by grouping your documentation based on Role.
Create two new manuals so that you have three in total. Name them Admin and End Users. Here are instructions on creating a manual:
You will also need to create at least one article in each manual so that the manual shows up in the table of contents.
Make sure that you publish the articles as well.