Getting Started with ScreenSteps
ScreenSteps is a knowledge management system specifically designed for creating and managing procedure documentation. Companies use ScreenSteps as their knowledge management system to support customers and to support their internal workforce (contractors, employees, temps).
Examples of typical content that customers create in ScreenSteps include:
- Job Aids
- Standard Operating Procedures
- Quick-reference guides
- Decision trees
- Call Flows
ScreenSteps has built-in tools to create documentation from scratch and also allows you to include videos, GIFs, and e-Learning exercises that you create in other applications.
Knowledge Management System
At its core, ScreenSteps is a knowledge management system that allows you to create knowledge articles and organize those articles into chapters > manuals > categories > sites. You can create multiple sites that each serve unique purposes. For example, you can create one site for your internal employees to manage all of your internal guides, call flows, and operating procedures. You can then create a separate site that is specifically for customers and only includes customer documentation.
ScreenSteps also indexes all of your article's content so that all of your documentation is keyword searchable.
Integration with other services
The only built-in integration ScreenSteps comes with is an integration with Zendesk. You can connect your ScreenSteps account to your Zendesk Help Center or Guides and publish content from your ScreenSteps editor straight to Zendesk.
ScreenSteps also comes with an API that allows you to build your own integrations with other services so that you can push your content to another knowledge base service.
Another option is to simply embed ScreenSteps content into other services using an iFrame. For example, if you have a Learning Management System (LMS), you can embed ScreenSteps content into your LMS.
ScreenSteps also has a Chrome browser extension that end users (with the Learner, Admin, or Editor role) can install. The Chrome browser extension allows you to push your documentation to the specific web applications that your end-users view, providing context to your documentation.
If your employees work in Salesforce, Marketo, Netsuite, or any other web-based application, you can push specific documentation to those applications so that when end users have questions about policy or procedure, they can check the browser extension for suggested articles.
You can also organize your documentation into self-paced courses. You can build courses to train customer support reps on new product features, teach customers how to use your software, or as part of your change management strategy when rolling out new technology.
ScreenSteps allows you to create a site that is publicly available and does not require users to log in to view documentation. This is a great option if you are creating a knowledge management system for customers, students, or volunteers and do not care who can see the content.
You also have the choice to lock your site down so that only users who have login credentials (e.g. username and password or using Single Sign-on) can view your knowledge management system. This is ideal for knowledge management systems for employees or when you don't want competitors to view your customer documentation.
You can also restrict the viewing permissions for individual articles. This is ideal if you don't want your internal Sales team to see documentation meant for the marketing team.
Here are the main benefits to locking down your site and requiring users to log in:
- You can use courses
- You can use the Chrome extension
- Your reporting analytics can show which users are viewing content
- You can create viewer groups for more granular viewing permissions
Click here to learn how to set viewing permissions for your ScreenSteps site.
Sharing content with others
If your knowledge management system is publicly available, then you just need to share the public URL with end users and they will be able to see your site.
If you have locked down your site, then you will need to create user accounts for your customers and/or employees so they can log in and view your content (you can also use Single Sign-on as described below).
Your ScreenSteps Admins and Editors are able to create content AND view your knowledge management system in its published state. So you do not need to do anything extra for them.
ScreenSteps has two other user roles for managing viewers:
Readers can view your knowledge management system; however, they cannot view any courses nor can they use the Chrome browser extension. Your ScreenSteps account has unlimited Readers, which means you can create as many readers as you'd like.
Learners can view your knowledge management system, enroll in a course, and use the Chrome browser extension. Your ScreenSetps account has a limited number of Learner accounts.
Neither Readers nor Learners can create content in your knowledge management system.
ScreenSteps allows you to set up single sign-on endpoints so that your customers/employees can authenticate to your knowledge management system without needing to remember another username and password.
ScreenSteps provides two main options for setting up a single sign-on endpoint:
- SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language)
- Remote Authentication
Of those two options, SAML is the easiest to set up and it works with Azure Active Directory, G Suite, Salesforce, and PhenixID. You can also configure user provisioning using SCIM (System for Cross-domain Identity Management) with services like OKTA.
If your service is not compatible with SAML, then you can set up a Remote Authentication endpoint in ScreenSteps. This approach requires you to be familiar with APIs and PHP.
Working with your team
If you want to recruit other team members to contribute to your ScreenSteps knowledge management system, you can add them as Editors or Admins.
Note: Admins and Editors are able to create content AND view your knowledge management system in its published state. So you do not need to create additional Reader or Learner accounts for them.
You can manage the authoring process by assigning articles to your team members, selecting the article's status, and keeping track of authoring activity.
The desktop editor
ScreenSteps is unlike any other knowledge management system because it includes a desktop authoring tool that is specifically designed for creating documentation.
Among the desktop editor's many built-in features, it includes:
- Screen capture
- Annotations (e.g. circles, highlights, blur, sequence)
- Foldable sections
- Inline links
- Heading links
- Decision trees
ScreenSteps also includes a web editor that has much of the same functionality as the desktop editor; however, the web editor does not include screen capture and image annotations.
You can use the built-in reporting in ScreenSteps and see how many articles are being viewed, which articles are being viewed, who is viewing those articles, and what search terms are being used to search for articles.
ScreenSteps also has the option of including your Google Analytics code.
When you sign up for a ScreenSteps account, ScreenSteps created a URL for you that looks something like https://mycompany.screenstepslive.com. If you're OK with sending employees and customers to that URL, then you don't need to change anything.
But, if you'd rather send employees and customers to a URL that looks like this: help.mycompany.com, then you will want to create a custom subdomain. Fortunately, it's really easy to do.
Customize your site's appearance
ScreenSteps is an online knowledge management system, which basically means it's a website that can be customized.
Even though ScreenSteps is a knowledge management system, it also includes the ability to automatically generate PDF manuals.
ScreenSteps automatically generates the PDF. You can, however, create a custom PDF template that has your branding as well as other customizations so that each PDF guide looks professional.
Your customers/employees can download PDFs from the published knowledge base and your Admins and Editors can download PDFs from the Admin area of ScreenSteps.