Improving Documentation through Search results

Last week, Colum McAndrew published a fascinating blog post on how Adobe RoboHelp Server Reports are helping his company improve Documentation by learning from what end-users are searching and then fine-tuning the documentation in Adobe RoboHelp accordingly.  

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Here’s an excerpt from his blog:

“In our case, users might get a little frustrated if they also have to remember whether a dialog has been coded using UK or US English in order to find what they need! Searches that returned no results (e.g. “Color” instead of “Colour” and “Catalogue” instead of “Catalog”) ably highlighted the need for greater consistency.”

I asked Colum to summarize his experience and here’s what he said:

Q: Colum, last week you wrote a compelling post on how the RoboHelp Server Reports are helping you improve your company’s Online Help, especially by looking at what users are Searching. Can you summarize your experience for us?

A: Sure. In February this year we completed a full documentation rewrite of one of our product suites. We invested heavily in additional Technical Communication Suite licences but also wanted to implement a RoboHelp Server solution to host all future product documentation.

Since February we have occasionally looked at the usage statistics gathered by the RoboHelp Server but never with future strategy in mind. Then out of the blue I was asked how the statistics had helped us improve our documentation and I realised we hadn’t an immediate answer. I went back for a closer look. Even with a little more than two months data, it became clear that there were areas we could work on and this is what I have tried to highlight in my blog. One of the main areas of interest that the RoboHelp Server implementation has highlighted is the need for greater consistency between the documentation and the application’s user interface, especially in areas like usage of US vs UK English.


 

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