Software documentation is typically the last thing most of us ponder when developing a new application. Mainly because most people don’t like writing user manuals, and who really reads those hefty user manuals anyway?! In this digital age, why would we kill a few more trees to produce books that people don’t actually read? So we decided to put our product documentation in the cloud. We looked at several options and settled on Sigma Technology’s DocFactory for our system of choice, due to ease of use and ability to quickly get documentation for Bamboo’s 70+ products into an online system.
We produced our documentation system with the idea that when you are stuck, you want to get unstuck; you want to search for and find the knowledge you need at your convenience, and you want it to be simple and organized. When we designed the website, we considered who might read the documentation and recognized it had to be organized how it would be used. If you are a server admin who is installing the software, chances are
you aren’t going to configure it on a SharePoint site or use it in your daily routine. You might, but we know not every SharePoint user is created equal! And so we divided each product page into a four-blocker and plugged topics that are relevant to specific users into each quadrant:
- System admins get two quadrants – one for topics to help Install and one that covers License tasks
- Designers, who edit pages and manipulate Web Parts, get the Configure quadrant
- End users get their own quadrant called Work With
By dividing topics out who is generally interested in that area, chances are the content is more relevant to your area of focus. And we put visual cues right on the page too so you see at a glance what permissions you need when working with the tasks that fall into that area. Each quadrant contains a multitude of links so look for the ellipsis at the end of a link to know at a glance when that opens a list of topics about that area.
The website, in addition to providing a wealth of product knowledge, offers a host of useful capabilities including social sharing (via the Share button in the center of every page), the ability to Like a topic (the thumbs up icon at top of page), and provide feedback to us at the bottom of every page. We hope the new system will benefit you. Regardless of your role and how you interact with our products, we hope we’ve helped provide the support you need with applicable images and how-to text so that you can get product help whenever you need it. And you can rest assured no trees were harmed in crafting our user documentation! Learn more about our documentation here.