Yesterday we launched a new version of our developer community website. It doesn’t have many ‘community’ features as yet but that’s all to come. One thing it does now have is an HTML version of all of our product documentation, in an easily searchable format.
It’s no coincidence that it looks very much like the Author-it Knowledge Center as it too was built using Author-it (alas I can’t show you our website as it requires a login).
This new format of the product documentation is largely to move us away from PDF only documentation. At present we still have a set of PDFs but they aren’t particularly usable.
We ran a few quiet trials of the knowledge centre format and everyone who saw it liked it, particularly the fact you can search across every piece of information offered.
So I was definitely pleased when, after sending out a company-wide announcement about the new version of the website, highlighting some of the new features, one of the first pieces of feedback I received was about the knowledge centre and how good it was. For the, as the kids say, win!
The knowledge centre will be updated on a regular basis, so my next challenge is to figure out a way to embed RSS notifications for new/updated topics. But so far so good, and with Google Analytics in place in the knowledge centre, we can continue to make improvements to both the information itself and in making sure it is accessible.
It’ll be interesting to see how the knowledge centre is used, particularly if we manage to track it against the number of incoming support calls as the main reason we are adopting this format of information is because, many times, the answers are there, they just weren’t that easy to find.