Content Creation

This article is from before the rebranding to SelfGuide. Text and images can include the old product name ProductivityPerformer or its abbreviation PP.

Creating content in SelfGuide is intuitive and efficient, using a recurring approach helps reaching goals and to keep going towards success. Based on customer experience and feedback, a best practice is set up to help all editors to structure the process of content creation. It helps to be sure the created content fits the need, the content is 'correct' and used by the organization.  

1.      Scope

The first step in the process is to determine the scope, it details what content is needed, the purpose is serves and the people who will benefit.

Two approaches are seen in practice:

  • Top-down: in scenarios like onboarding, documenting or improving processes and for example a software implementation, the organization requires a certain skill from people which also requires a certain knowledge. The goal, together with a good understanding about the current knowledge, determines what extra is needed.
  • Bottom-up: persons or a team is asking for content for example because things are unclear, there are questions they wish to be answered, etc. By talking with those people, asking questions and listing to the answers, the actual need will become clear and the scope is determined

2.      Owner & Target audience

Creating content with a good quality requires certain aspects:

  • It actually shows how things should be done
  • It aligns with the knowledge level of the users

To fulfill the first aspect, the owner should be known and aligned. The owner can point out who will be a good editor, optional review created content, make choices when there are questions about details, etc. Not having a owner can lead to discussions and eventually the wrong instruction. Often seen owners are managers (team or process) and functional application engineers.

The second aspect has all to do with aligning the content to the audience. Content made with too much detail feel unnecessary and scare off, while content with too few details leaves questions open and is not helping at all. By knowing the audience, their educational level, their role within the organization and their prior knowledge, helps to determine the right tone of voice, the level of detail, etc.

3.      Content  

During this phase, editors will deliver the required content by creating recordings, finishing Instructions and structuring Instructions in User Guides and / or Courses. These steps are straight forward, especially when working often with SelfGuide, but still requires attention.

Using content to guide and learn is easier when it's consistent. The way SelfGuide is build and behaves helps to keep consistency in content as all content looks the same and works the same. As editor, or even team of editors, consistency increases with a shared tone of voice like:

  • Language used in the content (text and images)
  • Choose between formal or informal language
  • Keep text short and concise, use imperatives
  • Use simple terminology and avoid using jargon unknown with the target audience

When recording and post-processing to finish the Instruction, be aware of the best practices like working on the primary screen, keep titles short, add applications and tags to Instructions, censor sensitive information, etc. These are just a few best practices, read the Getting Started and Best Practices articles for more information. Another option might be to enroll for a SelfGuide training to get familiar with all functionality.  

Is content finished, reach out to a few pilot users to gather feedback. It's a common mistake to think instructions are obvious for the user and are in line with their need. SelfGuide makes it easy for a user to deliver feedback on Instructions. As and editor, just share a few links with a group of users and ask them to use the feedback function to keep things simple.  

4.      Awareness & Purpose

The option to be guided and having the ability to gain knowledge does not imply that it will be used directly and on a frequent base. It starts with awareness and requires repetition to change behavior towards more self-sustainability. Especially the repetition helps to change the behavior and culture, as long as people are not directed to an instruction when somebody asks as question, the person asking will not learn another way to get the answer.

A few takeaways:

  • Communicate with the target audience when content is available, improved, updated, etc.
  • Encourage people to share an Instruction when somebody asks a question
  • Process feedback in a timely manner, be grateful and try to understand the need behind the feedback
  • Integrate with other platforms, the often SelfGuide and the available content is exposed the more people will start