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  • So you’ve created some fantastic new functionality, demo’d it to users and got it in the next major release of the product. You’re done right? Well, not necessarily…

    Taking place last month in Prague, MadWorld’s European conference welcomed technical communicators and documentation specialists from around the world with speakers from leading firms including; Visa, Nestlé, Vodafone and JHC!

    With twenty main conference sessions, four advanced training workshops and more than a dozen expert speakers, MadWorld is the tech documentation event for anyone who’s serious about best practices and innovation. The agenda delves into aspects of technical documentation - online Help, software and API documentation, policy and procedure manuals and user guides. As subjects go, they’re not exactly easy reading. It’s also true that navigating software documentation can be something of a challenge. Or at least it used to be.

    Don’t You (Forget About Me)
    It doesn’t matter how user friendly your product or new feature is, once users start actually *using* it, there’s a good chance they’ll need a bit of help. How do they do that thing you showed them? Where does that value come from? When do they need to run that report? That’s where user assistance comes in. So often an afterthought, at JHC we have long since recognised that great user assistance is key to promoting client adoption and usability of our products. Our team of writers get involved with JHC Figaro (Figaro) projects from the get-go, so they really understand the functionality and can create helpful, accurate documentation that is user-friendly and user-ready—from day one.

    We’ve Come a Long, Long Way Together
    Gone are the days of hefty, printed manuals with tiny text and no pictures. Soft-copy PDFs were a step forward, but it could still be tricky finding exactly the right help – and quickly. The real game-changer was the advent of online help. Online help revolutionised the way users access information and support. As one of the first FinTech vendors to recognise the advantages of online user assistance, we launched the Figaro Support Centre back in 2013. Since then, the centre has grown substantially and is now a fully integrated, searchable site complete with video tutorials, worked examples, new feature showcases and troubleshooting wizards. In the age of digital, documentation is no longer just about how screens work or connect. End-to-end business processes, task-based procedures and best practice information are all key to helping users get the most out of our software and maximise their efficiency.

    Work it Harder, Make it Better
    Writing for a product such as Figaro, with multiple variations and functions, presents unique challenges almost on a daily basis. For that reason—and to provide users with the best possible experience—we are continually refining our documentation and introducing innovative, industry-leading practices. Our dynamic help pages for example, update automatically based on each user’s input, providing information that is specific to their needs and situation. By building interactive wizards into our user assistance site, users can work through complex tasks or troubleshoot problems independently and in real time. In other words, our wizards provide targeted support on a self-serve basis.

    It’s a Kind of Magic
    The MadWorld conference enabled us to demonstrate to an audience of writers, consultants and trainers just how powerful dynamic help pages can be. As our Figaro community already knows, when an industry-leading product is underpinned with industry-leading documentation, the whole becomes significantly greater than the sum of its parts…. and that’s nothing short of sheer wizardry.

    Eloise Lewis, Senior Technical Author, JHC