This blog will explain how to create a clear and useful troubleshooting guide that will help your users solve all problems easily.
Define Users’ Problems
You should know the details of the problem because it’s not enough to get vague descriptions from your users. Ask users to take screenshots or record screens when the bug occurs. In addition, you can send them particular questions about the problem. In other words, find out as many details as possible.
This stage will help you understand what content you should create. That bunch of issues is a kind of documentation plan. Finally, you will collect your users’ problems and write clear troubleshooting guides.
When you have a list of issues, you can start solving such problems through the content. First, however, you should choose a professional technical writing tool such as ClickHelp. Thanks to the features of this software product, you will write the troubleshooting guide easily.
So, explain to your target audience how to solve a particular problem. Just walk in your users’ shoes and write clear instructions. It will be great if you create a specific topic for each issue — this structure will help users find the topics in a few clicks. Besides, you can add index keywords to improve the navigation.
Don’t Write Walls of Text
If you write long sentences and paragraphs, your readers will get tired of such a format. So you can include ordered or unordered lists and tables instead. In that case, your content will be easy to read, and the users will be able to absorb information faster, thanks to the clear structure.
Moreover, it’s always better to show than to describe. So, screenshots and videos will draw your readers’ attention. Imagine that you develop a software product. If your users face problems, they will solve such issues faster with visual aids than with only text.
Test Your Guide
Finishing your guide is not the end. You should always pay attention to the following:
- Your customers’ feedback. What comments do the users write about your topics? How many downvotes and upvotes do the articles receive? The answers will help you find unclear topics and improve the content.
- Readability metrics. You should know how much time your readers will spend on every topic. Besides, you should be aware of how hard your topics are to read. Fortunately, ClickHelp shows such metrics.
So, improve your guide permanently. You can do it every month, for example.
Creating the troubleshooting guide is not the easiest task, I know. Nevertheless, thanks to explaining complicated topics to your readers, you will significantly improve your technical writing skills. As a result, you will gradually become a professional technical writer.
“Follow the river and you will get to the sea.”