Guest Blog: TOP 7 Reasons to Create an Online Knowledge Base

Posted in TechComm on 6/27/2017

Knowledge base

Picture this:

You love movies, but you hate driving to the theater. You also hate the loud munchers and the chatterboxes who distract you from the plot. Oh, and there’s that one incredibly tall person who always sits in front of you.

So, you decided to turn your living room into a home theater. You bought the system, and now you just need to figure out how to connect all the components together. You are surrounded by wires, inputs and outputs, and poorly-labeled connections. You feel a bit overwhelmed looking at this tangled mess.

Thank God for the user manual and the technical copywriting done in that manual which made installing a home theater system for the first time seem like a familiar chore.

You see, documentation is crucial. User manuals provide you access to the information you need without requiring someone to assist you.

Unfortunately, a lot of businesses ignore the importance of creating an online knowledge base for their products. They either believe that their software is so simple that it doesn’t require any documentation or they feel that they need to provide even the smallest details to help users accomplish anything.

If you are still debating whether your company could benefit from an online knowledge base, here are the reasons why you can’t afford to ignore documentation.

The Importance of Documentation

No one ever reads the documentation, you may think to yourself. So, why even bother creating a knowledge base?

That’s not true at all. The reason it seems like no one cares about documentation is that the people who read it never ask for your help. Whether it’s your employees or your customers, people do read user manuals. They might not study them word to word, but they use them every time they encounter a problem. In fact, one study has found that customers prefer reading a user’s manual or looking for information online and fix a problem on their own rather than call the support center.

When you write software documentation, for example, you create a complex repository outlining the requirements and business logic of your product. That allows your employees to access important information and solve problems quickly and effectively. The knowledge base is also an excellent tool for your teams to share information and collaborate on projects in a more productive way.

Here are the best reasons why you should take the time to write software documentation.

  1. Makes Your Software Easy to Understand by Everyone

    Never assume that your software is so simple that it doesn’t need documentation. People can’t guess the reasons behind some of the decisions you’ve made. User manuals will reduce the time new team members need to understand the software’s code, interactions, logic, and correlations.

    Here’s the thing, though: don’t ask your developers to write software documentation. You might end up with a manual that is harder to decipher than the Sumerian tablets. Instead, hire niche-expert freelance writers to create your online knowledge base.

    RightlyWritten, for example, is an excellent content writing and copywriting service that can take care of all your content creation needs. Not only that their talented copywriters can get to the heart of complex topics, but they’ll also make your user manuals universally understandable.

  2. Speeds up Troubleshooting

    One of the most evident benefits an online knowledge base can bring to your company is that your employees won’t waste as much time as before trying to determine the cause of a problem and find the right solution. A user manual or FAQ document can give them the information they need to speed up the resolution of common issues. For example, you can create an error code for the problems you’ve already identified. That can help with troubleshooting, especially in the case of new team members working on an ongoing project.

  3. Provides Flexibility for Future Changes

    An online knowledge base will allow you to make and introduce changes to your software without creating confusion among your employees and customers. You won’t have to worry about newcomers not understanding the logic behind your product or taking them too long to get accustomed to it. Not to mention, any changes to the functionality of the software will take no time to implement.

  4. It Can Be Used as a Training Tool

    Training is necessary to bring new employees up to speed with your company’s practices. However, it can quickly eat into your budget.

    By building an online knowledge base filled with standard procedures, best practices, tutorials, and valuable content about your products, new team members can take a more hands-on approach to learning and get up to speed with how things work.

  5. It’s Comprehensive Repository of Best Practices

    You probably have a few employees that are so competent that you can trust them with your company’s life. But, what happens when they go on holiday or aren’t available when things go wrong?

    Have your most experienced employees create best practices and operation guides. Ask them to update the knowledge base with valuable information about how your product works, how it should be used, and what should be done in case something goes wrong. That way, instead of picking their brains anytime they need something, your employees can access the data in your online knowledge base and figure out a solution themselves.

  6. Knowledge Base Eases Collaboration and Decision-Making

    An online knowledge base is also an excellent tool that can enable your staff to collaborate easily on projects, especially if they are spread across different departments or work remotely.

    They can add documents as they work on the project and keep everyone involved up to date with every modification or improvement. A knowledge base can also facilitate communication between team members and allow them to come to a decision faster.

  7. It Can Help You Improve Your Products

    I’d be easy to create a product that is hard to understand or use without anyone on the design team noticing. User manuals allow you to see the big picture and bring to light potential problems that you would have never thought of before. In fact, if you start a project by creating the documentation first, you may be able to identify bugs and issues that might occur during the development of the product. Then, you can include all these problems in a comprehensive user manual.

Conclusion

In today’s interconnected world, access to information means power. If your data is locked away in files or your developers’ heads, then it might be difficult for your employees to stay agile and keep pace with the changes. By organizing valuable information into an online knowledge base, you open the door to increased productivity, better efficiency, and less time spent answering the same questions over and over again.

 

Like this post? Share it with others:
×

Creating Documentation?

ClickHelp is a documentation tool for Mac and Windows
Get a documentation site running in minutes!
  • Cloud Solution
  • Single-Sourcing
  • Author in Web Browser
  • Teamwork Support
  • Flexible Branding
  • ...and features
×

Creating Documentation?

ClickHelp is a documentation tool for Mac and Windows
Get a documentation site running in minutes!
  • Cloud Solution
  • Single-Sourcing
  • Author in Web Browser
  • Teamwork Support
  • Flexible Branding
  • ...and features
×

Have Not Found What You Need?

Ask us and get an answer within 24 hours!
All channels are monitored 24x7.
Your e-mail (for our response):*
Subject:*
Question text:*
×

Need Custom Offer?

Ask us and get a response within 24 hours.
Your e-mail (for our response):*
Subject:*
Question text:*