And every beginning (and ending) has its own software documentation… at least if we had our way. User documentation can make software easily accessible to new employees. And there is more: The effective transfer of expert knowledge through documentation is essential to protect companies from knowledge loss. In this article, we briefly explain what user documentation actually is and its potential benefits for companies.
What is software (user) documentation?
Software documentation is the recording of digital processes that can be used to explain software or areas of software. A distinction is made between different types of documentation, usually varying according to the target group. The latter ranges from software architects and developers to customers and end users. Of the different types of software documentation, we at miraminds have specialized our solutions on documentation for end users.
User documentation comes in many forms, from detailed user manuals to microlearning “nuggets”, to context-sensitive help (Performance Support System, Digital Adoption Platform). The choice of format depends primarily on how complex the conveyed user knowledge is and how much skill the end users need for the successful handling of software. Generally, instructions should be kept as long as necessary and as short as possible.
In a business world in which software is becoming increasingly diverse and complex and is constantly being changed and developed, it makes sense to periodically refresh necessary software basics in formal learning settings and to supplement with decentralized learning mechanisms.
How do companies profit?
Did you know that crucial skills for company success often lie with only a few essential employees? Software documentation not only makes software accessible to company newcomers, but also “immortalizes” existing employee expertise. By externalizing the knowledge of experts, companies can thus protect themselves from susceptibility to knowledge loss. They also relieve the burden on IT experts, who spend an average of 30% of their working time on support tickets, and thereby reduce costs for companies… Now what is there to object to?
Our documentation software FlowShare enables you to effortlessly create easy-to-understand step-by-step instructions––the golden mean between detailed manuals and context-sensitive help. You can test our software for 14 days, free of charge and without any commitment!
Context-sensitive help, microlearning, digital adoption platform––these terms and more will be explained in upcoming mirapedia articles.
You can read more on the topic of software user documentation in these articles: