Who should create in-app guidelines?

Who should create in-app guidelines?


Written by Natalia Kawana

As digital adoption platforms become more and more common, a new question arises: who should be responsible for creating in-app guidelines?

We now have some vendors in the market who belong to the category of “digital adoption platform”, all of them offering companies a tool to create in-app, real-time tutorials. All of them aiming to help the end user complete tasks without mistakes and master processes on diverse software, guiding them step-by-step.

These solutions, however, are tools, means, to create guidelines. They do not provide perfect tutorials ready to be deployed over any base software, meaning that alone, they can’t work miracles. Installing such tools without knowing what you want to obtain with them is like giving a Ferrari to someone who can’t drive.

For these solutions to be implemented well, companies adopting them need to have a clear plan in place, as well as a good overview of the processes they want to guide users through. In general, companies themselves are in the best position to appoint someone or a team to do this.

It’s hard for us to say that X or Y role should be responsible for the creation of these tutorials, as this will depend on the company’s structure, which roles the company has, if business processes are completely internal or if they’ve been created by external actors. We will, however, suggest which top-5 competences are needed for good guidelines to be created.

Tutorial creation – the recommended competences

Knowledge of the base application

As common sense as it may sound, if you want to guide somebody through an environment, you need to know that environment quite well. So we’d highly recommend that your guideline author (or in our case, Journey author) be proficient on the base application.

Knowledge of the company’s processes and its job groups

Knowing the base application well is not enough. To create good Journeys, one needs to know the business processes which are required for each job group. For example, if you are creating Journeys on a CRM software, you need to know which job groups use that software and the processes they need to know as part of their job. For example, Sales teams will need to create new accounts and opportunities on the CRM, whereas Accounts Receivables will need to register invoices and payments, just to illustrate a few scenarios. And here, the different groups don’t need to see Journeys which are not part of their jobs, or we risk confusing end users.

So if your Journey author has a good overview of the company’s business processes, it’ll be much easier to create Journeys and to understand which processes are relevant for each specific group. Knowing this, it’ll be simple to establish which Journeys should be visible to each job group and when, offering tailoring support accordingly.

Overview of employees’ performance on the process

If the Journey creator has an overview of which processes are the most challenging for their employees and where most errors or need for support take place, they’ll be able to predict issues and to create a Journey which can compel end users to do the right thing. Or even, these Journeys can take the user back to the right track after they’ve made a mistake.

Good planning/ management skills

Having good planning and management skills can only be beneficial when creating Journeys. Especially when there are many applications and roles to consider. Needless to say, it takes some effort to understand how business processes translates into Newired Journeys (or for that matter, into other digital adoption solutions) and thus to choose the smoothest transitions from one step to the other, leading the user to do what makes sense in a given context. In other words, it takes some effort to make a Journey adherent to the business processes.

Apart from that, one needs to bear in mind that the Journeys created need to be properly tested before going live. Do they work well? Can any step transition be improved? Many things need to be in place before deploying the Journeys live.

Good writing skills

This is a skill that might be overlooked, but is extremely important here too. When writing the Journey content, one needs to be concise, objective, precise and clear. If we have grammar issues, long sentences, punctuation problems, confusing paragraphs… we risk confusing the user. Also, there’s no use having in place the perfect Journey if the instructions in it are confusing.

All things considered, implementing good and successful in-app support needs to be a thoughtful process, and choosing the correct person/team to do this is key. Having these competences in mind, the role of Journey creator can be performed by many profiles of employees/ teams: it could be taken by HR trainers, software experts, business process owners, digital transformation project managers… At the end of the day, it is up to the company to decide which employees are most suitable for the task.

As a last consideration, we can say that it is of course possible to get Journeys designed by a third-party – even by one of our Newired Customer Success Managers. This is to be defined on a case-by-case basis – if we’re talking about a famous platform, this is more likely to be possible than if we have an internal application. As long as the third-party has the skills mentioned above, this should be an option as well.

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