How to structure your content

Having a clear plan of what you are doing and structuring your content before building your Guides will save you and your team a lot of extra work and time, besides making sure that you get the most value out of Userlane. 

In this article, you'll learn how you can do this following a couple of easy steps. Ready? Let's go!

Plan outline

  1. Define your goals: what do you want to achieve?
  2. Define the content

  3. Change your perspective

  4. Build your Guides


1. Define your goals: what do you want to achieve?

First things first, what are your goals? How does your ideal world look? 

Too abstract? You can use Userlane for different things. Here are some ideas: 

  • Improve onboarding: How have you been onboarding your customers? Do you have different types of users that should go through different onboardings?

  • Increase self-service and support quality: How have you been supporting your users? What are their FAQs? 

  • Manage retention: How have you been managing inactive accounts? What do you do to continue delivering value to your users?

  • Increase conversion: What have you been doing to increase trial-to-paid conversion? What are your Wow Moments? What are your platform’s USPs? What is different between users that stay and users that go?

  • Push for feature adoption: How have you been pushing for adoption? Do you have any cool features that are not used?

I know, these are A LOT of questions. This is why it is better to involve several stakeholders, who will help you get different perspectives.

Think about what is most important for you right now, we can iterate and come back here later. Our experience tells us it is better to focus on one goal at a time.

Once you have a clear priority, define a baseline and assign metrics to measure the progress. 

2. Define the content

Now you know where you want to get to so you can focus on what content do you want to deliver to your users. 

Here are some examples to guide your thinking process: 

  • Improve onboarding: start by collecting every topic and feature you want to explain to your users in their first steps. Here your CS and support teams might help you a lot to know where to focus first. Define an onboarding journey if you don’t have one and translate it into clear steps:
    - Do they need to set up their account to start getting value out of the product? Start with that.
    - What questions do they normally have in the beginning?
    - What creates problems down the road?

  • Increase self-service and support quality: if you already have a help desk, you have a lot of material already!
    - Do you have a list of FAQs?: organize them into topics. Check if it would make sense to group them in chapters or in guides.
    - Do you explain processes in your help-desk articles?: think about translating these into Guides. Then use the articles for other important information like best practices. 

  • Manage retention: don’t forget your “old customers”. Keep selling your USPs and inform them of the new features:
    - Create expert Guides/chapters to help your old users get the most out of your product.
    - Track their engagement and target low active users by sending them links to their least used features.
    - Celebrate their success by showing them what they have accomplished so far and how to get even more value out of your product. 

  • Increase conversion: you should focus on setting up Guides that help your trial customers get to the “Wow!” moment as fast as possible.
    - Ask Product and Marketing for interesting insights on this. You can even create personalized discovery journeys for different customer segments.
    - Showcase all the key features users have to try out to achieve that famous “wow moment” in the shortest possible time.
    - Build some Guides that lead the users to fast successes.

  • Push for feature adoption: What features need more attention? Where could you be creating more value for your users?
    - Create an expert chapter focused on your advanced features.
    - Offer continuous performance support on-demand with Guides that support your users every time, and not only when they are learning.

Recollect ideas, organize them into topics and steps. Define one Guide per goal/process and group them into chapters (per topic or expertise level). You can use a table like this: 

3. Change your perspective

Once you finished filling this table out, take some time to change your perspective. Try to forget everything you know about your application and about its content. Would you, as a user, understand the structure of your Userlane tours? Does every chapter and Guide title suit its content and do you find all the content in the right chapter?

Regardless of your goal, remember you should always make sure that your users:

  • truly understand what your software is capable of,

  • achieve quick wins along the way,

  • interact with all the key features they need to test to fully appreciate your solution,

  • are successful and achieve their results as soon as possible.

4. Build your Guides

Great, you are ready! Because of your well-planned structure, the recording and building of your Guides will be a walk in the park! 

What to consider

  • Your users should always be able to find a topic they are looking for on the very first attempt. 

  • Make also sure that the content is provided in small steps. For example, don’t explain a fill out a form in one single big step. You can use one “overview” explanation step and some smaller interaction steps within the form. 

  • But, at the same time, verify that your Guides do not have too many steps. We, humans, tend to get bored easily. As a best practice, try to have a maximum of 15 steps per Guide. 

  • Get some feedback from someone, who is not involved in the Userlane project. Test your structure internally, either now, or after you created your Guides. 

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