Implementing Great Documentation for Ad Agency Management Software

Choosing which creative agency management software product to use should be based on more than just how bright and shiny the product looks in demonstrations or assurances made by sales representatives. As an end user, be certain to ensure that the product provider will be there for you beyond the contract signing.

Function Point not only offers several training modules but supporting documentation as well. In exploring the current documentation, and with an aim to add to it, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what makes for great documentation.

1) Standardize the terminology. Documentation will be very confusing if what one content writer calls (for example) a fast-e port, others call a cat5 cable, an Internet connection, or a drop.

2) Make the content accessible – which can mean a couple of things.  The support pages should be both easy to find, and easy to reach from multiple operating systems and platforms. Once within the documentation area, the content should be totally searchable. And look to minimize the number of clicks between asking a question, to getting the answer.

3) Understand the audience. Workflow management software like Function Point will have a variety of end users – some more technically savvy than others – and the documentation will need to universally appeal. Although none of the end users should feel the documentation is talking down to them, the documentation writer must not make assumptions about basic details already being understood.

4) Seek audience feedback and actually use it. Without the ability to truly understand the possible pain points of a new user, documentation writers should actively seek feedback from end users. And perhaps as important, is that this feedback actually be used to help improve the experience of future users.

5) Keep the documentation up to date. New feature releases should most certainly have the supporting docs, and equally critical is to be sure that no documentation contains broken links, old contact information, or instructions that lead to nowhere.


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