We hear from customers just about every day that our technical support is a big selling point for our software and what sets us apart from our competition. Along with having a world-class support team, we also have one of the best support sites around.
According to ASP executive director Jeffrey Tarter:
“The big news this year is the number of smaller companies that have developed world-class support sites. Despite relatively limited resources, a growing number of technology companies have figured out how to deliver an online support experience that competes successfully against some of the biggest players in the support world. That’s a delightful trend to watch.”
The annual competition, now in its 12th year, has its volunteer judges evaluate sites on the following criteria:
- Overall usability, design, and navigation
- Knowledgebase and search implementation
- Interactive features
- Customer experience
- The major site development challenge
For this year’s contest, I focused our major site development challenge essay (worth the most points in scoring) on the fact that we had a major software release of Studio ’09 last fall, so we needed to launch a whole new support site while still maintaining access to Studio Second Edition products that we still support.
Articulate Support Site product version selection page
As part of that process, we used the opportunity to upgrade the technology we use to deliver our online help documentation and Knowledge Bases. We switched from using RoboHelp and Movable Type, respectively, to using 9 unique instances of WordPress to deliver documentation and Knowledge Base content for each of our products.
To give you some insight behind the scenes about the effort it took to launch our new support site that supports the Studio ’09 products, here’s the project by the numbers:
- 460 new support site pages across all products (Help Documentation & Knowledge Bases)
- 100s of hours of internal staff time (estimated)
- 9 new instances of WordPress
- 6 months from start of project to launch of new support site in conjunction with product launch
- 5+ Articulate employees
- 4 customer testers (for feedback)
- 2 designers
- 2 distinct areas for old vs. new versions
- 1 brand new website infrastructure
- 1 unified support site
I also highlighted in our 24-page application some of the new support offerings we’ve added in the past year, along with the fact that we now deliver more than 10,000 pages of support content.
Congrats to our support, QA, and design teams for helping us build an award-winning support site! And thank you to all the members of our Community Forums for helping us create such a valuable and ever-growing resource.
Captain Smiley is looking forward to adding a 3rd trophy to his collection: