Last updated on Oct 8, 2020
Gideon Behrensmeyer, Documentation Team Leader of Sisense joins us to discuss why documentation searchability is an important factor in this episode of Knowledgebase Ninjas.
Connect with Gideon Behrensmeyer and Sisense’s knowledgebase here:
Gideon’s journey into documentation…
Gideon studied politics and philosophy in the UK, whilst studying he also helped fellow students with troubleshooting network issues. When he moved back to Israel, he saw that there was a huge demand for technical writers, because he had both liberal arts and technical experience he found that technical writing was a natural fit for him.
Defining Sisense’s documentation process…
Gideon is currently sitting under the product team which is a new experience for him as in previous roles he used to sit below the support and marketing teams.
He was skeptical at first, however, he has seen the advantages of this transition as he gets to see the features and products they are developing first hand.
Gideon is working with the product managers who speak to their customers and define the requirements, he then works with the UX team, who will write the microcopy, all the tooltips, the error messages and the text you see in the UI… and at the same time they are also learning about the feature. When they gather all that information from the product manager or SME’s involved, Gideon completes the microcopy and begins to work on the documentation.
Having a hand in the early stages of the documentation process allows Gideon to have more influence on the features, as well as a saying experience their users have.
Increasing searchability when creating documentation…
One of the key factors to consider when creating documentation is searchability; Gideon reviews Google Analytics to see information about users. He discovered that roughly 70% of the traffic to their knowledgebase are returning users. Based on that, he assumes that they aren’t looking to browse multiple pages of but content, but are looking to view a specific page to solve a specific problem.
To aid this, Sisense ensures their documentation is fully indexed by Google. This means that users are able to get to the Sisense site just by typing ‘Sisense Documentation’ on Google. They have also added a search functionality into the documentation which is also indexed by Google.
Whenever Gideon is writing documentation he bears in mind that the user needs to be able to find it through an internet search; to do this he is speaking with the SME’s and product managers who spoke to the customers when developing the features and he is also going through support tickets, to be sure that he is aware of the challenge that the customer is experiencing. He then ensures keywords are inserted in the title or main body of the text.
Who has Gideon learn’t the most from throughout his career?
Gideon has learn’t a lot through Tom Johnson’s documentation blog. He would highly recommend this blog to people starting out in technical writing or those who simply want to learn more:
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