Domi Sinclair, Technical Writer at Collibra joins us in this episode of Knowledgebase Ninjas Podcast and talks about the relevance of user empathy in creating support documentation.
User empathy is extremely relevant when it comes to documentation. We need to understand how our audience is feeling- are they curious, are they frustrated and trying to get things to work? The documentation should be the thing that unblocks them.
If users are frustrated when they are coming to something, they don’t want a load of extra fluff. Your goal is to make their life easier. That’s the reason why it is important for documentation teams to talk to users to know how they are feeling.
Documentation teams need to be accessible to teams like the customer success teams so that they can give us feedback on, you know, any places where users are feeling stuck or frustrated so that we can, you know, be that lubrication that helps make the user journey much easier.
At Collibra, the team is bringing the culture of empathy right at the beginning of the design stage of the project. The documentation team works closely with UX/design team to create synergy in the writing experience and the use of language. They work with the product managers and have regular sync-ups with the ones responsible for specific areas to make sure they document everything that they work on. They have a peer review process within the team as well.
According to Domi, these collaborations can give you that extra push that you need to clarify yourself with respect to the usage of certain words, language, etc that you don’t think is going to translate well to the customer who may not be that technical.
“The term technical writing can be so broad and there are so many different types of technical writing, audiences, processes, etc. It is important to find the way that works for you so that you can enjoy it and I think that is only going to improve your writing. That’s going to create a better customer experience.”, says Domi.
“My husband is one of the people that I’ve learned a lot from. He works within a product, and he’s one of the people that’s really helped me with customer empathy.”
It’s called Content Design by Sarah Winters.
“Make sure that you’re asking a lot of questions to understand what you’re documenting and cover any possible questions that customers or users might have.”