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Because there's nothing like experience...

1 May 2016
Dana Neuman- Rotem
A person writing in a notebook

On the occasion of celebrating our 200th issue, I'd like to reflect on two articles that have left a lasting impression on me.

I served as a knowledge manager in a communications organization a few years ago. I faced a fresh challenge: crafting content for the company's website and overseeing the service section.

During that period, the company introduced a novel service concept: Self-Service. This initiative aimed to empower customers to access assistance anytime, anywhere, without relying on a representative. It was a pioneering concept then, and now we witness an increasing number of companies adopting this approach, which fosters information-sharing with customers and liberates them from the necessity of interacting solely with representatives.

The step may seem straightforward, yet it presented dilemmas and challenges regarding knowledge management on the site:

  • How can we ensure knowledge is readily accessible to customers in the most straightforward, most convenient manner?

  • Should the site and the company's current knowledge management system feature identical content?

  • How can we address language gaps, considering that each organization has its jargon that may not align with the language preferences of the customer base? How do we bridge this significant divide?

Considering that customers don't undergo training courses or experience service situations daily, it's imperative that content writing be solely focused on their perspective.

Furthermore, the straightforward logic is evident to me:

The objective is to enhance usability for customers by delivering prompt and efficient solutions (given their limited patience) through:

  1. Presenting information clearly, avoiding complex steps or actions.

  2. Anticipating and outlining the steps customers will take to manage expectations.

  3. Instilling a sense of competence makes it easy for them to arrive at a solution.

Otherwise, there's a risk of customers abandoning the page, resulting in a double loss: a customer resorting to calling the service and potentially never returning to the site for assistance.

In my quest for guidance, I stumbled upon two articles that aided in shaping my approach to the task:

"Psychology in the field of design" by Ella Antes.

"UX during the stages before the real product" by Maya Fleischer.

Psychology in the field of design

This article delves into the challenges companies face, centered on how to reach and communicate with their customers effectively. In today's era, characterized by many media channels, it remains crucial to refine our organizational purpose: being present equates to fostering loyalty within our customer community.

What defines a website's success in engaging its target audience? How does it effectively convey the desired message and cultivate a loyal user base? Ultimately, human behavior forms the foundation of every website, encompassing diverse psychological responses to stimuli such as information, color, form, and messaging.

Here are some fundamental principles gleaned from the article:

  1. Establish trust to instill confidence, enjoyment, and curiosity, encouraging continued engagement.

  2. Implement a consistent pattern or template in content presentation, facilitating user familiarity and ease of navigation.

  3. Utilize images strategically to reinforce desired concepts and messages.

  4. Acknowledge people's reading habits—rather than reading, users tend to scan the page for relevant information.

UX in development stages

One of the dilemmas, as previously mentioned, revolved around bridging language gaps arising from organizational jargon. The article illustrates how to overcome these gaps through user experience (UX):

A product is conceived from a necessity and an ambition to address the needs of its end consumer genuinely. However, the journey from initial conception to the final product can profoundly impact its success. As knowledge managers, we're tasked with presenting solutions to emerging needs. How these solutions are presented is crucial, as it depicts the product's true essence. Therefore, the proposed solutions should be considered equally important to the final product.

The article outlines various benefits of visual presentation:

  • Enhanced comprehension of the intended message for our clients.

  • Alignment of expectations through illustrations resembling the final product.

  • Opportunity for conducting preliminary usability tests.

  • Identify additional needs or eliminate unnecessary elements before investing time and resources into the product.

  • Facilitate communication with clients through a more universally understood language.

  • Heightened enthusiasm from customers, driving their engagement in the product implementation process.

  • Elevated perception of knowledge managers as being more serious and professional in their approach.

How true! Utilizing available resources can shape the user experience and effectively promote my product. Visuals sometimes prove invaluable in bridging language gaps, aligning expectations with clients, and establishing a shared understanding.

In conclusion, these articles can assist in addressing further dilemmas knowledge managers encounter. When faced with unfamiliar challenges, they certainly aided in refining my understanding and guiding my approach, even amidst numerous attempts before finding the right direction. (Between us, it's a journey that never indeed concludes...)

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