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A bunch of years ago I worked for TiVo, the DVR company. Although I
didn't work directly for the customer support and knowledge base
people, I worked right next to that group, and I got a good feel for
how they designed things. They had a handful of writers designing and
writing the content who put a lot of thought into the structure. The
knowledgebase was used both for the customer support people on the
phone, and also online -- you can see the knowledgebase here:
It is 99% task-based. No concepts at all. Browsing around it for a
little while just now I found two articles with concepts, and they
were a single paragraph apiece.
On Feb 2, 2011, at 7:47 AM, John Posada wrote:
> Hi, guys...As I've said, I've been doing an analysis of our customer
> support knowledgebase to look for areas of improvement.
> I've introduced the concept modeled after the DITA methodology of
> Concept/Task/Reference and it has caught on strong.
> My question...for online help or web based help for consumer-type
> services, specifically phone service, if you have thought about it, do
> you find that you found a ratio of concept to task that worked out
> best for you?
> For instance, I'm proposing the premise that since this is for a
> support site, we should be doing less explaining issues compared to
> more presenting procedures on how to do and fix things; the logic
> being that the average telephone customer doesn't care as much about
> how something works as they do with getting it to work so they can
> make their call and get on with their life.
> Keep in mind, I'm not writing for the techy geek, but for the average
> Joe Q Public with a telephone.
> Has anyone else thought about this and if so, know of any best
> practices that supports this premise?
> John Posada
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