Boosting learning technology engagement with high-quality help documentation

By Domi Sinclair

Documentation is not something that seems particularly exciting, it’s probably not something you think about much. I think about it only because I’m a Technical Writer, but outside of work (and before I got this job) I can’t say I’d spend much time thinking about user guides or help instructions. They were the bits of paper I threw away without looking at whilst I figured out how my new gadget, appliance or software worked on my own. Despite the fact it isn’t glamorous or something we think of frequently, help documentation can be extremely useful, and I’m not just saying that because of my job.

It can help those who don’t want to try things out. I’m very much a do-first, check-the-manual-to-see-where-I-went-wrong-later kind of person, but not everyone is. For those who don’t want to go off gung-ho, or are less confident in doing so, good user documentation can provide them a starting place and help them build up the confidence they need in using a system.

value of help doc

As I mentioned above, even the most confident among us can get stuck, especially as we move into more sophisticated and complex uses of a system. Good documentation helps when you get stuck, it shows you where you went wrong and guides you back onto the right path - where you can then go off on your own again (just this time better informed).

A system like the Totara Talent Experience Platform is hugely flexible, which is great as it allows you to use the system exactly how you want to. However, this does mean it can get complicated as you bend the system to fit your specific needs. This is another area where good help documentation can be invaluable as it can help you explore and understand those complexities, so that you can easily see what you need to do to make the system suit your needs.

By giving you this foundational understanding and explaining the system to you, good documentation can also help you to understand the system, so that you can go beyond what you previously thought was possible - or what you might have been able to figure out on your own.

In conclusion, although it is not the headline act, good documentation is the key to unlocking an excellent product experience. Thankfully, the Totara Talent Experience Platform has great documentation for all of our products and versions.

If you have any comments or feedback about our help documentation please use the ratings at the bottom of each page or click the feedback link to let us know your thoughts.