ArticleUser Assistance: What It Is and Why Provide It?

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What comes to mind when you hear the term user assistance?

You might conjure up an image of a typical support agent resolving a customer issue. 

Or simply think of a standard help page that assists a user in logging in to an application. 

While you would be right in both these instances, user assistance (UA) is a much broader label. It refers to any artifact that enables users to work with an application more efficiently.

But unlike technical documentation, which refers to artifacts that appear outside the UI of an application, UA encompasses off-app and in-app assistance that is organically woven into the user interface. 

To put it simply, documentation is merely a subset of user assistance.

technical-documentation-vs-user-assistance

It might then seem obvious why we would want user assistance to be a part of a user’s overall experience with an application. 

However, we’re here to tell you why user assistance is not just a want but a need. 

And, how the benefits of user assistance are not limited just to the end customer but extend also to the business. 

At the end of this article, you will consider user assistance an inseparable part of a complete application.

Let’s begin by looking at how user assistance directly impacts the user. 

 

Quick Application Adoption

Did you know your application adoption rate increases by 35% by investing in user assistance? 
Yes! 35%!

When you put a user assistance strategy in effect, it not only helps users get familiar with an application quickly but also communicates with them.

quick-application-adoption-through-user-assistance

By addressing the most common issues faced by users and providing a lucid fix, UA saves precious time that is spent by users trying to find a way out of such roadblocks.

But wait, there’s more!

UA also reduces the time to return on investment for your business by 12%! 

 

Reduced Support Costs

It is always a good idea to make users feel self-sufficient when they use an application.

It instills confidence in them to continue using your app and prevents them from turning away from it due to the need for frequent contact support. 

In fact, it reduces support costs by nearly 31%. 

UA, when properly designed, fixes commonly occurring problems of your users, so they don’t have to look for external solutions every time.

user-assistance-reduces-support-costs

User Satisfaction

Ensuring an overall positive user experience is key to ensuring an application’s successful adoption. 

While this comes down to multiple factors, user assistance plays a vital role in determining the level of user experience and user satisfaction that the application or software provides.

user-experience-user-interface

For instance, it does not matter how aesthetically pleasing an application’s UI is if it does not provide adequate help to your user in navigating and understanding it.

A user must be able to find their way through the application and start using it quickly. User assistance helps us achieve this as it very evidently increases the app uptake by 21%.

User Assistance and SDLC

However, user assistance is not just helpful to the users but can also be highly beneficial during the app development process itself.

It makes the software development life cycle (SDLC) smoother through continuous and comprehensive documentation. Here are a couple of ways how:

A Single Source of Truth

When working on app development as a team, it is important to be on the same page and have a consensus on what can be considered reliable information. Having a single source of truth (SSOT) is a foolproof way to achieve this.

technical-documentation-sdlc

An SSOT always ensures the team members are aligned and consequently collaborate better and work more efficiently. 

Documentation achieves this by being a common source of truth that teams can rely upon for technical information.

It is even more beneficial to create these artifacts collaboratively as it encourages all team members to return to them when required.

Having a live document is a win-win!

Time-saving

Secondly, maintaining documentation saves you lots of time that you otherwise spend on searching and gathering information.

software-documentation-saves-time

While developers can resolve issues on their own, this might come at the cost of utilizing their precious time. They can, however, save their time with user assistance which includes everything from code comments to user manuals.

By creating documentation that covers commonly occurring issues to a high degree of specificity, developers benefit greatly. They merely have to know where to look to find a solution.

Conclusion

User assistance contributes immensely to curating a positive user experience and maximizing the efficiency of your application development process. 

It enables cost-effectiveness and user satisfaction as discussed above, hence, the lack of UA impacts your business negatively.

lack-of-user-assistance-business-impacts

With such adverse impacts on your business, it’s a no-brainer that UA is necessary for your application and SDLC.

We at Bhaarati have all of your user assistance needs covered! We provide a wide range of services that include:

–  in-app;

–  off-app;

–  app-development UA.

This enables you to focus squarely on your core competencies.

To know more about what we do, click Contact Us.

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Deepak
Author
December, 2022