Story

Document Your Features

Jan 30, 2016

Recently, I discovered that a specific feature was causing confusion for almost everyone who used it. This feature was originally called “Blocks”, then “Project Blocks”, then “Time Blocks”, and now finally “Workloads”. Renaming the feature is another story, but I want to talk more about the support burden caused by the confusion. Any time a user had a question about the feature, they would either email me and ask to explain it, or worse—leave without caring to learn about it.

support-pages-workloads

Not all features are as intuitive as ones like time-tracking or invoicing. You can mention either of those features to people and they get it. Workloads, on the other hand, are a different story. They’re a new feature that fixes a specific issue in my own freelancing life, so their not yet in the project management vocabulary. Because of this, Workloads require an explanation instead of the user learning it through context.

After answering enough of these support emails and realizing the core problem, I decided it was time to build a proper support page. This was long overdue, but somehow it ended up on the list of high priorities that feel like low priorities. This support page should alleviate any need for the user to contact support. It should explain the purpose of Workloads and run through the steps to create a Workload, including screenshots for each step.

support-pages-workloads-page

After finishing the Workloads support page, announcing it to users, and reading the responses, I could clearly see that these support pages are valuable. Not everyone is a learn-through-experience type of user—most users rely on proper documentation. Because of this, I now need to go through the backlog of features that need support pages and tackle a few each week as part of my routine. Consider this another aspect of what makes an app a real app and less of a side project.

support-pages-sketch

These types of pages tend to change over time, along with their images and image sizes, so I decided to save each one as a Sketch file. Each image on the page is an artboard with export settings to match the size of the website design. With this setup, I’m able to retain the hi-res screenshots along with the ability to re-export everything if the design or feature ever changes.

I actually look forward to building the rest of the support pages because they really give the website more depth. I can confidently point a user to one and know that they’ll get the answers they seek. This goes a long way towards the legitimacy of the app and shaves a few minutes off my usual support load.

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Archive

  1. Funding Cushion
    Story
  2. Hiring a Team of Freelancers
    Story
  3. Taking a Real Break From Work
    Story
  4. Slack as a Notification Center
    Dev
  5. Document Your Features
    Story
  6. 300
    Story
  7. Vacations
    Design
  8. Offering Discounts
    Design
  9. Waves of Traffic
    Story
  10. Less Blogging, More Journaling
    Story
  11. Retention Through Useful Features
    Design
  12. The Onboarding Checklist
    Design
  13. Spreading the Word
    Story
  14. From Beta to Launch - The Subdomain
    Dev
  15. From Beta to Launch - Sign up
    Design
  16. From Beta to Launch - Messaging
    Design
  17. Launch
    Story
  18. Authenticating with 3rd Party Services
    Dev
  19. Intro to Integrations
    Design
  20. Inspiration vs Imitation
    Story
  21. The Emotional Rollercoaster
    Story
  22. Designing Project Blocks
    Design
  23. Everything in Increments
    Story
  24. Deleting Your Account
    Design
  25. Designing the Subscription Page
    Design
  26. Rewriting the Timeline
    Dev
  27. Restructuring the Individual Project Page
    Design
  28. Project Blocks
    Story
  29. Redesigning the Homepage
    Design
  30. Multiple Timelines
    Design
  31. Archiving and Estimate Differences
    Design
  32. Multiple Financial Goals
    Design
  33. Zooming in on the Timeline
    Design
  34. Currency
    Dev
  35. Preferences, Accounts, and a Typeface Change
    Design
  36. Sending Out the First Email
    Story
  37. Currency Inputs, Notifications, and Invoice Nets
    Design
  38. Dots and Lines
    Design
  39. Calculating in the Database and Revealing Tendencies
    Dev
  40. Improved Form UX
    Design
  41. Cushion is Online
    Story
  42. Schedule Timeline Patterns
    Design
  43. A Slimmer Schedule Timeline
    Design
  44. The Schedule Timeline
    Design
  45. Plugging in Real Data for the First Time
    Design
  46. Transitions and Project Lists
    Design
  47. Death to Modals
    Design
  48. The Individual Project Page
    Design
  49. Estimated Incomes and Talks with Other Freelancers
    Story
  50. Statuses to Lists and the Paid Beta
    Story
  51. The Timeline
    Story
  52. Invoice Terminology
    Dev
  53. Modal Forms
    Dev
  54. Wiring the Backend to the Frontend
    Dev
  55. Balancing Design and Dev
    Story
  56. Timecop, Monocle, and Vagrant
    Dev
  57. Going with Ruby and Sinatra
    Dev
  58. Ditching local-first and trying out Node.js
    Dev
  59. Switching to AngularJS
    Dev
  60. Building the Table with Vue.js
    Dev
  61. Clients, Projects, and Invoices
    Dev
  62. Introduction
    Story

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