FOSS Backstage Design

Re-thinking product adoption through documentation design
03-06, 14:00–14:20 (Europe/Berlin), Main Hall

Improving software adoption by redesigning documentation: A focus on making user guides more intuitive and accessible for 17 diverse open-source products. Tackling users’ frustration and improving technical instructions’ readability by leveraging user experience design practices.

One of the most obvious paths when thinking about the adoption strategies of a software product is to change it. For example, by creating a good user onboarding experience and ensuring they can quickly get to the value by using the product.

Intuitive products don’t require manuals, right? This is not always the case, especially if we’re discussing improving the adoption of 17 distinct, free, open-source products.

The reasons for a hard user adoption can vary. In this case, when technical people build for technical people, it’s hard to change coding structures overnight and simplify the user experience. Documentation is the best resource and the user’s companion for successful usage.

However, when documentation is also poorly implemented, users’ frustration levels may quickly rise. They may find themselves re-reading walls of undecipherable text over and over and reach the point of feeling dumb for never actually completing the installation.

Documentation must be intuitive and accessible, requiring a more mindful implementation. That is why we decided that the first and quickest path to improving the product adoption would be to treat it as any other product and re-design it. Using the practices and methodologies of user experience design, we found the ideal path to get to the right solution as a team to tackle our documentation problems and prepare ways to improve our family of products.

See also: Slides (3.6 MB)

A hands-on creator in spirit inspired by all sorts of arts, creativity, and visual expression. Has experience working in various industries, like industrial, graphic, architectural, and fashion design, but with a more recent focus in tech, as a product designer at Percona.