[CASE] Collaboration with Dr.Explain saves a lot of time and cost of making telephone calls for Kumulsoft
Ricky Mato Paisip Narewec, Quality Assurance Analyst & Technical Writer, has stated really important outcomes of using Dr.Explain: product knowledge enhancement and product market enlargement, user-friendliness & cost-effectiveness and general level of computer literacy improvement.
DE: Please tell us about your software.
Kumulsoft Software Solution (www.kumulsoft.com) is a software company that deals specifically with developing and selling software products to its clients. We have now developed 2 major software products and are selling them particularly: the Fixed Asset Management System (FAMS) and the Legal Practice Billing System (LPBS).
The Fixed Asset Management System or FAMS is a fully complete and integrated system that deals with the management of all types of Fixed Assets; from land, building, fleet (Vehicles) and the General Asset such as Office Equipment, Furniture & Fixtures, Plant & Equipment, etc, that an organization may own.
The Legal Practice Billing System or LPBS on the other hand is a legal practice billing system for Law firms where they can use it for managing their client files, issue bills, and manage other financial accounts relating to their practice and their clients.
With these 2 pieces of software and 10 years in business, we were able to become ‘The Winner of 2018 MSME Digital Innovation Award for the Best Innovative Micro Enterprise’ in our country.
The project is about writing the User Guide for these 2 pieces of software which can be seen as Project 1: Fixed Asset Management System User Guide and Project 2: Legal Practice Billing System User Guide. I am currently engaged in developing the User Guide for the Fixed Asset Management System and the User Guide for Legal Practice Billing System will be my next project.
DE: What are your main duties in the company?
I am the Quality Assurance Officer and the Technical Writer for the company where I deal specifically with software requirement analysis, testing, and writing User Guides for the software and other related products that we sell.
I also worked as a Fixed Asset Project Officer whenever a client acquired the Fixed Asset Management System and engaged us to integrate the system into their database. Through this process, I was able to get better acquainted with the system and to write the User Guide.
I am now solely involved as the Technical Writer in this project where I am responsible for writing the User Guide for the Fixed Asset Management System. It is a one-person team project actually, and the Software Developer (Company’s CEO) only engages in commenting and approval.
DE: Why is user help documentation important to your company? What will you gain from your project?
My country: Papua New Guinea is a developing country with a struggling economy where the software and high-tech industry is still in its infancy and is developing. With very few local software companies which all of them are considered to be in the range of small to medium enterprises and the competition is quite tough compared to other major corporate companies.
So, the User Help Documentation of our products will be very important in the following ways:
1. Improve the general level of computer literacyThe general level of computer literacy in my country is depicted in all of the local software companies in the range of small to medium enterprises. That means that generally the understanding about the usage of a software product is very low and the User Help Documentation can really help in understanding our products.
Taking into consideration that there are 1 or 2 or even none small firms that are currently engaging in writing their user guide for their products, our project will greatly make a difference here; to a new user or a person who has never used a computer before, it will be a step by step guide to operating all the features of our product.
That is why we like Dr.Explain very much because its control buttons show a new user the step by step guide process throughout our documentation.
2. User-friendly & Cost-effectivenessSoftware documentation is a new development for us as an organization. In fact, we have never engaged in such a project before. We have around 40-50 clients who are now using our software without a User Guide. Most of the questions and issues about the use of our software were usually addressed verbally by our IT support staff.
Now the documentation will make a great change in that. Every client will have access to that User Guide and help them with those questions or issues they have.
It will make it easier for them to use the software as a new user and save a lot of time and cost of making telephone calls just to answer simple questions or issues.
3. Enhance product knowledge and enlarge product marketFixed Asset Management as a field has never been thought of, although every day everywhere we use different types of assets as tools for the production of our work. The use, management, and accountability of fixed assets particularly in the public sector are almost unreliable considering our state as a developing nation.
This is our marketing opportunity, we want to explore and enlarge that and documentation will be used as a tool to make inroads, specifically to enlarge the product knowledge of the software to our user or anyone interested which in turn will also enlarge our market base.
DE: How did you manage to solve the problems with help docs before? What software did you use for that kind of work?
As I have mentioned previously, we have never used any help docs before, particularly software documentation applications such as Dr.Explain. I initially started writing this User Guide with normal Word and PDF docs but it never works out. And I was tasked to find a software that writes a User Guide for software and I came across Dr.Explain. And it seems to solve all my problems and I have never moved on from here. I recommended it and Dr.Explain was purchased. So, I am using it now to write documentation for our software.
DE: Did you compare Dr.Explain to other solutions?
Yeah, I did. But one that seems to be unique and stands out is the numbered control buttons in the image layout of a User Guide. Dr.Explain provides that guiding solution in a User Guide document with its numbered control buttons. This is all about User Guide and User Manual documentation which is about guiding readers through the step-by-step process of work.
You can have an image layout of a system’s dialogue box or menu with lines and arrows pointing but this is not complete. There must be labels showing the step by step process in opening and closing menus and dialogue box or even filling in fields. On-screen functions are delicate and can be easily confused and misguided. And Dr.Explain provides that solution of numbered control buttons to show the step by step process of the screen.
DE: Why did you choose the Dr.Explain software?
I was tasked to find an application that writes a User Guide for software because my initial work using Word and PDF docs did not work out. Dr.Explain was the first app I came across and I stopped and did not go further because it seemed to provide a solution for my problems. You know what; when I was using Word and PDF docs, I was trying my best to number the labels on the screenshot image to show necessary steps in a menu or dialogue box, but that was complicated. These docs didn’t provide that solution.
So when I came across Dr.Explain it seemed to provide the solution I was looking for so I just signed up!
DE: What results did you receive? How do the results influence your business?
My project is almost complete now particularly Project 1: Fixed Asset Management System User Guide. I have a strong faith that the turn around and the response will be great! As I have stated previously, we are expecting these 3 important outcomes: product knowledge enhancement and product market enlargement, user-friendliness & cost-effectiveness, and general level of computer literacy improvement.
DE: Any additional comments are welcome.
Dr.Explain has indeed provided some important solutions in writing software user guides and help documentation. Although I have never used another software User Guide writing application. I feel content that I have made the wise decision because Dr.Explain provides the solution I was looking for.
# # #
To learn more about Kumulsoft Software Solution and the Fixed Asset Management System (FAMS) and the Legal Practice Billing System (LPBS) please visit www.kumulsoft.com