Michigan UPA Sets Meeting On Effective Help Systems: The Michigan Usability Professionals Association will meet Wednesday, April 25 on the topic “Good Help Is Hard To Find: Considerations For Choosing And Implementing Effective Help Systems.” The event begins at 6 p.m. at Pure Visibility, 201 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. Usually the last system to be implemented, but many times the most important lifeline for the customer, is the software help system. Ideally, your software system is perfectly understandable and problem-free from lots of user testing and software iteration, but that’s usually not the case. Your customers may get frustrated and leave the site, and may even complain about their crappy experience to others. Providing your customers with effective Help is the last chance you have to turn a frustrating experience into a meaningful one. As a User Experience professional, what Help strategies should you consider? What content do you need? How do you find an appropriate Help Authoring Tool for your software product? There are many vendor systems out there that offer many features. What do you really need? Attendees will learn about help system considerations such as: how to connect the help system to your software, content management features, content strategy, localization, statistics, and more, which will assist you in finding a solution that helps your frustrated customers become happy customers. Presenter Elaine Meyer is a User Experience Specialist at ProQuest, an electronic and microfilm publisher in Ann Arbor. With more than four years experience managing, implementing, and producing content for user assistance systems, she has a good grasp on where and when users might need a little extra help. Elaine has implemented the ProQuest platform software user assistance (Help) system from its infancy, customized it to suit the platform, populated it with content, and localized that content into 18 other languages. Before her role at ProQuest, Elaine was an application engineer for a manufacturing company. In her role, she made it her mission to provide pertinent information for her customers 24 hours a day through implementing and populating content for an online FAQ user assistance system. Elaine earned her degree in human-computer interaction and Library and Information Services from the University of Michigan School of Information in 2009, and is an avid cyclist, dog walker and veggie enthusiast.


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