Change is good

Today we are rewriting our top 5 articles to make them more helpful.

SUMO has 5 million visitors every week. That’s a lot of people who hopefully are happy Firefox users again after leaving our site. And while we have hundreds of articles for almost any issue, the top 20 articles do account for almost 50% of all traffic to the Knowledge Base. That means we need to make sure those articles  are as easy to understand and as helpful as possible. Today we are starting a test with the top 5 articles. Our awesome tech editor, Michael Verdi, just rewrote those articles to make sure that more people get help directly with the articles so less people need to ask in the forums or leave without getting the needed help.

In Michael’s own words:

There is a lot of information out there on the kinds of things that make technical writing engaging and effective. Much of it has been popularized by Kathy Sierra on her blog, Creating Passionate Users and put into practice in the Head First book series that she created for O’Reilly. I think many (but not all) of these techniques apply to the kinds of things we write for the knowledge base and I’m attempting to work out how we can use them to make our articles more helpful. Hopefully this will result in more people getting their questions and problems taken care of in the Knowledge Base without having to go to the Support Forums or Live Chat.

If the new versions of the articles turn out to be more helpful than the old ones, we will keep updating more articles on SUMO in the future. If not, we’ll revert back to the old versions to avoid unnecessary localization work. So if you are a localizer you can just wait for the outcome of the test before you start rewriting your aricles. But to be honest: We are pretty confident that Michael’s work is going to help a lot more users ;) And of course you can rewrite your articles and test them as well. Our poll data article explains how.