Great software needs to be intuitive so that user manuals are not required. You have of course seen user manuals for dishwashers and washing machines because the hieroglyphics on them don’t make much sense, but have you ever used a manual for something intuitive, like for Windows, or Android, or iOS?
Still, business processes can get complex, so when they are implemented in Salesforce, users might need training or a user guide. They’re not just for users though; manuals are also needed for new admins and consultants who are taking handover of a project. Let’s take a closer look at that.
The Complications of User Manuals
We have all seen the problems of creating documents in the frequently changing Salesforce world – for example, colleagues working on old versions, and different versions getting passed around by email.
Documentation doesn’t have to be difficult to understand though, and there are many ways to automate the process to make it easier and less time consuming for you and your team.
Introduction to Scribehow.com
I am a fan of screenshots and avoiding tedious walls of text. In a scrolling page with screenshots, you can comfortably learn at your own pace, either slowly or quickly.
Scribehow.com is a Google Chrome extension which makes the whole process automatic – taking screenshots, pasting them, and writing descriptions of where to click and what to type.
Without further ado, let’s start.
Let’s quickly switch browsers to Google Chrome and then head over to Scribehow.com to sign up…
…and install their Google Chrome extension. Click the extension, log in, and start using.
Start the Recording, and Action!
Let’s take one of the simplest tasks in Salesforce: creating an account record and a related contact.
Before logging into Salesforce, click the Scribe recording button:
Notice that the recording has started (not that you would miss the message).
After that, log into Salesforce. You should notice the pulsating red indicator at the bottom-left, indicating recording-in-progress.
Generating a Fully Automatic User Guide
After logging in, with the recording still in progress, create an account as usual, and fill in the account details.
Next, create a related contact:
Fill in the account details.
Note: Notice that the pulsating red indicator at the bottom-left has been present all the way until now.
Now, let’s open the account record. View the contact record and, lastly, hover over the recording button on the bottom-left.
Click to open the recording controls, and end the recording.
And voilà, a new tab automatically opens with a user guide automatically created!
Pretty much every click, every keypress, and every screenshot is automatically logged and captured. Descriptions are also automatically provided.
Editing and Sharing the Generated Documentation
You can create, edit, delete, and merge steps before sharing the link with your users. The ability to add tips, alerts, and GIFs to highlight important steps to readers is also nice:
Using the Guide in a Pop-Up Window
After completing your edits, click on the Done Editing button and the Share button:
A nice bonus allows end-users to scroll through the Scribe in a sidebar while creating the account and contact record.
Users simply need to go to the same website, click on the Scribe extension icon, and then the Recommended Scribes button:
Choose the Create an Account & Contact Scribe…
…and follow along in the pop-up sidebar.
So now you know how Scribehow.com works for Salesforce, but it is not just for Salesforce, it works for all websites!
As with any new software, do take permission from your manager or client before use, and be careful not to show sensitive data in the Scribe screenshots. If you make a mistake while recording a lengthy user guide, keep going and delete the extra steps later; instead of starting all over again.
Last but not least, you can edit the Scribe anytime and still be sure that its viewers are always reading the latest copy. Neat!