How to Write New Articles for Help Center

Help Center is QuickSchools' living, breathing, comprehensive support documentation site. The goal is provide a quick and easy way for users to jump to informative articles about a question they may have. To achieve this, we'll need a fairly standardized article format so that folks can be familiar and comfortable with our writing. Here are some guidelines on how to achieve that. 

Keep it Short - Articles should be less than 400 words - we want these to be quick and simple. Depth is not the most critical thing (that's where chat comes in), but rather we can to give folks the info to sort out their questions or know how to contact us with follow up questions.

Informal Tone - We want support to feel approachable - both in chat and in our written content. Please refrain from slang, as this varies by region, but do be encouraging and positive. Our audience is primarily teachers and school officials - imagine you're talking to them while kids run around in the background. 

Use Screenshots - Whenever there is any question about where to find something on the screen, use a screenshot. Feel free to mark it up with Evernote, Preview, Paint, or another software to highlight certain areas.

Write Accessibly - Whenever you include a screenshot, also include text that describes the screen and where the options are - anyone who is using a screenreader or has a hard time seeing your screenshot's details will needed additional information. Also, do not rely only on using colors for cues - please include location as well. For someone who doesn't see colors the same as you, something like "click the first green button" is far less helpful than "click the first green button on the far left at the top of the screen that says '+ Add Student'". It's ok to discuss colors, but be sure to be precise enough that someone without this info can still follow along.

Tag ArticlesAlways tag articles with the appropriate tags. Check here for details on this.

Do not Duplicate Articles - Before writing, search to see if someone has already written on the same topic. 

Use your Experience from Support - Write articles based on commonly asked questions, clarify common mistakes, give directions as though you're chatting with someone who wants to follow along, but hasn't been to this screen yet. Be compassionate :) 

Post to the Correct Section - Post public/district school information to the sections within the Public Schools category, and Private School information within the sections within the Private Schools category. When there is an overlap (there often is), consider which audience will use this feature more and link it there. If its exactly split (example: Gradebook), err on the side of the Private Schools. Instructions for Apps can go in the Apps category's sections.

Of course - if you have any questions, do feel free to HipChat any time :D 


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