Let's Talk Docs
In this post, I will try to make a somewhat uninteresting topic, documentation, interesting. Over the last year, the Beaver Builder Knowledge Base has seen well over half a million visitors!
In our early years, documentation was a thorn in our sides. None of us particularly enjoyed writing it, and it always needed to be updated and amended. Yet, thorough and thoughtful documentation was extremely helpful for our users.
If you've ever browsed or benefited from Beaver Builder's Knowledge Base, you have one person to thank, Nancy Hildebrandt. Nancy joined the Beaver Builder team almost two years ago as our technical writer, information architect, and documentation extraordinaire! Nancy has a formal education and extensive career in information architecture, and she graciously contacted us with a proposal to overhaul and improve our documentation.
Nancy joined our good friend Joe Casabona on the How I Built It Podcast to discuss the strategy and approach to how she revamped and overhauled our documentation. I found the discussion wildly interesting and entertaining, so I wanted to share it here. One of my favorite sound bites from the show (paraphrased) is something like this:
When you buy a new car, you shouldn't need to read the owner's manual before driving it off the lot. But, if you find yourself on the side of the road with a flat tire, you'd better be able to learn how to fix it using the owners manual.
This is a great analogy for a software products’ technical documentation! Not only does Nancy share her story and approach to working on Beaver Builder's Knowledge Base, but she also provides helpful tips for other product creators—particularly smaller teams that may not have the resources to work with a dedicated writer.