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This article is from Daniel Mooney (@danielpeam in the chatroom) and it originally appeared on Medium.

{Time to internal launch — June 19th. Currently on schedule, as we’ve just completed our initial planning meeting}

At Redgate, we’ve decided to revamp our Help Centre. This project involves a lot of people from across the organization, and there are many decisions to be made along the way. We wanted to document our process for you, as there isn’t that much information about great Help Centre creation on the internet. Even though it’s something that every online business does, there’s no cookie cutter system to success. We’re keeping notes of our every decision, meeting and step forward so that we can share the parts that went well, and the mistakes we’ve made. Hindsight is 20/20, and we hope this will help other support people in their endeavours to make better Help Centres.

Why a new Help Centre?

Our current support page was hurriedly put in place when the team transitioned to Zendesk, but is no longer suitable for our team nor our customers needs. Stylistically, it does not fit with the rest of the Redgate brand and it is simply acting as a landing page for customers to contact support or view the forums and documentation (Both managed by separate functions within Redgate).

One of the initial objectives is to create a help centre which is in line with the Redgate brand. The Help Centre is one of the main interaction points with our current customers, so we need to make sure branding is consistent across all our sites.

The second objective to create a more dynamic content hub. We want a location that Redgate support engineers can populate with documentation aimed at resolving issues and sharing tips, tricks both internally and with customers. We ultimately want to include support videos, livechat, blogs, documentation and explore the possibility of incorporating the Redgate forums within the Help Centre. All of this content will be generated with the help of our support engineers, who are on the front lines dealing with our customers issues!

Who’s involved?

One of our most important decisions was determining who needed to be involved. We wanted to make sure that we had all the stakeholders included, but not so many chefs in the kitchen that progress would be hindered by it.

In the end we decided to choose two people from each office (US/UK) and to delegate out tasks based on their skills and interests. For the majority of tasks we will need to collaborate with teams from around Redgate who specialise in specific areas. We also have a Project Manager from Redgate advising us and ensuring we plan and execute the project effectively.

What does success look like?

At the start of all projects, its essential to put into words what the end goal is. This helps us look back and evaluate what we could do differently next time.

Our plan is to launch internally by mid June, and begin the process of adding more content with the help of support engineers soon after.

Success criteria:

  • Help Centre launched externally
  • Branding is consistent across all Redgate sites
  • Sections have been created for various content
  • Support engineers are contributing one piece of content each week
  • Existing support documentation now has a home

Next steps

  1. Design — we have a lot of content to fit in. We need to talk more about what this looks like for the user
  2. Content — as part of this project, we’ll be creating a process for support engineers to create their own content
  3. Integrations — we want to look at integrating account information and the forum into our Help Centre. It should be a one stop shop for our customers

We’ll be following up after our next meeting with what we’ve accomplished, and any further decisions made!