Working in documentation can be a frustrating experience sometimes, for reasons you wouldn't really expect. I used to think that it would be hard to accept criticisms about our work. I envisioned customers coming in and pointing out all the flaws in work, and us having to scramble to address them.
It turns out that the reality is just a little bit different. You see, I sit here most days wanting solid feedback that I can act on. Where do the docs need work? What parts are confusing, and why? How are people looking for the info they need? If you answer those questions, I can do a better job of providing information that will actually help you.
But more often than not, what I really get from users is sweeping statements like, "The docs are horrible" or "You need to make section X better." Honestly, most times I'd love to make section X better, but I'm frequently left wondering what's actually wrong with section X in the first place. How did it fail you? Where are the problems? In your mind, what could be better?
So there's the dilemma. We want feedback, we welcome feedback, and we even go out of our way to seek feedback. But oftentimes that feedback doesn't really help us, because to take any kind of meaningful action we need the feedback to be specific. The best feedback points out specific issues, tells us where you got confused, or points us to something you think is better so that we can compare.
Not sure how to give us this kind of feedback? Take a look at the end of this post for some helpful hints, but my suggestion is to start with the product wikis. You can comment on specific articles to tell us what works and what doesn't, and you can even edit them yourself if you're so inclined. We'll roll those edits right into the product doc if they make sense to us.
So let me wrap this up with a simple plea: Help us help you. Please, make your feedback specific.
(Apologies to Jerry Maguire.)
- In a wiki, scroll to the bottom of an article to add a comment.
- In a product, use the Help menu to submit feedback.
start a discussion, find the right product forum.