What if you could embed your documentation into your web map? What if you could provide your users with interactive tutorials that walk your user through the proper business steps? No more searching through documentation to find the steps on how to create a report or export data.
We’ve all been there. You receive a request to create a web map. It takes days, or weeks, creating map services, configuring up your web map, and documenting how to use it. You send it off to the department or team that requested it, and silence.
Very little feedback and hardly any usage. It’s frustrating. You wonder, why was it requested at all?
At geoWidgets, we feel your pain. We’ve identified some reasons why web maps go unused – typically:
We built geoSherpa to change all that. With geoSherpa, there’s no more searching for PDF documentation to find the steps on how to create a report or export data. Regardless of whether your web map is in Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS, Geocortex, or a custom HTML5 web map, we know that you already spent time creating documentation. So, how do you make it better?
In the steps below we’ll provide suggestions on how to empower your users to use your web maps effectively and keep coming back.
The first impression of your web map and documentation are the same as meeting someone new. As busy as we all are today, eight seconds is the length of time you have to create an indelible impression. If your users cannot understand your web map or get to the task they need to perform within eight seconds; you increase the chance they won’t use your new creation. Help them get to those tasks quickly!
People learn in all different styles. There is no “one size fits all” model here. Here are the common learning personas you may encounter:
A documentation and training program that encompasses all these learning styles is essential to unleash the full potential of your web map applications within your organization.
Meet your users by providing training in your web map. Keep them engaged and coming back!
By leveraging an in-app training technology, you support your users during their journey to point out new features, explain complex concepts or processes, or link to videos and FAQs, so you’re with them whenever they get stuck.
Your organization needs to take some level of ownership of the web map. That means it must serve a purpose, your user’s must feel comfortable using it, and they must want to use it.
Even the best training is ineffective if people don’t then go and apply what they’ve learned. It’s essential to continue training inside your web map application to help users use the web map efficiently, guide them to new functionality, or highlight how it helps simplify their day-to-day operations. If you can make people understand how the web map helps their business processes, they’ll often take it upon themselves to spread the word.
Digital Data Services, Inc., is a GIS consulting firm that utilizes the power of the Esri product suite to provide state-of-the-art desktop and web GIS solutions since 1998. Our staff provides implementation and customization solutions for Esri web GIS and Geocortex products. If you need assistance, we are here to help solve your web GIS challenges.