In our recent webinar, Making Your Support Content Work Harder For You, experts Melissa Burch of Irrevo and David Kay of DB Kay & Associates covered a wealth of information on how to improve your knowledge base. One of the topics our audience wanted to hear more about was using images within support articles:
How many images should one support article include?
We find that it’s best to show one image per step along the process. It’s really hard to give a specific number, but if your audience can’t find what they’re looking for, inserting an image can make it easier. But using too many creates a maintenance challenge for your organization.
Adding images pushes the steps lower below the fold which we’re always concerned about. But that’s helpful guidance to me, when I change context when going to a different part of the screen. Then it makes sense to add an image there.
Should animated GIFs be used in support content?
From my perspective less is more. There are times for very high-value content that animations or videos are appropriate. We really want to restrict it to the highest value stuff just because of the difficulty of maintaining it. Everything we said about images goes double when it comes to animation or videos.
The challenge everyone is faced with fundamentally is maintenance of content. It’s easier to create it than it is to maintain it, so we want to make sure we’re building content that is valuable and provides the right amount of information yet is efficient to create and maintain. we want to make sure that we maintain this content. Anything that makes that more difficult, you will want to evaluate from the perspective of your organization. It doesn’t mean that it’s wrong necessarily for everybody, but it does require some acknowledgement of maintenance going forward.