To help a Helpdesk application — a UX Case Study
With the incursion of the computer age in this era , we have set ourselves on path forth of digital experiences . We were made to realize that we are have to consider the actual entity in the any product creation i.e. THE USER . We have to consider all the three level of design while we present ourselves to a problem rather than just solutioning .
In this article we would be taking onwards the system design of Online Help Systems which are crucial in utilization of computing resources . These help systems being consistently in touch with the users and their day-to-day problems offers an opportunity to bridge this gap between the user’s need for simplicity and the complexity offered by the Software , providing vital information with very specific context of user’s lack of adeptness and familiarity at a particular task or concept.
Approach ( Identification)
We will be starting with a mix of the Literature Review and going through online social forums as our basis for initial problem statement research to come up with a hypothesis which would be tested on iteratively.
Based on our initial research we have identified the basis of a high quality online help systems as characterized by:
- constant availability: help should available at all times;
- consistent user interface: access to and presentation of help information should be the same throughout the system;
- completeness: all aspects in every detail should be covered, without loose ends;
- context sensitivity: help obtained should be targeted to the user’s specific context;
- adaptability: help should be customized to the user’s preference (O’Malley et al., 1983; Orwick et al., 1986)
- user group is located in a relatively centralized community: onsite employees or in the same vicinity ;
- help is required for a diverse range of software, hardware, and applications;
- help should be more task-sensitive and time critical: for example, an onsite employee may be closing a financial agreement and stuck on the very last action of printing the agreement ; .
- some confidential information is involved: such as social security number and financial turnover numbers of a ;
- high stress of concurrency and seasonal periodicity of access stress: for example, a final week of financial year ending should have much higher volume than does a winter break.
John is ACME financial consultant, and he is using a company Windows 10 laptop. One morning, John realized that he is not able to open a PowerPoint presentation on his computer. He sends an email to ACME Help Desk. After just a couple of minutes, John receives a reply from Adam, a ACME Help Desk agent. John is not completely sure if he understands the resolution outlined in that email, so he picks up the phone and calls Adam to further clarify on next steps. After Adam successfully guided John to resolve the issue, they both now consider the case to be closed and they wish each other a good and productive work-day.
Key Use Cases
We would be taking the task flows of the two entities involved here i.e. Employee(John) and Helpdesk Agent(Adam) to understand and impart the design thinking into easing the process.
For Employee :
- Create a Support Ticket :
- Go to Helpdesk web application and Create a New Ticket.
- Choose your Department and Role along with the Employee ID.
To filter the range of software/hardware/applications used , business precedent and criticality , avoid any breach in confidential information.
- Select the Category of the ticket (Software /Hardware / Application) .
- (For Example: Software) Select the Software to which is the issue is related.
- If the issue is already present in the Commonly Faced Issues List, then select the issue from the issue list ; if not create a new issue with uploading supporting document/screenshot/video(optional) while agreeing to the Terms and Conditions.
- If the issue is from the commonly faced issues list , User will be presented with a brief summary and steps to solve the same but if not happy with the solution ; a user can create a fresh new ticket to with uploading supporting document/screenshot/video(optional) while agreeing to the Terms and Conditions.
- User is provided with a unique Ticket ID for future reference.
2. Track an Existing Ticket:
- Go to Helpdesk web application and Track an existing Ticket.
- Search via Ticket ID or Employee ID and Ticket Status.
- User Views the Ticket Audit Trail and if any textual resolution are provided by the Helpdesk Agent with supporting help documents.
- User have option to re-open the ticket and accept the resolution and rate the resolution.
For Helpdesk Agent :
- Resolve a Support Ticket :
- Login to Helpdesk Application.
- On the dashboard under different categories , user chooses to see the tickets assigned .
- User chooses a ticket and views the details .
- User can either contact the employee who have raised and give resolution online or can provide a Textual Resolution with supporting help documents and mark the ticket as “Resolved”.
- While marking the ticket as “Resolved” , the user have to select the channel of communication used to resolve the ticket.
In this exercise we examined the online help system in a specific domain of the above mentioned scenario for a financial firm setup . Through our literature review and examination of organizational and human behavioral issues for different kind of help systems available currently we present our solution. Since the foundation of our research was quite focused on “what users really want” into depicting specific design implications so forth. The constructive thoughts include developing more time-critical and task-sensitive online help, merging CMC approaches, and customizing online help in terms of different user groups, and so forth.
Running Prototype- Overflow:
- O’Malley, C., Smolensky, P., Bannon, L., Conway, E., Graham, J., Sokolov, J. and Monty, M.L. (1983), “A proposal for user centered system documentation”, Proceedings of the CHI’83 Conference: Human Factors in Computing Systems, ACM Press, New York, NY, pp. 282–5.