With this release we’ve redesigned the Xero Help Centre. It’s all the same content, just presented in a much improved way.
Here’s my very first Xero video to give you a tour of our super cool new Help Centre.
The previous design has been around since December 2007 when we essentially bolted a web homepage on to content that used to be written and managed as a Word document, but now that we have help for 4 regions and different types of help it was time to grow the design and make the content more accessible and obvious. Here it is – and still very orange – yaaay!
You’ll see that all the same content is still there – the full user guide, a series of short process-oriented ‘How do I?’ guides, some guides for using Xero in your business, the list of popular help pages visited each week and the search. You still get to Help Centre by selecting ‘Show help for this page’ or ‘Go to the Help Centre’ from the Help menu inside Xero or going directly to the Help Centre using http://help.xero.comHere are the main ways the content is presented differently in the new design:
- The full contents of the User Guide is available down the left-hand side at all times and you can use the familiar ‘+’ and ‘-‘ buttons to expand and collapse this ‘index’. This is a great new feature because it gives you context and exposes all the other help available for the topic. It was often reported to me that when ‘Show help for this page’ was used from within Xero, that people didn’t realise there was a whole other world of help and potentially more pages of help related to the current screen than the help page being viewed. Now, the help page you’re on is highlighted in the index and you can see other related pages around it. You can use the little ‘expand all’ and ‘collapse all’ buttons above the index to open or close all pages. The Xero Help Centre logo will always take you back to the Xero Help Centre homepage.
- The main Help Centre homepage is now arranged in a ‘browse’ style where you can easily see some main topics for using Xero and when you go into each topic I’ve highlighted some of the main or most commonly used help pages, videos and guides for that topic. The topics loosely follow the sections of Xero and the tasks you might perform and cover things like setting up, banking, invoicing, reporting, tax and involving your accountant.
- Each Help Centre page opens in a new tab and you can go back and forward between them for reference. You can use the little ‘pages’ button on the far right to close or show all tabs if you end up with a lot of tabs open, or the arrows to scroll through the tabs.
- We’ve smartened up the search by building our own and it now recognises the region in Xero terms that you’re from (i.e. New Zealand, United Kingdom, Australia or ‘global’) and will give you search results relevant to that region e.g. GST Return or VAT Return. The recognition of your region has also allowed us to deliver content to the global audience using American spelling – thanks to all who wrote in to report the incorrect spelling of ‘organisation’, for you it will now show as ‘organization’ 🙂 We’ve also hooked the Help Centre search up to Xero itself – enter your query into the search box on the Help menu.
- The main left-hand index and homepage browsing topics will remain fairly static so that they become familiar to you so you get to know where to go quickly when you want to look something up. However, on the right-hand side of the homepage is an area that I’ll change quite frequently to show things like most used pages, recently updated pages, quick tips or showcased feature and common questions.
I hope these changes do make the full content of Help Centre more accessible, and as always if you can’t find what you’re looking for or it doesn’t quite help you with your situation you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let me know what you think!