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Get to your answer faster with new Xero Central

Posted 3 months ago in Product by Nigel Piper
Posted by Nigel Piper

We’ve been working hard behind the scenes on some great improvements to our help centre. We know thousands of you check the online help pages every day. So we know that finding a quick answer is super important to getting you back on track with the work you’re doing.

So we’re really excited to share the faster, more intuitive Xero Central with you. We’ve gone further than just tweaking and improving features – we took it apart and rebuilt it entirely. We’ve utilised machine learning to find efficiencies – the result is a new, #beautiful Xero Central with a turbocharged search engine. It will learn from the thousands of questions asked each day to continuously improve the answers it returns. It has been designed from the ground up to learn which questions are commonly asked, and to start proactively suggesting answers. Just start typing your question, and you’ll see search suggestions and popular answers appearing below.

It’s available right now – jump on to central.xero.com and check out the simpler design and faster search experience yourself. Or check this quick summary of the essential key features of Xero Central.

The benefits

Xero Central brings together all the types of help files Xero has. So you get the answers you need in one place, at your fingertips.

If you’re one of our accounting or bookkeeper partners there’s now just one place you need to go for all your help content.  The separate Business Help and Practice Help Centre have been combined into central.xero.com, to help speed up your search. Answers are also available from two sources on the same page. If you’re browsing through results you can view both small business topics, and partner help topics, using the “Xero articles” and “practice articles” tabs.

As always, our award-winning support team are here to help too. If you don’t find what you’re looking for in Xero Central just reach out using the “Get in Touch” button at the bottom of each article.

Keep an eye out for more news on Xero Central. We’ve been working on some more enhancements and exciting new features that will be coming your way soon.

We’d love to hear your feedback, so please drop us a comment below. Let us know how you’ve found the new experience!

9 comments

Ed Henry
May 14, 2018 at 6.27 pm

Had to use Help this morning for a client issue and the Search was super fast and they machine learning obvious from the structure. This update has taken a great Help resource and thrown it headfirst into a 21st century technology driven super resource

Nigel Piper in reply to Ed Henry
May 18, 2018 at 12.27 pm

Thanks for the feedback Ed. Glad you like it.

Allan Fefergrad
May 15, 2018 at 5.48 am

I found the old help centre to be excellent. I don’t understand why this change has been implemented. It seems to be more of an inconvenience if anything.

Nigel Piper in reply to Allan Fefergrad
May 18, 2018 at 12.30 pm

Thanks for you feedback Allan – we’re always trying to improve the customer experience and releasing Xero Central is just the first step in many more improvements to come in this space. Searching your questions really is the best way to get answers. We’ve vastly improved the search engine under the hood and it will continue to learn over time, and wiIl start to become more personalised to you.

Nathan Major
May 31, 2018 at 11.07 am

I’m with Allan. You could already search and an improved search engine “under the hood” shouldn’t need to impact interface. My clients are finding it confusing and several help articles that used to be present (and probably are hidden somewhere) no longer link correctly, impeding my capacity to assist them.

Upgrade the search engine by all means, but please stop with the unnecessary cosmetic changes. Surely that effort is better directed elsewhere.

Nigel Piper in reply to Nathan Major
June 6, 2018 at 7.48 am

Thanks for passing on the feedback Nathan. Not only has the search engine been upgraded, we’ve also tried to ensure easier navigation with a simpler search driven experience and a clean Topics list. Extensive user testing helped direct this change, but we are keeping an eye on feedback like this.

With regards to some articles not linking correctly, we do have redirects in place, so users trying to access an old Help Centre link are taken to the most relevant page on Xero Central, where possible. Most content has been moved as is, but in some instances we have made changes to fit with the format of Xero Central which means a direct 1:1 relationship between pages in the old Help Centre to Xero Central wasn’t always possible for redirects. The team thought they had got every link working – if you have examples of one not, I’d really like know at nigel.piper@xero.com

Charles Klvana
May 15, 2018 at 1.10 pm

Hi guys, this looks like it will get great. Right now it seems to search for articles/help notes even with just an “a” in the search term or “to a”. Eg; https://central.xero.com/s/global-search/%40uri#q=how%20to%20do%20a%20backpay highlights articles/support notes with “a” in them and “to a” in them? Normally want to filter out search terms like “a” and “do a”?

Nigel Piper in reply to Charles Klvana
May 18, 2018 at 12.36 pm

Thanks Charles. Good feedback. The search returns may highlight the ‘stop words’ like a, the, and to, but the actual search behind Xero Central doesn’t use the stop words. We’d like people to just ask a question as they naturally would – the machine will do the rest.

Wen
May 23, 2018 at 6.38 pm

while I can appreciate the effort and intention and while I find the new system looks cleaner and less cluttered on the page, I don’t find there is as much information available when you do a search function. We were in the middle of a Xero Payroll establishment project and had a document with links to the information we referenced and those links are no longer relevant. We were looking for salary sacrifice deductions and all we got was a page that mentioned “deduction”, no instruction on how to enter it, the pros, cons, etc. We then used the “contact/ask us” button to then receive a completely irrelevant response. There is also no direct link to “community” where you could sometimes pick up extra tips from other users. Unfortunately in our recent case, we had to contact another organisation who we were put in contact with by our accountant that uses Xero. Their help has been far more useful and I’m not likely to refer to central for much at all.

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