huh — making documentation easier

My current philosophy on support is it is something people should rarely need. If you have a large pile of support docs you are doing something wrong. When some documentation is necessary I think it’s unreasonable to ask your users to visit an external site. If they are using your product inside their WordPress dashboard you shouldn’t ask them to leave to get help.

I’m developing a few WordPress themes and while I’m working really hard to reduce the need for documentation a little bit will be needed. Over at my brother’s company (teelaunch) one of my first projects was getting rid of our external doc site. People didn’t know it was there and it didn’t get much use. So I added the documentation directly to our Shopify app with a little help from elevio. The usage of our docs increased dramatically, which in turn reduced our support load. I like elevio a lot but for my themes I didn’t need something that complex and I didn’t want to use a SASS service.

While I was fleshing out this concept I was contacted by Dan (one of my favorite people in the world). He was looking for a fun project and he know I always had ideas. I explained to Dan what I was looking for and a few day later it was done. It is so fun being able to take something from fuzzy idea to done in days (instead of months).

Fun Facts

  • I used the name huh as I’m really into short words lately and I also wanted something a bit fun. There is enough boring software on the net, I’m not going to add to it.
  • This was designed to be incredibly lean. SPP’s driving principle is simplicity. We worked really hard to distill this down to it’s base essence so we’re not likely to add any new features.
  • The widget is generated from a normal markdown file. I wanted to be able to to update it whenever I wanted so it needed to reference an external file. We used markdown as it’s a format that has a fixed structure that most developers are familiar with.
  • I was going to offer a way for people to easily change the color but instead decided to make the color scheme match whatever admin theme the user has selected. I really wanted huh to feel like a natural extension of WordPress. I know some people want everything to be branded for their company (you can still do that if you want) but I would rather it seemed like huh belonged in WordPress, even if people didn’t associate it with my brand.

If this sounds interesting to you check out huh on github.

Published by Nick

Nick is lucky enough to basically do whatever he wants in life and secret pizza party is a result of that.

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