Sage ERP Accpac 6 User Assistance
As Sage ERP Accpac makes its transition from being a traditional Windows desktop application to becoming a more modern Web based application, we are looking to greatly improve the User Assistance within the product. We are applying the principles of User Centered Design (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User-centered_design) to make the product far easier to use. As part of this we are adding all sorts of help and tips integrated right into the screens. For instance in the screen shot below of our Accounts Receivables – Days Receivables Outstanding snapshot, when the user hovers the mouse over the 181 days label, we popup a tooltip help box that describes what this number is and how it is calculated. This way the program is actively assisting you rather than passively waiting for you to hit the F1 key or go to the Help menu. The goal of the User Centered Design combined with this active User Assistance is that you should be able to do your work and understand what is going on without being required to go to a separate help page.
However, if you do need more detailed help or want to study the product in more detail, we have the new Accpac Learning Center. This is similar in concept to our existing Windows Help.
The new Learning Center improves on the existing help in a number of key manors. The new Learning Center is much more focused around helping you accomplish tasks rather provide an encyclopedic reference of every small field in the product. It still describes all the key fields in detail, but is more focused on providing information on the steps to accomplish tasks and providing troubleshooting tips.
The new Learning Center is fully web based like the rest of the product. The core content is installed on the customer’s web server along with the rest of the product. However the Learning Center seamlessly links to Accpac on-line content including the Knowledge Base, the Technical Support Center, User Community Forums, Blogs (like this one), Training Courses and Training Videos.
The Learning Center is available from the Help link at the top of the new Portal/Desktop. There are numerous “?” icons through the product that link you to the appropriate help pages. There is a new “Getting Started” snapshot that is included by default in each user’s home page as shown below.
The goal to the new help system isn’t just to help new users get up and running, but also to help experienced users be more productive by providing active tips and helping to assist users use some of the more advanced or infrequently used features in the system. Then to further connect people to the Accpac online community for a richer more social user experience.