Visual Help for SharePoint

Visual Help for SharePoint

Free tool offers users help where they need it

Given the cost of implementing SharePoint, organizations are surprised and concerned when users don’t adopt it. Or when they don’t use it fully. “As more metrics come out, it’s ridiculous how little of SharePoint’s functionality is being used,” says SharePoint expert and trainer Asif Rehmani.

Office 365 users face challenges as well. In Microsoft’s hurry to add new features day, the interface will suddenly change, with no notice or explanation. “People need to understand what they’re looking at, how things are changing,” Rehmani says.

To help organizations get more out of their investments in SharePoint, Rehmani today announced the free version of his company’s inline visual Help tool, VisualSP Lite.

VisualSP Lite focuses on enhancing SharePoint and Office 365 adoption by offering a context-sensitive Help tab that offers exactly the information users need, when they need it. This is not the information dump Microsoft provides in SharePoint Help, however.

With Visual SP Lite, information is targeted to the tasks a user would do in that context. Short videos, documents, or images explain what the user needs to do to complete a particular task.

Wherever a user goes, the Help tab goes with them. The videos are two minutes or less, Rehmani says, to meet user needs. Users can watch inline to find out how to do a task or pop out a video and watch it separately.

VisualSP Lite is the free version of Rehmani’s VisualSP tool, which is currently in version 4.6. With VisualSP, organizations get the ability to customize the videos or other information that appears on the user’s screen.  

When he first created VisualSP, Rehmani approached Microsoft about his idea. Everyone there gave him the same answer, he said: “Users have all the help they need.”

But Rehmani knew users’ challenges from having trained them--“You’re not going to dig through the massive lists of Microsoft content to figure out what you need. That’s when I went to users themselves and experts.”

Rehmani collaborated with fellow MVPs and other SharePoint experts and drew on his expertise as a trainer of end users, to determine where to put Help and what to include. VisualSP is in use by major enterprise users such as Sony and John Deere. Rehmani uses customer feedback to continually add to and improve VisualSP.

Rehmani has a white paper that  discusses SharePoint adoption.

The free version, VisualSP Lite, and the paid version, VisualSP, are compatible with SharePoint 2013, SharePoint 2010, and Office 365.

To learn more, see the VisualSP website.

TAGS: Office 365
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