Google Play Movies & TV Ops
Content strategy and technical writing for Google Play’s partners and customer service online help resource.
Making help more helpful
Google Play Movies & TV Operations needed to streamline, update, and gain better control of their Partner-facing and Customer Service help centres to improve the user experience for everyone.
The first step was to do a complete audit of the current content set, and look at the basic page analytics in order to understand the scope of the project and identify content that was obsolete and/or largely ignored. Between the Internal (IHC) and External (EHC) Help Centres, there were 375 discrete articles, some of which hadn’t been updated since 2015. The initial assessment suggested that at least 25% of those articles could be unpublished right out of the gate. The existing structure of both help centres were based on a now out-of-date team structure, and included dozens of duplicate articles, bloating the menu and making browsing a painful experience.
User Research and Interviews
Working with the Senior-level customer service operators and their Team Leads, I led discussions and interviews to learn not only which articles they relied on the most, but where they felt the gaps were, as well as other pain points and issues they had with the help centres in general. The most important take-away from this exercise was that operators searched for content, rather than browsed, and relied heavily on tribal knowledge and their own personal “cheat-sheets” to solve current problems because the content was so outdated. We also sent a list of articles to external clients for their feedback on the content, which led to some previously unknown insights, and identified some important gaps and errors in processes.
Chasing Down the Experts
By far the most difficult part was identifying the Googler Subject Matter Experts, then getting them to sit still long enough to help determine what content should be kept, updated, or removed. We tackled the EHC first, both because it was a smaller content set, but also to encourage Partners and Post-houses to be more self-sufficient as quickly as possible, to help alleviate the operators’ workload. Once the EHC was updated and a new structure published, I repeated the exercise with the IHC.
Plan for the future
In addition to actively streamlining and organizing the content, I have created a style guide, checklists, and a governance plan in the hope that it will allow for effortless maintenance of the content, moving forward, and to allow that burden to be shared more easily. I’ve also created space to include training materials and metrics, which will give the team an opportunity to put a lot of currently disparate content in one easily-accessible location.
Over 30% of the total number of articles were unpublished, leaving a more manageable content set with no duplication, and fully half of the remaining articles were updated to reflect current processes, procedures, and tools. The EHC was reorganized to reflect the workflow that Partners and Post-houses experience from content delivery through to marketing and promotions; this included a new section managed by the merchandising team, allowing both a more robust resource for partners as well as cross-team collaboration between business development, merchandising, and operations. The IHC was also reorganized to follow the content lifecycle more closely, removing redundancy, reducing taxonomy levels to no more than two, and aligning with the media-agnostic, tiered structure recently adopted by the team. This has resulted in increased efficiency, and a better awareness of the catalog as a whole.
An unexpected benefit is that operators seem more invested in the content they’re using every day, and now feel empowered to provide regular feedback to the Help Center manager to keep things current and in line with accepted practice. Also, Google team members now view this previously cumbersome collection as a useful resource, and are identifying more ways to use it to benefit the overall offering.