I have never used ZenDesk as an admin/owner, so I have no idea if this is even possible. But first and foremost, the platform should be able to make an educated guess on the reason or end-goal of the user that just landed.
Organic search → KeepKey troubleshooting article → This user is obviously a KK user having issues.
Direct visit → Colony Onboarding Documents → This user is probably an active member of the DAO and is having problems with Colony or forgot some steps and is looking for answers without bothering anyone.
YouTube Referral → Airdrop Related Article → This user is probably a cryptohead that stumbled across a video about ShapeShift and/or DeFi and is interested in learning more.
Depending on this educated deduction, ideally, the page they landed on and the secondary information on sidebars or footers, etc. should be different depending on their need and reason for the visit. Because no one goes to an organization’s Zendesk simply for fun. This would allow for much better bounce rates, user retention, page engagement, active page reading time, etc which would give significant boosts in SEO. But that’s secondary – the main goal is to turn this visitor into a long term member of the DAO, a satisfied customer, a newbie who learned something new and shares with his circle of friends, a potential future leader in the DAO.
These are similar to methods used by megacorps like Instagram and Twitter, but in our case, it’d be used for a good cause, whether it be helping a customer or educating a newcomer – and without user identifiable data collection. I’m not sure how the community feels about anonymous fingerprinting (the whole analytics & privacy debate was a real eye-opener), but imo if it is truly anonymous, used responsibly, and under the DAO’s control to be used for well-intentioned purposes, how could anyone in marketing, products, information, and related workstreams be against it?
Sorry, was getting a bit off topic there. But anyways, this would be a huge project and is venturing into the AI/ML field, which of course, is not always easy. And I’m pretty sure that at the moment everyone would call me crazy for even suggesting such an idea.
So, we can dumbify it with simple algorithms! Or even better - by designing a proper, standardized categorization spec of the articles, tags, and perhaps even open source context-based search engines. Use tried-and-true user flow communication/information and knowledge-based strategies.
Let’s take a look at the homepage. The most important page, if you’re coming to look for answers through a non-organic route. The five main buttons are great… if ShapeShift provided one service.
But let’s say you bought a KeepKey, you knew ShapeShift was the owner, so you went to the ShapeShift site and found the Zendesk link. Then you end up here. I have a KeeyKey, but whenever I try to use it on the ShapeShift platform, it won’t connect to my account. I need troubleshooting help. Should be easy to find…
- “Trading Buying Crypto” – yes, I’m having trouble buying crypto into my KK! Is this the correct section?
- “Wallets” – hold on, this is a HD wallet, so maybe this would be the more proper section.
- “Accounts” – Yes! My account won’t connect with my KK. Perhaps the answer is in here!
As you can see (hopefully - maybe I’m just an overthinker haha), a user can quickly be overwhelmed with this structure. There is no clear, defined flow of information for the user to follow. The previous AI/ML based solution is obviously overkill for the DAO (although it is the future for all KB systems!), but it shouldn’t be hard to create an information flow.
- Where did the user come from?
- What page or article did he/she land on first?
- Is the user here for technical support, DeFi questions, or DAO-related stuff (which btw, I strongly believe that DAO-based questions should not use Zendesk as the primary information source… different post for another time).
- Which articles/pages (if any), do users click on the most after reading this page? It could give clues to as why he/she is here and if he/she left satisfied.
Based on these (example off the top of my head) parameters and metrics, deductive reasoning could be used to provide a “flow” of information unique to users of similar behaviors. (with AI, information flows unique to individual users can be made, but then again, sometimes KISS is the best method).
Re-organization that can be easily and quickly implemented without having to touch any algorithm or datasets for ML, or anything new actually.
Stop presenting the users with very broad terms that can be applied to several SS services/products. Make it super simple for the user to find the information they came looking for. “Wallets” – that can easily be applied to the ShapeShift Platform, KeepKey, the airdrop, Portis, and DeFi.
Instead, organize the main documents directory into separate SS products and services. (ShapeShift Platform, KeepKey, CoinCap, the DAO, Airdrops, etc). Then go into more specifics. At the moment, it goes in the opposite direction (most parts, at least… there’s not much consistency, so I can’t say for certain). Status quo:
- Wallet → Specific Service/Product (or FAQ… FAQ about what?) → Specific Articles
- Accounts → Specific Articles (Wait, is the user here for question regarding their ShapeShift Platform account, cause they can’t log in to the mobile app, are having Portis problems, or did their Discord account get banned for no apparent reason by a bot (yes, this happened to me before and I lost a lot of info… love you GK, but sometimes robocop can be scary)
Going from broad → specific → even more specific can be good for some, but it’s definitely not the best in ShapeShift’s use case. Instead, my opinion and past observances allow me to confidently say that guiding information is much easier going the opposite route, Specific Service → Broader Category → Specific Topic. Yes, that creates a lot more categories and is annoying to set up, but it is much more effective. It doesn’t matter if we have 10 FAQ’s in 10 different sections, because the users already know why he/she is at the Zendesk, and has an end-goal in mind (or rather, a question or curiosity in mind they want answered).
I would structure it in this way:
- ShapeShift Platform
- Getting Started
- KeeyKey HD Wallet
- Getting Started
- Technical Specs
- Getting Started
(Notice how some sub-categories are unique to certain topics, and how some are re-occurring – Yes, it’s a lot of extra work to create 10 different FAQs for different services and products and events, but if it helped the user flow in finding what they came for, it was all worth it, right? )
Anyways, it’s past 4 AM and I tried to jot down these thoughts I have been mulling over as best as I could. Sorry if some parts are completely incomprehensible. I’ll try to explain better, just let me know! But yeah, obviously I am not a fan of ZenDesk for various reasons, but there must be a reason why after a more than a decade ZenDesk is still the world’s most popular KB and helpdesk amongst enterprises. In ShapeShift’s case, because we are not like a conventional DAO with completely decentralized DeFi offerings but offer actual products from physical to technical, I can’t blame centralized ShapeShift for using Zendesk, and I am not opposed to continue to be using it… for the most part.
That being said (whoah, this post ended up a lot longer than originally planned), I think that alternative options are something definitely worth looking into for certain aspects of the DAO information flow. Yes, that causes information fragmentation, which is the opposite of what our workstream was created for, and is also why for months now I have been ideating ways to slowly get ShapeShift off Zendesk and into a more suitable KB for a DAO (which in most cases is very easy, since most DAOs simply need a gitbook or something similar), but I understand that in ShapeShift’s case it is very different as the need for live support and ticketing is there. This is also another reason why I am spending a lot of time trying to allow the DAO to use the familiar services, and in the background quietly implementing synchronization into a unified repository – which our translators have just begun to test and use.
ShapeShift has a long-held reputation for leading the way in innovation and I will continue to attempt and work with the I&G workstream to uphold that reputation by setting an example for future DAOs and make available tools for a knowledgebase/repo and translation management platform suited for Web3. But until that’s completely ready for show and tell, feel free to ping me regarding other problematic areas of the current information flow. And having recently come from a data/ML/cysec/platform-dev field, I most likely definitely am biased. So, disclaimer: I may be spewing bs so please correct me on wrong ideas/assumptions!