How to guides

How we do things. From help articles to sandwiches

How to write a help article

There’s a lot more to it than you might think. But our articles are based around these four key rules:

  1. Keep it short
  2. Focus on the problem
  3. Stick to one point
  4. Sound like giffgaff

What do these mean in practice though? Well let’s go through them a bit.

1. Keep it short

It makes it easier for people to find what they need. We’ve tested this, others have tested this, it’s proven. Even if the information is there, the simple fact that members (particularly on mobile screens) see a big block of text puts them off. They can’t find the help they need. So keep it short.

2. Focus on the problem

This is key. Someone looking for help isn’t going to know what solution to search for. They only know the problem that they have. For example, an article shouldn’t be titled, “SIM swap”. You should write articles based on the problem that members are having. Try, “I need a different size SIM”, or “My SIM is broken”. Even if it means you write more articles, you end up with a much better focus on members’ actual problems.

3. Stick to one problem

This is closely related to the number 1. If you stick to one point, it’s a lot easier to keep it short. It should be one problem, with one solution. No articles should have broad titles like “Plans and credit” with multiple subheadings.

When you search for something, the title of the article should tell what’s in the article. And it should be specific to the problem. If there are related problems that members might be having, then pop those under “Related articles” at the bottom. Make sure to keep this list to a maximum of three.

4. Sound like giffgaff

This can be the hardest one. Remember that when you’re writing a help article, you’re writing with our voice. You represent our brand. And it needs to be consistent. Not sure what that means? Think about how you’d explain something to a friend over a coffee or in the pub. Keep it friendly and informal. Have a read of our some of our other short articles if you need some inspiration. We don’t do corporate, formal language. We’re relaxed, we use British English (not American) and we’re friendly.

How to make a sandwich

  1. Take two equal sized pieces of bread
  2. Butter one side of one of the pieces of bread
  3. Put your chosen filling on the other piece of bread
  4. Put the two pieces of bread together with the butter side facing the side on the other piece with the sandwich filling