Technical Documentation Specialist & Help Center Training

This article provides an analysis and evaluation of present and future outlooks for the technical documentation specialist position. This consulting project included two real-life training sessions to introduce newly hired Help Desk and IT staff to technical writing, professional correspondence, web content and development processes.


What is the Help Center?

The Help Center is an online archive database where students, faculty and staff can search to answer questions or build their own FAQ pages. The Help Center is also where support tickets are submitted. The Help Center URL is /help/.

What is the Help Desk?

The Help Desk is comprised of multiple physical locations where faculty and staff can converse with IT employees directly to assist with various issues. These employees answer support tickets submitted through the Help Center.

What is a Support Ticket?

Support tickets are a result of the Help Center ticketing system to provide a dialog for visitors to obtain information. Tickets may be submitted at any time and are usually answered with two business days. The support request button is located on the top right of the Help Center website.

Who can use the Help Center?

Anyone can use the Help Center. However, certain threads marked with a lock icon are not viable to the public. Special access is needed to visit and edit these threads. Faculty and staff can request access to develop sections of the Help Center.

Who grants special access to the Help Center?

Network Administrators can grant special access. Faculty and staff interested in developing sections for the Help Center may request access by submitting a support ticket.

How can I edit Help Center articles?

After editing access is granted, there are two ways to edit within the Help Center. You may edit directly within the Help Center by hitting the exit key twice. Django* may also be used for more complex editing. Django can be accessed under your SUU username on the top right of the Help Center.
Online Resources: Imgur (outside image hosting) / EzGIF (mp4 to GIF maker) / Self Service Desk (Mac users only)
Other Editing Software Options: Adobe Suite / MS Paint / Gimp / Media apps

FERPA compliance

FERPA compliance is vital when dealing with any sensitive information. Free training is available by visiting All identifying information should be removed using an editing software in any tutorials or articles being comprised.

*What is Django?

Django is a site administration archive system that tracks editing within the Help Center. You may edit your personal data displayed such as your last name while editing in the Help Center using this site.

Basic Web Editing

The Help Center is compatible with HTML and Markdown language. These formatting settings allow users to customize articles with regular text and emphases similar to editing within a Word program. GIF formats are supported.


Help Center Content Structure

Topics (Visible on Help Center Home Screen)

Topics are owned by a specific person or office on campus. Permissions are granted to edit content at the Topic level. Topics sublet into categories.


Categories are just a way to hierarchically organize your content. Categories sublet into sections.


Sections are also just a way to hierarchically organize your content. Sections sublet into articles.


Articles are the core of the system. Your Help Center information will reside in articles are contain the most visited content.

IT Department Communication Methods

SUU’s IT Department primarily communicates using three methods including Gmail, Trello and Slack. These accounts can be set up by contacting your direct supervisor if access is needed.