NX 8 Lends a More Helpful Hand
A huge key to improving performance is knowing where to get help when you need it. This is why Siemens PLM Software made a big deal about modernizing the help user interface as part of its NX 8 release.
The new look and feel of the NX 8 help libraries is a welcome move away from the printed book paradigm that Siemens had been following. The hierarchy of chapters and sections has been replaced with a much more modern and web-like presentation, enabling users to find the answers they’re looking for in just a few clicks.
The help libraries have been reorganized to make navigation more logical. Topics are presented around product areas, related links are always displayed on the right, breadcrumb links help you keep track of your location, and you no longer have to click anything to get a search field because it’s persistent on every page in the help libraries.
According to Gregg Makepeace, NX technical documentation manager over online help and release notes, these enhancements are all part of the “new directions we’re taking to visually engage customers with content they can more easily relate to.”
Users will be engaged aurally, as well—and in many languages for localized support. For the first time, videos containing feature demonstrations, tips & tricks now have an audio accompaniment. Textual scripts are “read” by a synthesized voice, to guide users through whatever’s being shown on screen. Users also have the option to display closed caption text and/or mute the narration.
Here’s a video example that shows—and tells—how you can use the Command Finder feature in NX 8 to find and activate commands that you might not know the names of or how to locate them:
In addition to all the audio/visual improvements in the NX 8 help libraries, users will find improvements behind-the-scenes, too. Search performance, for example, has been revved up so that more relevant results are displayed more quickly.
Makepeace asserts that Siemens is working to bridge the gap between free online help and paid training such as Learning Advantage, an optional service that provides users with access to a wide selection of self-paced training courses.
We can all use a little help now and then, and I’m glad Siemens has been making improvements that allow NX 8 users to get answers faster. Let us know about your experiences with the new help libraries and whether or not they’ve helped you improve your performance.