15 SaaS Best Help Center Designs That Offer True User Support [+How to Build Yours]
Designing a help center for your software can be tricky if you don’t know what elements you should include in that.
But what is a help center and how does it compare with other similar terms?
In today’s article, we will be listing some inspiring help center designs that will make you stand out. Additionally, we will show you how to build your own help center and drive user engagement.
Let’s get started!
- A help center is in-app self-service support built to solve common user problems.
- The main difference between a help center and a knowledge base is that the latter is a section on your website, while the former is an in-app resource.
- Resource centers are generally more intuitive and have more content types than the traditional help center.
- A well-designed help center guides the user and helps to reduce both customer churn and the cost of having many support agents.
- Good help centers are interactive, easily identified, and searchable.
- Resources that you can offer in your help center include knowledge base, customer support chat shortcut, open support ticket or report a bug shortcut and any other integrations you feel are necessary for your customers.
- Userpilot is a no-code solution that allows you to create, manage, and track help centers.
What is a help center?
A help center is a self-service support system designed to help users find answers to problems that are causing friction in the product without interacting with your support team.
Help center vs Knowledge base
Both help centers and knowledge bases have similar functions, so people tend to confuse one for the other. But there’s a slight difference between them.
A knowledge base is a section on your website that provides customers with all the self-serve support they need. The tab for this is often located at the top section of websites to identify them easily.
Here’s Userpilot’s knowledge base, for example.
A help center serves the same purpose but is located within the app instead. The advantage of this over knowledge bases is that users don’t have to leave what they’re doing on the app to find help. They just click a button in-app and search for the solutions they need. This tends to reduce friction more.
Imagine someone working on the Userpilot app, as shown below. All they have to do when they get stuck is to click that button by the right that says “need help?” and they’ll find the support they need without opening another tab.
Help center vs Resource center
They’re pretty much the same thing, but a resource center is more intuitive and puts the focus on the user.
Resource centers are built with multiple content formats, all to maximize the user experience and, in turn, enhance product usage. Some resources you’ll find here include interactive in-app guides, video tutorials, quick access to chat support, the option to report bugs or provide feedback, etc.
Here’s what building a resource center with Userpilot looks like:
What are the benefits of having an in-app help center for SaaS businesses?
There are a lot of benefits to using an in-app help center. The key ones are increased customer satisfaction and reduced cost.
Building a help center for your SaaS translates to fewer stranded customers because there are enough resources to guide customers through the product. This also leads to less churn since the time to value is naturally reduced.
It also means you can afford to have a small support team because there will be fewer tickets.
What makes a good help center design?
Good help centers are catchy and properly organized. They’re built to reflect a brand’s overall philosophy while at the same time making life easier for the users.
The best help center designs are:
- Easily identifiable
- Include a way customers can quickly contact human support if they need it
- Built to provide easy navigation
- Designed for interactive experiences
Let’s discuss these points in a little more detail.
A good help center is not hidden on your website
A best practice is to have it in-app because that’s where users are when they have a problem. It’s also good to add an always-on widget, making it easy to spot.
Makes it easy for the user to contact the customer service team
Your self-serve resources will solve most user problems, but a fraction of that will still require human assistance. So make it easy for customers to get help by integrating chat support. Also, consider other integrations you think will be helpful to them. The more integrations, the more your help center becomes a truly useful self-service resource.
Some integration examples include giving customers the ability to watch tutorial videos in-app vs going to YouTube, making it easy to report bugs, open support tickets, etc.
The best help centers offer good navigability and a search bar
Imagine putting so much effort into creating a rich help center, and users don’t make the most of it. It will feel like you’ve wasted your resources.
But that could happen if your help center has a navigation problem or isn’t easily searchable, so keep these in mind as you design. Grouping resources into different categories makes it easy for customers to find what they want.
Taking it a notch higher by adding a search bar further speeds up the process for your users. All they have to do is search terms relating to the problem they have, and boom…the answer pops up.
Good help centers are interactive
Create enough interactive resources for your customers to have options to choose from. And don’t try to provide tips when they don’t need them. For instance, this means not prompting a feature guide when the user logs in. Instead, allow them to find the resource in your help center themselves when they need them. That’s the true meaning of self-service.
Postifity has interactive walkthrough flows that can be triggered by the user to shorten the learning path of advanced features. These guides are grouped under the “Advanced Features” category in the help center and are not prompted just because the user logs in.
Types of resources you should offer through your help center
The more resources your help center has, the more valuable it becomes to your customers. So it’s always a good idea to have as many resource types as possible.
Here are the different types of resources you could try:
- Product documentation (knowledge base docs)
- Customer support chat shortcut
- Option to open a support ticket or report a bug
- Option to provide feedback
- Interactive walkthrough guides for shortening the learning path
- In-app tutorial videos and guides
- Webinars and other educational resources
- Product updates and release notes
15 of the best help center designs from SaaS companies to inspire yours
It’s time to get to the meat of this article.
We’ve outlined the best help center designs we found for SaaS. Stay glued as we go over them, stating what’s unique about each design. Hopefully, you’ll get enough design inspirations for your own help center after going through this list.
#1 – Userpilot’s help center design example
We’ll start with the most advanced and complex example. Complex as it gives the best functionality compared to other resource centers, and it hits all of the points of what makes a good help center.
Userpilot’s help center has content grouped into themes to provide ease of access. In addition to that, it also has built-in search functionality for specific and fast access to resources.
A nice touch is that the user can trigger video tutorials directly in-app instead of having to go and watch the video on youtube. This helps them implement and follow along in-app instead of switching between tabs
Not to brag, but this was also built with Userpilot without using any code.
#2 – Slack’s help center design example
Slack’s help center is launched by clicking the question mark icon next to your user picture at the top right corner.
The design is simple and user-friendly. But it’s not user-friendly that they remove the search bar once you click on a help topic you want to explore, making you have to scroll forever.
#3 – Miro’s help center design example
Miro is big on tutorials, so theirs is designed more as a learning center than a help center.
Notice they have a feedback button, which is excellent. Positioning that button at the top right corner was a pretty good move as it makes it easy to spot.
#4 – Jira’s help center design example
We looked at Jira since this is a very popular software and quite a complex one.
Their in-app help center offers more than a simple knowledge base, but it could use a few UI touches to make it more user-friendly as all the modules kind of blend in.
I particularly like how they featured solutions to the main issues customers encounter at the top. This gives the user instant answers to common problems.
#5 – Loom’s help center design example
Loom’s design is short and sweet. Their self-serve support isn’t in-app, but providing a link to its location on their website was a great move. This is something you might want to consider if your support center is only on the website.
Loom’s help center is well organized and has quick access links to everything the user might need. Nice touch with featuring announcements (the hiring message).
#6 – Fullstory’s help center design example
It was great how Fullstory embedded the email support directly in-app. It means customers can send emails to a support agent without leaving the app.
They should have done the same with their knowledge base articles and training instead of redirecting customers to their website. But I guess contacting customer support was the most pressing matter to their users, so they tried to cater to that first.
#7 – ActiveCampaign’s help center design example
Like Fullstory, ActiveCampaign’s help center is on their website, but they linked to it within the app.
It was also nice to let the customers know there’s live support available if they need it.
#8 – Mural’s help center design example
Mural’s help center has all the resources their customers will need, but it can be a bit annoying to scroll until you find what you’re looking for. Overall, the help center looks great, and it’s nice how they highlighted the chat feature to invite customers that want extra help.
#9 – Hubspot’s help center design example
Clicking the support option on Hubspot will launch an in-app center containing different articles to guide on the problem you just encountered. The “top searches” section is helpful as it might have just what the user is searching for, which saves extra time.
And if you don’t find the solution you seek, there’s also the option of asking Hubspot’s community forum or chatting directly with the support team.
#10 – Poptin’s help center design example
Poptin is a tool for building and tracking popups analytics. Its help center is simple, and the guides are well categorized to help the user easily find what they’re looking for. The search feature also works well for this purpose.
It was nice placing the “contact us” button at the top right corner where customers can quickly find it.
#11 – Mixpanel’s help center design example
Mixpanel’s in-app resource is accessed by clicking the question mark icon at the top right. The help center has an intuitive UI and is well arranged. It’s one of the best help center designs on this list.
#12 – Heap’s help center design example
This software has extensive self-serve customer support. There’s the help center to solve common questions, then video courses in the Heap University section, and guides to help with installation and onboarding.
And if all that isn’t enough, customers have the option to contact the support team. But with all these resources available, you bet Heap’s support team won’t be getting many requests.
#13 – Asana’s help center design example
Asana’s help center is simple but rich. The resource is a combination of help articles and video guides that are easily searchable. Asana also makes it clear that customers can contact support for live training when they need it.
#14 – Basecamp’s help center design example
Basecamp’s help center is built in-app with a warm and inviting color combination designed to draw attention. The fact that you can toggle between guides and ‘contact support’ at the top of the help pop-up looks cool.
#15 – Monday.com’s help center design example
Aside from having all the features we’ve identified in other products, Monday’s help center also includes buttons to check service status and suggest features. The latter is especially useful for retaining existing users. Instead of lapsing because of a missing feature, customers can now suggest what they’ll like to see in the app.
How can you create a help center in your product for self-service support?
After seeing good help center designs now it’s time to know how you can create one for your software.
Userpilot is one of such no-code tools you can use to create and customize a powerful help center for your business.
The platform lets you group content so your users can easily find what they need.
You can also choose specific user segments to show your content to. This helps to declutter your UI and personalize the experience for each user. For instance, with segmentation, you would avoid sending a guide on learning how to use a feature to customers who have already adopted it.
Let’s talk about the analytics side of things. After all, what’s a help center when you can’t track how users interact with it?
Userpilot offers a range of analytics, including:
- Temporal analytics that enable you to compare usage over specific periods.
- Live changes that allow you to see how users are interacting with your help center in real-time.
- A status tracker that tells you if your resource is live or down.
And that’s a wrap. You now have an idea of why in-app help centers are useful and which elements you should include in yours.
Don’t forget to keep your resources in-app help centers as much as possible so that your customers won’t have to leave the platform before solving their problems.
Ready to give Userpilot a spin? Get a demo today to see how our tool can help you create the best help center designs!