Welcome to the first of a series of blog posts highlighting certain sessions at the 2017 STC Summit! Not everyone can be there, but through the magic of STC’s Notebook—and the helping hand of a blast from the past, former STC staffer and Your Friendly Neighborhood Blogger—you can at least get a taste of what’s going on. Monday morning started off with the session Gain the Edge by Learning to Read Facial Expressions, presented by Crystal Elerson. Crystal began the session by explaining the relevance to the field, detailing how you can gain important insights into conversations with coworkers. She traced the history of the field back through Charles Darwin and to Paul Ekman, showing photographs of the various expressions taken through studies throughout the years. Crystal showed attendees the main characteristics of the seven universal expressions: Surprise, Fear, Anger, Sadness, Happiness, Disgust, and Contempt [fans of the movie Inside Out will recognize some overlap!). Then out came the cell phones, as she invited attendees to use “selfie mode” to get a close-up look at the various emotions on their own faces. She closed the session by detailing cues for detecting deception: When people look to their left in answering a question, they’re looking to the logical side of their brain and likely telling the truth; when they look to their right, they’re looking to the creative side and likely lying. Using the cues you’ve gained in their facial expressions, you can then engage in a set of probing questions to determine the truth. Next on Monday morning, Vivianne Costa presented A Layman’s Crash Course on Analytics in Help Content. Vivianne emphasized that the metrics to be measured by analytics will differ depending on the company and the goals. She laid out four steps in the process: 1. State your overall site goals 2. List strategies and tactics to reach those goals 3. Define conversions 4. Establish metrics and Key Performance Indicators She cautioned that analytics isn’t like math—there’s no one right answer, and finding out the answer can require a constant circle of measuring, adapting, and evaluating. She provided examples from her company of what various metrics might mean and how to use analytics for change. For example, if a customer leaves the site from your search page, it could mean that they’re not finding things easily and your SEO needs attention. If they’re leaving quickly from a content page, they’re not finding the right material from their search. And if they’re going from the content page back to the site, it means they’re not getting the information they need from that content page—a customer who finds the help they need will navigate off your site. She briefly touched on segmentation and ways you can drill down even further in Google Analytics, and closed by explaining ways to report your finding to supervisors—as well as a reminder to report back when you’ve improved the site thanks to your work. At the Summit highlights specially selected sessions from the 2017 STC Summit, presenting one attendee’s point of view and takeaways to help share the Summit experience with those who could not attend.

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