As ubiquitous as the Adobe reader is today, the PDF is nonetheless about to enter a period of steep decline. Within a period of a few years PDFs will be as archaic as the cave paintings at Lascaux… and for many of the same reasons.
But chief among them: They don’t transmit information very well.
The world of product help is rapidly changing. The advent of social commerce and rapid digital interaction is creating a renaissance of sorts in the realms of consumer support, product help and documentation. The European renaissance spanned three centuries, however this renaissance is developing much, much faster and the cost of not embracing the values of social commerce as a criterion for product help grows every day that they’re ignored.
The Customer Success Renaissance
PDF documents, like the cave paintings of ancient humans, were useful to inform their contemporary audiences about the circumstances of much simpler times. However, today’s world is vastly more complex and fast-paced than it was at the advent of the PDF in the 1990s. Products are much more complex as well, and consumers have increasingly higher requirements and expectations than they did even just a few years ago.
Today, we communicate predominately in a rapidly expanding digital world built around sharing and social interaction. As a result of this huge cultural and technological phenomenon, the way people expect to interact in their commercial lives is rapidly changing as well, and PDF product documents can no longer serve modern consumer expectations for quick, easy and relevant answers to their product help inquiries. Furthermore, it’s become apparent that consumers prefer to be supported in a social environment that reinforces their engagement with companies, their people and other users as not merely helpful resources but