change this perception by
making difficult subjects easier to understand and ensure that
the guides assist the user with the task at hand.
should be easy to:
To do this, when you are
writing you need to know:
- What is their levels of proficiency?
- What special requirements are needed?
- Where will the product be used?
Define each of these during
the planning process. Remember to plan and not write on the fly to meet deadlines.
Statement of Work
To achieve this goal, first
outline your requirements. Involve experienced technical writers and information designers
at the outset as the project will benefit from their experience, especially in areas such
as system design and user interface.
The role of Technical Writers
is to work with users, customer support and the Development Dept. to ensure that the
user s perspective is captured in the final document.
Those writers involved from
the start will understand the system better, making it easier to plan and write the
Document planning includes
structure and form of the material, as documentation may need to be produced for:
Decide what works best.
Experienced writers can recommend and prototype the best solution.
Then decide on the most
appropriate documentation formats, such as:
- Reference guides which will have
an alphabetical listing of the software features and explanations on how to use them.
- Online Help with How To
Every manual should be written
according to the user's level of expertise. Experienced users will search the reference
manual, while novices will refer to the How To lessons to learn the
Make your decisions on
style/content in the early stages of product development. This will ensure that both the
Documentation and Development teams understand each other.
By following these steps, your
documentation should be easier to read, access, and understand.
What are your thoughts on this? Drop me a line at ivan
at klariti dot com