Technical documentation belongs on the web. Unless your product is top secret or your customers can’t access the Internet, you need to make an effort to get your content online. Doing so will greatly increase your customer’s ability to use the product while decreasing the amount of costly support calls made to your support engineers. But simply outputting your dry, stuffy manuals and guides into framed HTML or PDF isn’t enough anymore.
The landscape of documentation is changing. As with most things, change is inevitable. Documentation is not immune to that. Gone are the days of creating monolithic books that describe in detail every aspect of a piece of software.
Operating procedures are step-by-step explanations of how to perform a work task, such as starting up or shutting off a piece of equipment. They can also describe how to respond to an incident, perform maintenance, or complete a routine process function in a facility.
More and more, companies are using technical writers to create content for a product using the product voice. “Voice” is a marketing tool that ensures all aspects of the product are easily identifiable – and technical documentation is a big part of creating a product’s voice.
One of the most common mistakes companies make, is assuming that collecting customer data is good enough to improve customer satisfaction. Aberdeen’s recent report, Customer Engagement Analytics: Take the Right Step, Every time, indicates that 95% of businesses struggle with using customer data. That’s surprising, as most businesses collect user data in some format or the other.
Consider that you are writing a user guide for the latest smart phone that is launched in the market. You know that billions of people across the world could be prospective buyers; people from different walks of life, people of different age groups and people with different mobile usage skills.