The Essentials of User Documentation

A woman sitting at her desk working on a spreadsheet on her computer

One of the easiest ways for any company to ensure customer satisfaction is with excellent user documentation. Also known as user guides, these enable a consumer to know the ins and outs of a product and assists them with any issues they might encounter. However, numerous factors can cause unintuitive user documentation. Some factors include unclear writing, confusing presentation, advancements in technology or updates. It is best to hire a technical writer to ensure that your user documentation does not have any issues. 

How Technical Writers Can Address User Documentation Needs

The best way to go about updating user documentation is with a professional technical and documentation writer. Technical writers possess expertise in concise writing to get across the essential information. These two advantages cover the two most important aspects of this type of documentation: clarity and intimate knowledge of a product. Taking this into consideration, there are the important aspects of this kind of documentation for any industry. Whether it is a FAQ section, a support portal, or instructional guides, the key aspects of user documentation must keep these things in mind. 

Target Audience

First, keeping in mind the audience of your product will help dictate the overall presentation of your user documentation. Technical writers can tailor language by identifying your audience, so it is more suitable for your target demographic.

Language

Next, regardless of the audience, the language should be clear. While a more technical audience, such as engineers, can understand more jargon, it is still best that the writing in user documentation is comprehendible. This extends to the titles of a section as well.

Comprehensible 

Next, in a similar vein to clear writing, don’t forget the goal of what each section is trying to convey and how it is doing so. For installation guides, it is important to detail the steps clearly, while a section explaining features should comprehensively explain them. Documents can also detail visual aids such as images and video. This can be done through well-thought-out design, an area technical writers also have experience with. 

Accessibility

Another thing to keep in mind is that user documentation should be easily accessible through your website. While handwritten user guides can come with a product, it is important to allow your user documentation to be easily accessible online. 

Updates

Lastly and most importantly, the need for updated user documentation due to software or general updates to a product. Any updates to your products in or out of your control creates a situation where user documentation needs to be updated. A documentation writer can edit instructions to make sure they comply with any new changes or requirements. 

Conclusion

User documentation is a key part of making sure that your product succeeds with the general public. Having a difficult time using a product is a sure-fire way to disappoint customers and drive down potential profits. Hiring one of EDC’s technical and documentation writers to craft or update documentation for you is a way to get ahead of this potential problem. The skillset of documentation writers allows for well-written and well-designed documentation, as well as the technical expertise to convey all of the essential information your customers need.

How Can EDC Help You?

You may need a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation. Perhaps you may only need a single technical writer for a brief project. Either way Essential Data’s Engagement Manager will lead the project from start to finish. At Essential Data Corporation, we guarantee the quality of our work. Contact us today to get started. (800) 221-0093 or sales@edc.us

Written by Stanley Chu

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