What CSS Technical Documentation Is (A Complete Guide)

If you’re unfamiliar with this type of document, there is a chance you may be unfamiliar with what CSS is. CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. This is the coding language developers use to design the look of any web content.

From the color of the text, the style of fonts, the background images, boxes, headers, footers, animation and so much more. CSS allows you to create style guides on how you would like your website to appear and developers can tailor every aspect of a website to create a visual experience for users to engage in.   Without CSS, all websites would consist of scrolling through plain text and dull white space. 

What is CSS technical documentation?

 CSS technical documentation explains the guidelines and the coding for specific design elements to end-users. It can be thought of as a reference manual developers can use to write their code according to the CSS standards, to acquire specific design elements for a web interface, to use CSS tools, or simply to learn how a code works. Developers can learn the structure of a code and how it’s written through different types of CSS documentation such as tutorials, how-to guides, FAQs, indexes, and more.

Why is CSS  important?

The value of a CSS user guide, or any code documentation for that matter, is to help developers understand and enable their desired outcomes with ease. This allows them to create and build projects quickly and efficiently. Say, for instance, a developer wants to display an animation feature on a home page but is unsure of the coding to display that function where CSS documentation comes into play. A developer can search and find documentation that explains, shows, and tests how to write the code for the animation feature. Having documentation to clearly explain how something works make the process easier to digest.  

With good CSS technical documentation, understanding or changing an older version of coding will be easier to do. However, developers can only benefit from the documentation if someone knows what to document and how to write the information in a clear and useful manner. Unfortunately, there are many cases of poorly written documentation that stop developers from documenting their coding or using any form of documentation at all. As long as there are different style guides in CSS or different programming languages, documentation will need to address these differences. 

Here are some valuable points as to why CSS documentation is so important:

Knowledge Transfer – With CSS technical documentation, developers can pass on vital information to other programmers. The knowledge one developer has may be the solution another developer needs to solve a coding problem. Productivity can increase for all those who have access to CSS documents and avoid making time-consuming mistakes.

Target Audience – In this technological world, coding is not only for developers. CSS user guides can be made for both internal and external audiences. You must create CSS documentation that is clear enough for everyone to understand, regardless of their level of expertise. Documentation can be the common thread that brings developers and customers to your business.

 The best practices for CSS Documentation:

Best Practices – Developers often create coding with little to no documentation. This documentation process may require a lot of time and effort, but in the end, is beneficial. Developers should use the benefits of relevant, reliable, and readable documents that make coding easier.  A CSS strategy determines what rules to follow and how to enforce them. This makes it easier to explain the style sheets’ coding standards. Another practice for documenting CSS is maintaining and regularly updating the documents. If developers don’t update, then everyone will continue to have access to poorly written documentation.

CSS Technical Specification – When it comes to CSS specifications, there is a lot of information to understand, which can be quite overwhelming. With proper documentation, users can access the specificity rules without confusion. A specification can cover everything from CSS selectors, properties, values, data types, and more.

Test & Feedback – Understanding what works and what doesn’t in your documentation increases success.  Once your documentation has been verified, getting feedback and tested from external audiences will help you improve future documentation. Then customers can test design features right within the document, allowing them to test ensures your coding works and will work for them.

Who creates CSS  documentation?

Developers and technical writers normally create CSS technical documentation. However, developers don’t write software documentation. After going through the process of generating the code, they often view the idea of writing documentation to be too terrible. So, a lot of developers need to create CSS documentation. In addition, technical writers create and improve existing documentation.

 Instead of solely relying on developers or tech writers, they should utilize a combination of both to assist with the creation of any documentation. Documentation can be intimidating whether you are creating or reading it. So with the input of multiple professionals, you can produce a more thorough and useful document accessible to everyone. 

Where to find CSS documentation? 

When it comes to CSS technical documentation, there are a lot of places to look. There are different types of resources in the form of articles; technical documentation forums, podcasts, open learning resources, and many more. Take, for example, MDN, previously known as the Mozilla Developer Network. It’s a resource for web developers that provides information about CSS and other web technologies such as HTML, JavaScript, APIs, HTTP, and more. The MDN resource has CSS documentation to help with your next project.

Here are some CSS documentation resources that we recommend you check out:

1.       CSS Tricks

2.       Frontend Mentor

3.       MDN

4.       SitePoint

5.       W3C

Conclusion

Whether you need a single technical writer for a brief project, or a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation, the quality of our work is guaranteed for you. Our clients work closely with an Engagement Manager from one of our 30 local offices for the entire length of your project at no additional cost. Contact us at (800) 221-0093 or sales@edc.us