10 tips for Software Development managers about user documentation

Posted by alanandrew on Monday, May 9, 2016 under Technical Writing | Comments are de-activated

Software User Documentation is often a last minute effort to deliver your software product and get it out the door. Your development team had a long list of requirements, so the documentation sometimes gets downsized in importance or it is sometimes neglected completely.

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Great documentation saves money

Posted by alanandrew on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 under Technical Writing, Third-Party Articles, Trends | Comments are de-activated

I bring this article to you courtesy of Jacquie Samuels, as I think it adds relevance to what I am setting out to achieve with my documentation framework. You may view the original article here.


Let’s get back to the basics for a moment. Technical documentation has many diverse drivers, but ultimately, it all strives to perform one function: assist users so they can do what they want to do with the product. Sometimes they already know what they want to do, other times the documentation helps educate them.

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What is Rapid e-Learning?

Posted by alanandrew on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 under Rapid e-Learning | Comments are de-activated

There are plenty of definitions regarding Rapid e-Learning. A lot of them are variations of strange theories. But, I have only one definition:

“Rapid e-Learning is the development of learning courseware within a short timeline, which is achieved using basic templates which form a static framework and contains the learning content.”

This implies that not much time is spent on creating complex and pretty animations and interactions. There is debate aplenty in e-learning circles and many people may consider e-learning not valid unless it has a high level of interactivity, pulsing text and images and other bells and whistles, such as nonsensical games.  Anything less may be considered as boring click-and-read material. All this just adds extra time (lots of it) and extra expense.

It is easy to disguise poor instructional design with slick effects and animations.  However, a lot of this stuff  is neither necessary or effective and I believe all these repetitive flying, flashing texts and images can trigger extreme irritation.

The QA of Product Design

Posted by alanandrew on Wednesday, September 8, 2010 under Third-Party Articles | Comments are de-activated

I bring this article to you courtesy of Gryphon Mountain Journals, as I think it adds enormous pertinence to what I do. You may view the original article here.

Technical Communication: The QA of Product Design

Friday, August 13th, 2010

In our ongoing department reorganization, we technical writers are experiencing some angst as we carve out a desirable place for ourselves. However, as we’ve talked about it as a community of practice (no longer as an organized team with our own manager), I think we’re coming to an agreement that now is the time to make things happen—to strike, as Tom likes to say.

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