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.

GREAT DOCUMENTATION CAN SAVE YOU BIG BUCKS WHEN IT COMES TO SUPPORT BY JACQUIE SAMUELS

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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