In the process of documentation, there are many important steps, such as understanding of information design, information architecture, interviewing SMEs, UI, and UX of product. It is important for writers to keep themselves in the shoes of a developer when understanding the product and in the shoes of the end-user while writing deliverables. It is particularly important to keep a balance between these two things.
The following points help you to understand how you can document your deliverables.
Determining the purpose of document
Knowing a specific purpose for what you are writing brings more confidence and will help you to figure out what information you should add. In this phase, you should ask yourself questions like, why is this necessary, and what are the main goals of the document. Determining the purpose is important because:
- Helps you to have a better overview and a clear image of what you should do.
- Helps you to know when the documentation is completed.
- Knowing clearly what you are going to write inspires you towards better writing.
In this step, you should research the knowledge level of the audience. You need to understand how technical or non-technical they are and the level of their readability. Remember that this is the most important step which sets the foundation for you.
- It is most important that you should know who is your end user, what are their requirements, and the level of their information requirement about the product.
- For the technical audience, use technical terminology whereas, For the non-technical audience, it is better to write in more simplified way by explaining the necessary technical terms alongside, if you cannot completely avoid the jargon.
Determining the format of the document
While marketing your product, the format or template of the document is as important as the product itself. It is recommended to follow the format provided by the client, or else if there is no existing template, then you should define one. This will bring more clarity in the future and will help in understanding and finding information for the documentation. Some points to remember when defining the format are:
Keeping simple and short
If you add too many details that are not required, the document becomes boring and hard to update for a writer. On the other hand, if you keep it too short, users may not be able to find the required information. In order to avoid such a paradox, you must keep a balance between the two and provide enough information. Here are a few points to keep in mind while keeping documentation simple and short.
Things you should keep in mind
While documenting a project, you need to think wisely especially for your end-users. Here are few pointers you should stay aware of.
- Proofread your document two three times.
- Write clear and concise.
- Clear your all doubts and queries about documentation with the stakeholders.
Author: Rishabh Sawant, Technical Writing Trainee, Metapercept Technology Servcies LLP