Posts Tagged ‘Installation guide’

Requirements of Technical Writers

August 25, 2012

As long as manufacturers keep producing technology oriented products, technical writers exists in the industry. Technical writers are required to explain the usage, benefits, and working of these new technologies to the end users. The requirement of technical writers is increasing everyday in the market. Technical writing is a fascinating and lucrative career option for many reasons. Technical writers have the opportunities to:

  1. Develop a wide range of information including writing, book design, graphic design, web development, training and videography.
  2. Express your creativity in a variety of media and formats.
  3. Learn new subject from the experts.
  4. Find work in almost any industry.
  5. Be involved in interesting programs throughout the product development life cycle.
  6. Start working as a business analyst after a good experience as a technical writer.
  7. Promoted to Sr. Technical writer after a good working experience in this field.

Technical writing is an emerging industry in the market. People gets aware about this profession, and looking their career as a technical writer. Technical writing becomes a well known profile in the industry. This article is for those people who are not aware of this profile.

Well, technical writer is a professional who prepare technical documents for software and electronic products (mobile, I-pod, Digital Camera, and other appliances). These technical documents include; installation guide, user manuals, troubleshooting, and device configuration. It is responsibility of a technical writer to describe all the technical aspects in an easy to understand way. User manual is provided with all the appliances or gadgets sold in the market.

Technical writer gathers information from various sources, and prepare documents accordingly. When preparing user manuals for software, writer uses the software, and gather required information. By using the application, writer will come to know various facts. In this way, author becomes familiar with the appliance, and can represent all the features in a better way. Generally, technical writer plays a major role in success of a product.

The advantage to work as a technical writer is, you get a chance to work on different technologies. As a writer, you need to prepare user manuals, installation guides, white papers, story boards, business proposals, and e-learnings. Preparing different kind of documents is a very nice experience. But while preparing these kind of documents, audience level should be clear to the technical writer. Audience are the end users who are going to use the technical documents.

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Different Phases of Document Development Life Cycle

August 25, 2012

Technical documents play a major role in the success of software/product. These documents include user manuals, installation guides, and help pages. For good quality technical documents, DDLC must be followed while preparing these documents. Different phases of Document development life cycle are given here:

  • Requirement Analysis
  • Audience Analysis
  • Document Design (Outlining)
  • Development
  • Review
  • Publishing
  1. Requirement Analysis:- In this phase, technical writer understands the software requirement, and starts gathering information regarding the same. Technical writer explore the software, understand various features by working on it, and meet software developers to gather the valuable information. Once this phase is completed, all the queries related to software requirement must be resolved.
  2. Audience Analysis:-Technical document which needs to be prepared by technical writer are used by certain users. It must be clear to technical writer who will be the audience of these documents. Audience level is not same for a software, and may vary depending on their knowledge about the software. Audience can be categorized in two parts – novice audience, and experienced audience.

    Novice audiences are completely new to a software. They do not have any idea/knowledge of the software. On the other hand, experienced audience either have complete or a little knowledge of the software.

  3. Outlining the Document:- In this phase, outline of the document is prepared, which contains overall plan/structure of the document. Outlining is skeletal format of the document, and gives an idea of placing the elements. This skeletal information contains, introduction, table of contents, chapter/section information, and index. Outline gives the clear view of complete document at a glance.
  4. Development :- In this phase, actual development of the technical document is done. Technical writer explains all the contents that are collected, and planned in the outlining phase. Development phase require some extra time as complete drafting is done under this phase. Detailed table of content is also prepared with page numbers under this phase.
  5. Review:- Reviewing of documents include, checking the document for technical or grammatical errors. Testing review is done for measuring the quality of document for technical correctness while quality review is done by quality analyst to find grammatical mistakes.
  6. Publishing:- After completing testing and quality reviews, the document is ready to print. After completing all the previous phases, this phase relates actual delivery of the document to its target audiences.
Understanding the DDLC process helps in creating efficient, error-free, and quality documents.