How often do you find yourself explaining new technology jargons to your customers? Do you find it challenging to communicate your technical projects, developments, and achievements to your stakeholders? Are you at a loss while informing the users about what is new in your software product?
Well, technical documentation is here to help!
What is technical documentation?
The very essence of technical documentation is to make technology simple and easy to understand for everyone. A concise, simple, and well-written document with graphics, images, and videos enables your customers to understand any technical product or application software in a better way. This, in turn, leads to a greater appreciation of your hard work and innovation in technology. Technical documentation provides the first level of guidance which is critical for good user experience. It also explains many detailed features and tips to make the best use of the software or product, which is helpful for all types of stakeholders.
No more doubts
Ever wondered how to use a smart speaker? Or a self-driven car?
New technological products, web and mobile apps, and software can be bewildering, not just in concept but also in application. This is precisely why customers prefer to first read the product documentation for their initial doubts and queries. A well-created user manual, along with adequately explained images, can answer most customer queries, thereby reducing customer support queries. Users also feel more confident about using a software product with good technical documentation because they know they have the right guidance and best practices available for them.
Some standard forms of technical documentation for end-users are:
- Installation guides – Describes the steps required to install a software or hardware
- Help manuals – Explains the features and operations of a software or hardware
- Release notes – Provides brief information about the newly implemented or enhanced features of a software or hardware
- User manuals – User manuals or user guides provide assistance in using the software or hardware
- Troubleshooting guides – Lists the common problems faced while using a software or hardware, along with their solutions
It is also difficult to train the customer-facing support staff in the absence of well-written technical documentation. Such documentation helps explain the technical concepts, complicated and tricky user controls, troubleshooting, and answers any frequently asked questions (FAQs) of the users.
Technical documentation is not just limited to the written word. The challenges of the fast-changing industry landscape have led to the popularity of infographics and interactive walkthroughs as well.
Graphics that depict a host of information, data, and knowledge in a visually appealing manner, known as Infographics, have become popular. They also ensure a quick and succinct representation of data.
Interactive Walkthroughs provide a step-by-step walkthrough of a software’s features. They are often used to create self-explanatory software product tours, which result in better employee training, and software adoption. Interactive walkthroughs are implemented through proprietary software.
Software products are being continuously developed and improved in multiple iterations. Users are always eager to know about the newest features of their favorite software.
Documentation in the form of fliers, newsletters, press releases, product videos, and release notes, help in informing all the stakeholders about the recent enhancements, new features, and bug-fixes in a software product. In such scenarios, technical documentation also takes the form of technical content marketing to enhance the software’s sales and marketability. Such documentation also sums up all the technological advancements accomplished at the end of a software development cycle.
Further engineering development
Technical documentation is not just meant for the business stakeholders or end-users.
The technical details of a software project should also be documented for future reference by the developers, new team member training, and further engineering development. The Application Programming Interface (API) documentation and knowledge base content make the software easier to understand for everyone involved. The technical team can easily refer to the existing API documentation to make better technology-related decisions.
Good technical documentation plays a huge role in enhancing the product’s technical competence and usability. With all its different types, it addresses the requirements of every type of user. Users tend to judge software by the length, complexity, and usability of its technical documentation. If you win that battle, it often results in happy customers and well-informed stakeholders.
Technical Documentation, Technical Communication