This is the last thing on the planet anyone would want to do. And that is to read, write and talk about the documentation process of a product. This is one of the last steps of the Project Life Cycle and also the most important one. Having a proper documentation of your product is going to give an ease of understanding to your website visitors. And if they understand everything about your product, they are most likely to buy it.
Therefore, you need to make sure that while you are creating documentation for any product, you need to see that it happens appropriately. That is why, in this blog, I am going to give you a 10 pointer checklist that will help you in creating that perfect documentation for any type of product.
1. Covering the basics
So this is the basic thing while creating the document. You have to mention all the basics of the product. For example, if you are creating a document for a mobile phone, then right from its screen size, to its internal memory and expandable one, you have to give every minute detail of it. This is will help the user understand the intricacies of the product so that he or she can willingly make the purchase.
2. Giving reference links
While creating the document, if you have taken any kind of reference from any website or e-book or from any other source, then you must provide the reference link at the bottom of the document. This is because it is counted as one of the ethical practices while creating the documentation. In simple words, when you are referring to someone on your website, you ought to give reference to that source from where you have taken the data.
3. Clutter-free documentation
This one is really important. You have to make sure that your documentation looks absolutely clean and clutter free. Do not stuff the document with too much of text as the user will not find it interesting to read. Instead, use less text, but be sure that the text which you are using is impact-ful and understanding enough for the visitor who is visiting your website.
4. Use pictures if possible
As the old saying goes, a picture speaks a thousand words. So you can use pictures related to your product that will go in sync with the text. Thus, this will minimize the length of the documentation along with its complexities. The audience on the web prefers to go through those documents which comprise of pictures, diagrams, tabular sections, bullet points as it gives a quick reference of what the document is all about instead of reading the whole thing.
5. Humanizing the work
So while you are reading a user manual, how many times have you thought that if there was really a human species on the other side who created this manual? Or was it the wonders of the computer that made this manual? Albeit you are not here to paint or create a colorful novel or manual. Al you can do is, just humanize the content a little bit with your brand’s touch or your personality. This will only make the reader comfortable while reading the document.
6. Predicting problems
It is really important that you are anticipating problems that your users might face while using the document. See if all the call-to-action buttons are working or not. Think from the user’s perspective, what are the things that they will more focus on then act accordingly.
7. Use a standardized document
English is a language that can become flowery, harsh, soft, subtle etc and take many other forms. But then it can also end up in the state of confusion and disagreement while you are creating a document for any product. Therefore, I would suggest you use a standard language throughout the documentation process. What you can do is, you can dedicate a separate section at the beginning of the document mentioning that certain terms will be used in the documents and this is how they should be interpreted. This will avoid the confusion and disagreements among the audience.
8. Make use of rationale statements
If you are making use of rationale statements, then they are going to reduce the ambiguity of your document. Using such statements helps in simplifying your statements and also provides your users with additional information. If you are conveying the requirement in a concise manner then your audience is most likely to understand it.
9. Do the documentation by yourself
Nowadays you get ready-made templates for the documentation process. Documentation is really rewarding if done correctly and it can be of great benefit to your viewers for obvious reasons. So it is always better than you do it all by yourself. As when you are giving someone else to do it, it will not have the inclusion of all the details that you want to be in that document.
10. Keep easy to share options
So when you are creating the documentation for any product you have to keep the sharing options for that document in a proper manner. So that it will be visible to the viewers. If the viewer wants to share it on social media then he or she should be able to do it. Also, you should keep an option of “download PDF” over there, so those who wish to download it can easily find the option and they can download it.
I hope you will find this checklist useful and with this, you can deploy the things that were clinging behind while creating documentation for your product. If you have anything more to add on it, you can mention it in the comments section below and I would be happy to discuss it. Until then, good luck with your documentation process!