It is really hard to imagine and use a particular product without knowing how actually it works. It becomes very hard to shoot your query at the support each time and then one should wait for the support team to revert on the same. There are times when you are asked to wait in a queue for at least 2 days (approximately 48 hours). During such situations you are forced to delay the work unless the query is sorted. In order to avoid such situations that is affecting the growth of the company, it is always good to have a documentation of the product and all the queries will get sorted very easily by just referring to the documentation.
Types of Product Documentation:
- Guides – Guides can be considered as a stepping stone in order to use a particular product.
- Feature Documentation – It will list out all the features that are supported by the particular document along with the settings related to it.
- Knowledge-base – Knowledge-base will consist of forums and frequently asked questions that are put forth by the visitors. Different issues along with the cause and resolution will be mentioned here.
- SDK – SDK will contain the coding of the product along with its API. This documentation will be very useful for the developers.
- Case Study – It will consists of various detailed documentation of how a product is implemented for different businesses in real life.
- Internal Documentation – This documentation will be referred only by the staff members that will be used by the team for future development.
- Marketing Documentation – This document will focus to attract visitors to your site, that will list out the cost and general features of the product.
When you are building a documentation for your website, it is very important that the documentation is categorized in the following way as mentioned above. It is very important that the documentation should cover each aspect of the product though you will find some of the aspects to be very simple. While writing a product documentation it is necessary that you should target to the newbies who are totally unaware about it.
Things to include for Product Documentation:
Depending upon the type of document that you are building, there can be different factors that can be included and those are:
- Screenshots and Pictures – A picture or screenshot will help the visitors to understand the product in a better way as compared to the words. There are many visitors who will prefer to go through the images instead of reading the doc line by line.
- Examples – In order to help the visitors to understand the product in a better way it is always good to include examples and that will also help them to relate with the situation.
- Settings Flow – Instead of writing long paragraphs for a particular setting, one can include the flow for the settings of the product. For Example : Adding a Post in WordPress, you can give the flow as: Admin Panel >> Posts >> Add New
- Documentation Update – Keep a check on the new features and modification that are added for the product. And accordingly there can be the changes that can be added for the documentation. If the changes for the document is not done than the visitors will keep on referring the old documents and will be confused.
Key Factors to be included for Product Documentation:
- Installation Process – It is essential to start your documentation with the installation process that will be a great help to the clients.
- Feedback from Clients – It is good to include the feedback and suggestion place for the visitors where they can suggest an edit for the document. This will help to represent the document in a better way.
- Offline Reading – For the offline reading of the document, one can generate a PDF for it and can directly share with others for the offline reading.
- URL for each section – The whole document can be divided into different sections and there can be different URLs for each of the section. Instead of reading the whole doc one can directly refer to the URL of the section and thus it will be time saving.
- Simplicity – No one likes to read the long documents, one always prefers to have the document which are simple and easy to understand. Also it is good to explain each of the section point wise so that clients will find it easy to understand.
Besides the above mentioned points there are many product documentation plugins that will indeed ease your work and allow you to build a better documentation for your site.
Important Product Documentation Plugins:
WordPress provides with many of the plugins related to product documentation. They will indeed help you to create the online product documentation very easily. To list a few of them are:
Documentor: This plugin will help you to create an online product guide or the help document very easily. It allows you to add the sections and change the colors for them very easily. It will help you to publish a professional looking documentation with a very unique design.
WP Documenter: One can create a documentation in a very easy way using this plugin. It will also allow you to create document’s single page template for the front-end. It provides with a draggable menu according to the section title that is used.
Simple Documentation: It is one of the very important plugin for the product documentation that will allow the developers to provide documentation from the WordPress Dashboard. It also allows the backend users to pin the items in order to highlight them.
Easy Documentation: This plugin provides with a built-in editor and a step wise instructions to add the content for the website. It is a good plugin for any non experienced users as it allows to create any of the document step wise.
A good product documentation will indirectly help to improve the sales of the product, also there will be lots of errors and mistakes that will be avoided due to accurately written procedures. The above points and the documentation plugins will surely help you to write a good product documentation.