The Challenge: Assist an established software development company effectively increase the usability of its printed user documentation.
The Client: Working together as a team of cattle industry experts and information technology specialists, Unlimited Solutions, Inc. (USI) has been delivering business solutions to the cattle industry for over 10 years. Their product line provides comprehensive management of cattle feed yards.
The Solution: The original User Guide was first created as online help and then exported — without further editing — to a Microsoft WORD document. It was reported that this unformatted documentation was not widely used by USI clients, most of whom were not technically inclined. There had been a growing business need to rewrite the documentation so that it had greater appeal to feed yard staff.
Before Technical Editing (Sample Table).
Technical Editor for NM Marketing Communications, Inc. worked with USI subject matter experts to fully understand the product’s functionality and their clients’ needs before converting the manual into a more useful and readable reference tool. The editorial process included:
- Documentation assessment to identify strengths and opportunities for improvement
- Substantive text editing
- Clarification of confusing instructions
- Resolution of content incongruity and elimination of redundancy
- Reorganization of content to simplify information flow
- Consistent use of formatting techniques to create a page layout that was predictable, appealing, and easy-to-follow
- Tasteful insertion of clip art to mark sections
After Technical Editing (Sample Table).
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