A number of factors play into this common decision – deadlines, efficiency, specialized talent, to name a few. When an in-house team is understaffed, overloaded, or overwhelmed, outsourcing to a technical writing services firm makes good business sense and can help you jump-start success with customers.
A dedicated team of technical writers, experienced with your audience and familiar with your business objectives, can look at your current technical communications with a fresh perspective, customize a strategy for providing consistent content to your customers, and make recommendations designed to generate results. Consistent, user-friendly product instructions make for a satisfied, repeat customer.
Whether your company creates technical documentation with an in-house team, outsources technical writing services, or a combination of both, here are 10 steps for ensuring a positive user experience.
10 Steps for Delivering Consistent, User-Friendly Instructions:
- Develop a Style Guide and use it to provide the basic building blocks needed for generating consistent, readable, and usable content across all documentation related to your products.
- Establish a controlled vocabulary and terminology list to avoid confusion and simplify information retrieval.
- Always adhere to applicable regulatory, environmental, health, safety, and contractual obligations and requirements.
- Internationalize your design and use Unicode fonts whenever writing for translation.
- Maintain intra-document stylistic consistency.
- Write as if your audience is not familiar with your topic.
- Use standard words and phrases where possible, and use them in the proper context.
- Write in clear and concise paragraphs, and use logical transitions.
- Complete ideas and use grammatically correct sentences.
- Always incorporate an editing phase into your work.
If your customers are complaining about poor user manuals and/or lack of instructions…