Archive for October, 2010

Innovative approaches in Technical Writing

October 21, 2010

I am a regular visitor of cherry leaf technical writing site. I came across an interesting post that talk about innovative approach for a Samsung mobile user manual. Though this approach is a bit costly, potential clients will definitely get benefited. 

I just tried rubbing my brain for the possibilities of innovations in the technical documentation so that the clients will get benefited.

Include videos in the online help:

Imagine you are writing a 10+ steps procedure on how to create a Macro in the MS-Word or a Conditional text in the Adobe FrameMaker. When a procedure goes lengthier or more complex, it’s always a good idea to include a video or a flash file in the online help itself. I really bet you, clients will be accessing your video rather than reading your meticulous 10+ steps procedure.

A picture is worth of thousand words where a video is worth of thousand pictures.

Give a personal touch on your videos:

While including videos, it is good to have your own voice recorded. As you will be the best person to understand and simulate a complex procedure, it is good to have your voice as background than opting for a third-party voice recorder or dubbing. Of course, you are reducing the production cost for your client you know.

Annotate your images:

Preparing Requirement documents for the QA people is one of my regular activities. I use SnagIt for capturing images to support my procedures. I started using SnagIt’s annotation features in the captured images that gave a better understanding the requirement. I got an overwhelming feedback from the QA people. Let me illustrate with an example:

Rather than explaining the above fields one by one, capturing and annotating the image brings better clarity and reach among the audience.

Advertisements

User Assistance

October 4, 2010

One fine day I logged on to my payroll information site to check some information. I have to select a Date using a Calendar function. For example if I wanted to select 28th October 2010, I need to click several times to get the corresponding month and the date as 28th displayed on the screen.

Here is the catch. I am using Internet Explorer 7.0 version. That website has some script error resulting Calendar function didn’t pop-up. So I was clueless how to enter or select the date. Without selecting the date, I can’t process my request.

I called my colleague to get some idea on that. Yes, my assumption is correct; he too came across the same error. And the solution that he gave was too funny. “Close the session and log-on after an hour”.  🙂

Why can’t I directly type-in the date that I wish to..?

Enter Date:  __________  (in DD/mm/yy format for ex: 31/03/10)

See the above example; I have a User Assistance on the screen itself. Do I need a calendar function here..? I don’t think so.

Note: By the way after an hour, I was able to enter the date and processed my request.  🙂


%d bloggers like this: