User and maintenance manuals

We are creating user oriented deliverables

We are using new technologies media!

Technical communicators often work collaboratively to create products (deliverables) for various media. One of them are user and maintenance manuals. Technical domains can be of any kind, including the soft and hard sciences, high technology including computers and software, consumer electronics, business processes and big industry systems and plants.

What is the main goal in writing of user and maintenance manuals?

It is obvious that a manual has to be exhaustive, clear and has to respect standards in related branch. A good technical writer considers also that the information must be relevant and easily accessible/approachable for the intended audience.

The process of developing information products in technical communication begins by ensuring that the nature of the audience and their need for information is clearly identified. From there the technical communicator researches and structures the content into a framework that can guide the detailed development.

Usually most user and maintenance manuals contain both a written guide and the associated images. In the case of computer applications, it is usual to include screenshots of how the program should look, and hardware manuals often include clear, simplified diagrams.

Time ago we made some further steps in order to exploit all resources that new technologies offer.

Today we are regularly including multimedia video and audio files and animations in all our manuals.

The result can be a printable manual in pdf format that you can regularly consult on web watching a maintenance phase in a video included into same document or hearing a good audio explanation.

Always more our customers are asking also publication of their manuals through a restricted access web site where their customers can consult the manuals with several level of accesses by role. Also the safety level is higher because an administrator can often change passwords for user and maintenance personnel levels.

In this way is easier non only to distribute a manual documents but also revise and deliver them quickly to the final user.

The good example is our customer who provides big industrial production lines:

The manual are published on a restricted access web site where personnel can consult the files with several level of accesses by role. In this case users can consult their documents that are different from those interesting for maintenance personnel. Administrator can modify the access passwords providing them only to the personnel that are currently making the activities.