a little technical writing thinking

I was browsing some old tech writing files on my laptop, just messing around.,  Found a memo to myself about a project.  This is almost twenty years old.  It is self critical of wasting time and thoughts about how to improve review of draft documentation by content experts. So those are timeless questions.

documentation matters

  • I could be wrong but it seems we have been tinkering with templates, more than we need to, perhaps not, but we should soon synch and freeze our template for MS Word-based manuals.
  • Seems like we are fighting the wordprocessing packages and not having them serve the writing and the reader. should be spending more time on the actual content.
  • nudging the information sources and reviewers to treat the documentation more seriously, more formally. Perhaps design a change form page for them to use to write up their changes, and have them staple the change sheet to the document page.
  • I found some markups written out in a nearly illegible way.
  • one negative notion amongst the other good ideas from Xxxx Xxxxxxxxx: on the last markup of TCC from him, he suggested a whole new section called “Troubleshooting” Q: why raise this idea so late in the game.  Partial Answer: rushed review.  Not enough time up front in analyzing and setting the table of contents and the levels of detail to be filled in on the “skeleton” of the document.
  • Documentation’s importance. Product is incomplete if the customer doesnt have the doc to help him happily use the software and the hardware to get the work done that he wants to do, must do.

 

  • Product = h/w + s/w + documentation

 

  • standard diagram specs: margins and minimum point size.  Arial 7 pt minimum, 8 pt is better.  Use 9 point for emphasis. Keep bolding down to a minimum.

 

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