Case studies

Text simplification for shipping procedures. Simple text and clear instructions help to make sure that procedures for safety-critical operations are satisfactory.

Minimalism helps new users. The Adaco .NET software is large, but the minimalist user guide gives sufficient help to new users.

Reaching new markets through clear documentation. Triangle extended the functionality of the InfoGenesis point of sale software to hand-held terminals. To make the new software a commercial off-the-shelf product, Triangle needed clear documentation for its resellers and for managers at customer sites. TechScribe designed the documentation. As a result, Triangle has minimized its support costs, and can supply the software to new markets using resellers.

Technical editing. MachineWorks had detailed documentation that needed to be updated for a new release of its software. TechScribe edited the source material that the software developers wrote.

Improving instructions. To do their work tasks, people need clear instructions. This case study compares instructions that a customer supplied with new instructions that TechScribe wrote. The case study explains the problems in the original text, and shows how TechScribe solved the problems.

Integrating tutorial help with developer-written reference documentation. TechScribe integrated reference documentation that was written by software developers with tutorial help. When new functions are developed, software developers write technical notes in their development environment, and then use a script to create the reference documentation.

Changing printed documentation to online help. TechScribe decreased a 47-page user guide to 5 topics in online help. Links from the online help to the Visual Software website gave users easy access to technical help, which Visual Software updated when necessary.

Good documentation decreases costs and increases sales. SDL International used TechScribe to create documentation. Telephone calls to the service desk were decreased, and the documentation helped to increase sales.

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