Maybe you are stumbling upon this blog post while seeking a solution to a particular problem? But before scrolling down and reading the documentations, it is right time to understand what is documentation. Look into the first paragraph on a detailed documentation meaning.
Answering yes to both of these questions is a big part of providing a great customer experience and improving your customer satisfaction rate. That’s why it’s crucial to have documentation that helps customers find answers to their questions without waiting for someone on your staff to reply.
However, writing your online documentation from the ground up is no mean feat. It helps to take a look at brands that have done it successfully before you. So in this post, we’ll explore the different categories of documentation, and the best documentation examples in those categories. We’ll also see how you can follow the lead of the best documentation out there and create your own documentation yourself. Let’s get started.
When someone writes about the meaning of documentation and examples, it means that he or she is trying to make a definition on what documentation means, and that there are some examples when we talk about documentation. It’s quite easy to find an example of what documentation means. Because firstly we must know that documentation has many definitions because of the meanings of words change over time as well as countries, regions and cultures.
Examples of Awesome Documentation for Devs
The Rust Docs is probably my absolute favorite resource for learning more about Rust!
Why are Rust Docs Great?
Beginner friendly for new programmers and/or new low level language programmers
The site offers both project-based learning docs and traditionally structured documentation
Implements embedded code blocks throughout segments of chapters that are interactive, compilable, and editable.
**Which reminds me: be on the lookout for my next article where I list awesome podcasts to listen to if you’re interested in tuning into conversations about Software Engineering, Web Dev, Data Science, or groundbreaking Math & Science topics.**
Let’s acknowledge the fact that Docker’s practical usage guide has Night Mode toggling functionality. We’re already getting off to an amazing start here. Beyond the mode toggling…
Why Are Docker’s Dev Docs Great?
Recap & Cheat Sheet sections available at the bottom of each chapter in the docs, which is important because it helps the user reinforce concepts and keywords referencing the concepts that may have slipped the mind during experimentation with setting up their environment.
Links are spread out across the docs which make it easier to gain insight into the information they intend to expound upon
Allows for backtracking before proceeding into more complex explanations of the concepts they're highlighting, which is beginner or "refresher" friendly.
3. AWS Amplify
If you need a quick refresher, AWS Amplify is a cloud service for developers who may need certain aspects of their application and code handled seamlessly. This could include the backend, authentication, database management, and deployment processes.
What Makes AWS Amplify Great?
4. Digital Ocean
Something to note about Digital Ocean, something that is made clear consistently throughout the platform’s site, is that this cloud infrastructure service is adamant about everything they have being made with developers in mind. That is crucial!
What Makes Digital Ocean Docs Great?
Comprehensive separation of API Tutorials, Metadata Guides, and OAuth implementations for your application.
Side by side API notes and programming examples with an IDE-inspired background and font in relevant languages which gives developers more insight into how certain processes could be constructed in order to perform actions.
The Heroku Dev Center really has a gorgeous documentation setup. Heroku is known for its powerful, easy deployment services for developers. There are a few things worth noting about the site.
What Makes Heroku Docs Great?
Provides sequential instructions for handling different programming languages and their respective packages that are critical to running tasks, service workers, result store, and message brokering systems.
Docs provide resources about other relevant tools that go hand-in-hand with Heroku such as Git for your code repository and deployment processes.
Extremely well integrated with practically any relevant technology utilized to deploy and manage processes for applications.
5 Types of Product-Based Technical Document
There are five major types of product technical documents; product manuals, user guides, repair manuals, API documentation, and SDK documentation.
1. Product Manuals
A product manual explains the parts of a product, where you can find each part, and what each part is used for. It essentially details everything a user needs to know about how a product functions.
Although product manuals are most common with physical products — most of them contain product part diagrams and illustrations — they can be created for any kind of product.
Here’s a page from the product manual of networking solution provider Cisco:
There are three basic steps needed to create most product manuals:
- Decide what the manual is going to cover.
- Create appropriate illustrations for the sections that need them.
- Write clear explanations of each step in the process.
You may decide to create and deliver your product manual as an interactive experience that combines UI patterns like walkthroughs, pop-ups, explainer videos, and beacons to encourage learning in the flow of work.
2. Repair Manuals
Repair manuals are technical documents that explain the correct way to fix a damaged product. Customers need them to navigate hardware problems or a combination of issues.
When people deal with these kinds of situations, it’s helpful to have clear, concise information available that helps them through repairs quickly and efficiently, so they can get back to the work they love. To create an efficient repair manual, you need to anticipate every kind of product damage customers may face, then explain how to navigate it.
3. User Guides
User guides are a popular type of user documentation that explains how a product works to users. They are handy during onboarding (especially interactive user guides) as they help users get their desired results as quickly as possible. User guides explain complex features and help end-users troubleshoot common issues using simple language and demonstrations so that the beginner can easily understand them.
Source: Fat-Free Framework
You’ll need to understand what users want to achieve in order to create a user guide that helps them achieve it and tailor your language to your audience. For example, if developers are reading your guide, it might make sense to include code samples. But a non-technical audience will need guidance they can understand.
4. API Documentation
API documentation explains how developers can integrate other products with your product using an API (application programming interface).
To create useful API documentation, consider the business value (i.e., what benefits will clients get when they use your product) as well as the technical requirements (i.e., how the client needs to be able to consume your API in order for it to function properly). You’ll need to include the functions, classes, arguments, and return types of your API in your API doc.
5. SDK (Software Development Kit) Documentation
SDKs are helper documents or libraries that describe the tools used to develop apps for a specific platform or product. Developers use SDK documentation to guide them when they create apps for a specific product/platform.
To create your product’s SDK doc, you’ll need to compile a library of tools, compilers, debuggers, code samples, APIs, etc.
Source: Dimensions Related Resources 17 Awesome Technical Writing Tools For Documenting Information How to Create Helpful Technical Documentation +Benefits 11 Technical Writing Examples & Samples in 2022
3 Types of Process-Based Technical Documents
Process technical documents show your team what they need to know to execute specific tasks. Here are the types of process technical docs you’re most likely to encounter:
1. Project Plans
Project plans are docs that define a project’s goals and objectives and a map to help you get there. They describe every step you and your team need to take in order to complete a task or deliver a product. They help you stay focused on your overall goals and also put key dates in place, so you can track progress toward them.
Source: Project Plan 365
Project managers create project plans at the beginning of projects, whether that’s switching to new accounting software or creating a new computer program.
2. Business Standards
Business standards are documents that define the rules, guidelines, and benchmarks your business should always meet in particular areas (e.g., customer service benchmarks, quality benchmarks, operations). They are used during employee onboarding and as references when need be.
To create your company’s business standards, define your company values, explain how staff should respond to situations in ways that reflect your values, and set your organization’s benchmarks.
3. Test Schedules
Test schedules explain the steps, tasks, dates, and responsibilities involved in software testing. They are used to anticipate and assign resources: the equipment and engineers needed to run a test. Test schedules help to minimize the risk involved with software development because you are able to catch issues earlier with constant testing. They help to prevent accidents — or at least minimize the time those accidents can take place.
To create a test schedule, first create a test plan that describes how tests are reviewed, tracked, and approved. Then list dates like release and beta entry dates.
What’s the Difference Between User Documentation and Technical Documentation?
Before we go any further, let’s clear up any confusion that may be floating around the differences between user docs and technical docs.
At a basic level technical documentation is written for people who manage and maintain equipment or software, while user documentation is written for the people who use it.
User documents are written with the assumption that the reader possesses no technical or terminology knowledge. They are focused on achieving the best end result.
To illustrate, think of a washing machine. The technical documents might describe how the mechanical parts work together, how to replace broken pieces, and various specifications about the appliance’s electrical circuitry.
The user documents, on the other hand, would provide information about the best settings for eco washes, how much washing powder is needed, and how to stop your white shirts from turning pink.
So when writing either user documentation or technical documentation, always keep your reader in mind – It’s often easy to muddle the lines between the two.
Why is Good User Documentation Important?
Solid user documentation offers you and your business buckets of benefits – here are three of the best ones:
It’s Helpful to Your Users
Imagine you buy a new smartphone. You get home, whip it out of the box, press the power button and… nothing happens.
As you watch your slowly fading smile reflect back at you from the dark screen – What’s the first thing you do? Yep, you’d pull out that quick-start guide and discover that you needed to insert the battery to get your device up and working.
See, documentation is frequently the first place users look when they have a question about your product. And since everyone loves solving problems, if users can easily search a product guide and quickly find an answer to their question, they’re going to be much more satisfied.
It’s Less Work for Your Support Team
Good user documentation isn’t only helpful to your customers but it can also take a significant burden off your support team.
For starters, research shows that most consumers now prefer to use a company’s website to get answers to their questions rather than call or email for support. So by facilitating users to find their own solutions, there’ll be a lot fewer support tickets clogging up your team’s inboxes.
What’s more, user documentation can be remarkably helpful for customer support because it makes explaining difficult actions or solutions a whole lot easier. When used as a reference guide, user documentation empowers your team to quickly answer questions and point users towards the right resources rather than spending hours on the phone.
In fact, it wouldn’t be an unreasonable stretch to say that producing quality user documentation should be an essential part of delivering exceptional customer support.
It Enhances Your Customer Experience
Great user documentation shows your customers that you really care about them getting the most out of your product. And customers who feel that you care about them beyond just profits are likely to become advocates for your brand.
So, if you like the idea of users shouting to the high heavens about how much they love your products, then supplying remarkable user documentation is an essential part of the customer experience.
Not only that but after putting so much effort into your product or service, it’s a shame to let users not get the best from it or run into issues they can’t solve. By enhancing their post-purchase experience you’ll help them to reap the full benefits of your offering.
What is documentation? Documentation is made of various information, instructions and recommendations relative to the function application and inbuilt functions of the product or service to the user. The purpose of the documentation is to provide users with a detailed guide on how they can operate and use the program. The documentation will also include release notes detailing new features, functionality and enhancements that are introduced.
Documentation is something which is used in any organization. Documentation is the record of processes, procedures and activities. It includes information about employees, customers and other business entities. For an instance it can be the system or operating rules, accounting practices, sales techniques, technical procedures or reports. The main aim of any documentation is to preserve a memory of the past. This will help in understanding how things were done before so that changes can be made in the current system.