Don’t you know the difference between technical documentation and user documentation? If not, then you’ve opened the right article. Here, I will explain the difference between the two.
What is Technical Documentation?
The technical documentation term refers to different documents which contain product-related data and information that will be helpful for users. Technical documentation contains product definition and specification, quality assurance, manufacturing, description of features and functions, maintenance information, and more.
The goal of technical documentation is to provide enough information for a user to understand the inner and outer dependencies of the product at hand. It also helps users:
- Troubleshoot their issues.
- Find the best ways to use a product.
- Learn the product from scratch and more.
Technical documentation is not just manuals, it also includes science papers, research, reports, white papers, case studies and the like. You can find more information on types of technical documentation here: ‘Types of Technical Documents’.
Usually, technical documentation was created in a printed version but nowadays it’s created online as tech writers use HATs for this purpose.
What is User Documentation?
User documentation is created for end-users on using a product. The main goal of user documentation is to assist the end-users by providing them with clear and comprehensible info about the particular product or service.
User documentation comprises:
- Support Portals
- Video tutorials
- Step-by-step guides
- Embedded assistance
Tech writers describe the following aspects in user documentation:
- Software requirements.
- Installation guide.
- How to start the system.
- How to use features of a product.
- Screenshots explaining those features.
- Contacts of the developer if an undocumented question arises and more.
Tech writers create technical documentation as well as user documentation.
What are the differences? Here they are: