What is documentation? Does anybody read it? Does documentation matter? I’ll help you find answers on these questions here.
What is Technical Documentation?
Documentation is the product of technical writing that refers to different documents with product-related data and information; it has the details about a technical product that is either under development or already in use. It can be printed or online. Technical documentation is created in various industries, for example, in engineering, medicine, IT and so on.
You may imagine that documentation is just dry text that people with relevant education can read and understand but it’s not true. Nowadays, documentation is more than text — videos, screenshots, charts, diagrams, and other visual elements feature modern manuals. You will fully realize it when you look through doc examples below.
Who Creates Technical Documentation?
Usually, technical writers create technical documentation with the help of other groups of professionals like SMEs, designers, developers, reviewers. Sometimes, product developers themselves create documentation for their products.
What is the Purpose of Technical Documentation?
The major reasons why companies today create technical documentation are to reduce customer tickets, the expenses on customer service and enable their support team to solve customer queries effectively. So, the main purpose of technical documentation is to help users achieve their goal using the product. It can be in the form of a printed or online manual, video, and the like.
What are Technical Documentation Examples?
Documentation can be in different forms — it can be online, printed, interactive, and even in a video format.
- Online Documentation for Microsoft Azure
- ClickHelp Online Help
- Interactive manual for Samsung 4-Door Refrigerator
- Django Documentation in PDF
- Video about Conditional Blocks in ClickHelp
- Apple Documentation
Does Anybody Read Technical Documentation?
In spite of the opinion that nobody reads documentation, manuals are helpful and people read them. Of course, you don’t read a manual for your TV because nobody does it until something go wrong. But in a professional sphere, nobody acts like this.
As I’ve said above, documentation is used in various spheres, for example, in medicine. As the technology is developing, there are new medicine devices witch accompanying documentation. And, of course, health staff reads it or they are taught before implementing.
So, does it really matter?
Technical documentation matters. Documentation helps users achieve their goals using a product, makes the conquest of space possible and it even saves our lives.
I’m a technical writer and I create documentation. This process is not easy but very exciting. You can read about the process of creating manuals here: