Technical documentation is a self-help information resource with detailed information about the features and functions of a product. Used both internally by developers and externally by end-users, the document’s goal is to help customers understand your product and use it effectively with minimum hassles. Technical documentation describes every nut and bolt of your product in a structured way, using powerful visuals to make problem-solving easier.
A self-help technical document guides end-users with step-by-step instructions on how to use your product and troubleshoot problems by themselves without external assistance. This prevents them from raising tickets for minor issues, which eventually brings down the ticket inflow.
Product developers need a reliable information source to work on a product. Technical documentation equips them with the necessary technical information, so they can figure out the next steps and make practical decisions for the product’s further improvement.
Identifying the root cause of a faulty feature or a flawed functionality is a cakewalk if you have all technical information recorded in one place. With a comprehensive technical document, product developers can easily spot the mistakes and take timely steps to fix them.
Improper use of a product is likely when end-users do not have a written step-by-step process to refer to. Any kind of product misuse can be harmful and land you in legal trouble. A technical document with product features clearly explained helps customers use the product correctly, thus saving you from legal issues.
Technical documentation provides all the information that your internal teams and end-users need to work with your product. Some of the key topics that a technical document must cover are:
Professionally designed and beautifully structured, our technical documentation template is built to lessen your burden, so you can focus on the work that really matters - creating content. While we take complete care about the structure and design part of the document, you simply have to do your branding and fill the template with useful information. This free technical documentation template is easy to customize and helps you get started with the process quickly.
Before beginning with the process, create a plan that will guide your team at every step. The plan should cover the topics that the document will include, quality standards and timelines to be followed and other important things related to the process.
How effective your technical document is, depends largely on how well it is structured. Identify the elements that should be part of the structure, such as a home page and table of contents. Decide the structure of articles, paragraph length and set up the design guidelines to be followed.
Once you have the structure ready, pick a suitable technical documentation template, and start creating content. Ask key members of the product team to come together and work in collaboration to build the content for your technical documentation.
Everything your team writes should be reviewed by multiple people before it goes for publication. A transparent review process where you can set a status for each article and seek feedback from experts is a great way to ensure that only error-free content goes live.
Creating a technical document is only half the job done. The other half is about continuously updating the content, as new features are developed, and end-user requirements change. An updated document is more effective in solving user problems than a document with stale information.
This technical documentation template takes the pressure off your shoulders by doing most of the heavy lifting. With a predefined structure, all you have to do is put your brand name and logo and craft useful content. There is a table of contents with topic-related sections and subsections. You can use them as they are or create your own. This technical documentation template gives a good head start, so you are on the right path from the beginning.
Creating a document is one thing and working on it constantly to achieve the desired quality level is another. Follow these simple best practices to build technical documentation that looks and feels great.
Technical documentation should offer complete information about your product in a way that is easy to follow. Explain all terms, concepts, and processes using simple language so that nothing goes over the head for your end-users and they are able to put the information to good use.
Showing is always better than just telling. Harness the power of visuals to show how your product and its features work. Use diagrams, flowcharts, and videos to demonstrate the steps and help your end-users gain a quick grasp of your product’s architecture and how it can be put to maximum use.
How your technical documentation looks is equally important as what it contains. Brand the document with your company’s name and logo. Use design elements such as fonts, themes, and colors to enhance its look and feel. Customize the document to your liking and give it the unique touch of your brand.
Search and navigation are the two pillars that can turn your document into a valuable information resource. Give your document a proper structure and interlink relevant articles to ensure seamless navigation. The document should also have a Google-like search system that shows relevant suggestions.
Let your team members review the document and give their feedback on the areas that can be improved. You can use a feedback form and add it at the bottom of each article. This will allow end-users to give a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down and even submit suggestions for quality improvement.