MMoS vs Apple Style Guide: User interface

The idea of this post has been lingering in my mind for quite a long time. Having created documentation according to the Microsoft Manual of Style (MMoS) in the majority of my projects, I was puzzled a bit when I started investigating the Apple Style Guide. Not for the obvious reasons like structure differences, or depth of topics covered, or style of writing but for the small discrepancies like spelling or wording that were crucial nonetheless.

Having exclaimed “I need to write that down!” for the fifth time, I decided to make a side-by-side comparison of the guidelines proposed by both MMoS and Apple Style Guide.

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Multitasking: lifesaver or necessary evil?

In today’s world, doing one thing at a time is a great luxury. Imagine a situation: you start your working day by checking a dozen of emails and writing your docs then you switch to reviewing your colleague’s topics while preparing for an interview with your SME. Sounds familiar? Sure. We, information developers, have already got used to such a pace. To deliver the best results and ensure customers satisfaction, quite often, we have to be Julius Caesar, who was believed to be capable of writing, reading and giving orders simultaneously. But is it really a productive way of fulfilling our tasks?

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7 things to remember when starting a documentation project

Setting up a documentation project from scratch may be quite a challenging task, especially when you do it for the first time. On the one hand, you are excited about the new beginning. But on the other hand, looking for anchors to start the documentation process drives you into despair. Yet, if you start thinking strategically about your content, it may brighten up your life.

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Book review: Be a better writer. Tips to improve your writing – no matter what you write!

As Information Developers, we need to perfect the skill of writing well, and the scope of our writing is not limited only by creating technical instructions. We should be equally good at creating web content, articles, or blog posts. Besides, one day we might even need to write some sort of a document that we have never dealt with before, for example, a business report or promo brochure. In this situation, we can spend hours googling and processing tons of contradictory or ill-structured information. Or, get our hands on the book “Be a better writer. Tips to improve your writing – no matter what you write!” by Suzanne Lieurance, saving us time and giving us quick directions.

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Technical Accuracy: Who Does the Testing?

Technical documentation is an integral part of a software product and must be regarded as such. We all know what happens after a software feature has been developed: it goes through a code review, and then it is thoroughly tested by a QA team. Before each release, the entire application undergoes multiple tests.

Technical documentation goes through a similar process: with each update, it passes several rounds of reviews. However, what about testing software documentation as a finished product? Among various roles in a project team, who is responsible for doing that?

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