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.
Earlier this year, I wrote several articles on how to document user personas, Hogwarts style.
Like, there are Gryffindorian how-to steps 1-2-3 good to go pal whoo-hoo you’re done! Or, you can have this very thorough, do-it-at-your-own-pace Hufflepuff tutorials with follow-up tasks that guarantee to put you on your feet. For our Slythery audience, we offer several quick&dirty pro tips, no bull. And yeah, Ravenclaw guys, those appendixes with super-tricky scenarios are for you.
…what a mess of styles, huh? 🙂 Anyhow, choose your house, and I’ll tell you more about what docs you’d enjoy!
On the hush-hush side, I would love to write in an individual fun way for each of those houses. But since my invitation to Hogwarts has not arrived (yet!), for now, I am a Technical Communicator for enterprise software.
So, welcome to my world of neutral writing where jokes are not allowed.
In the previous post, we discussed who user personas are and why they are important for Information Developers, considered key elements that should be included into a persona card, and reviewed a user persona sample card.
In this article, I will provide steps on how to create user personas, share some practical tips, discuss how Information Developer can apply user personas, as well as give references for further reading.
“Personas are a way to give the user a seat at the table every time.” Kendra Shimmell
For decades, the concept of user personas has been associated with marketing, advertising, user-centered design, and business analysis. Nowadays, personas are winning the deserved attention of Information Developers worldwide.
Usually, the creation of user personas is initiated by UI/UX designers or business analysts. But what if you do not have any in your team? In my project, I created user personas myself and was surprised how it changed the quality of my content.
Deep understanding of readers is fundamental to creating qualitative and effective content.
In this article, I am going to review and consider user personas from the perspective of an Information Developer.
Without a moment’s hesitation, I can name the most stressful phase of documentation development. It’s pre-publishing. The tension grows when you realize the importance of the release. You try to do your best, but very often the stress plays a trick with you. You neglect misprints, broken links, and messed up page numbering. And these minor mistakes can make a huge trouble for you.
To be sure that your document is of the superb quality, follow the pre-publishing checklist. It covers every troublesome aspect of document pre-publishing and will help you not to miss a thing.
Sooner or later, each seasoned Information Developer starts wondering whether the quality of content produced can be measured. And so do Information Development Managers. However, in addition to content quality metrics, managers care about one more aspect—measuring the productivity of their department in order to improve and streamline their team efforts.
Thus, when thinking of developing and introducing metrics in your organization, you should think of at least two metrics to assess:
- Content quality
- Work productivity
Once you have lots of projects behind your Office’s back and a bunch of them in progress or yet to come, you start analyzing if anything could have been done better, quicker, and more efficiently.
Each documentation project is unique in its own way, but when you look closer, you can find that most of them follow processes, rules, and collaboration patterns that do not differ that much.
Therefore, we’ve built the documentation assessment process that proved its efficiency and improved the overall quality of our projects, not only at their final stage, but right from the start.