What Is Our Writing Approach?When it comes to technical documents, do you ever wonder how they are created? Or maybe you think the process is the same as writing a regular paper? This article will answer your questions and explain our approach to writing technical documents. As a technical writing team at Tahaluf Al Emarat, we always strive to follow the best practices and methods for writing and developing technical documents, so we are committed to the Document Development Life Cycle (DDLC) approach. A Document Development Life Cycle (DDLC) is the cyclic document development process that describes bringing documents to life. Essentially, this cycle corresponds to the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). During the Document Development Life Cycle (DDLC), a professional technical writer or a documentation expert should take part in the following steps:
Requirement AnalysisIn this phase, the technical writer collects, before writing the document, specific information about the product overview and system requirements from different sources such as the product owner, the product manager, and an online search then analyzes this information. While writing a document, it is imperative to understand and explore the target audience's level to make sure future documents are more user-oriented. For example, when the target audience is from the beginner's category, the document must cover all the features and functions in detail and simple language, unlike the audience from the principal category; in this case, advanced language can be written and used. The technical writer must also determine what type of document will be issued at this phase, such as a user guide, installation guide, presentation, API document, or training document. This can determine what publishing tool will be used since each document has its own tool. After the requirements have been analyzed, the technical writer is ready to move on to the next phase.
DesignThe technical writer designs, documents according to specific rules and standards that detect minor details (font sizes, font colors, border color, text alignment, picture size, etc.). In addition, the technical writer designs the document's templates, including the table of contents, image, header, footer, customer logo, heading, and subheadings of the title pages.
Developing the contentAfter the analysis and design are finished, technical writers start writing the content to provide a simple demonstration of the system.
ReviewAs soon as the first version of the content is released, editing and proofreading begin. By moving forward with each process and section of the document, reviewers from the same team of technical writers, product owners, and project managers will inspect and verify the complete documentation to make sure that all system features and functionality are covered.
PublishingAt this phase, the technical writers release the document's final version after completing the proofreading and editing procedures. This version can be printed and delivered to the customer or sent by mail. It can also be published online via the publishing tools used by each company.
MaintenanceA vital phase of the cycle allows the writer to save the documents and store them for future use if there is a need to update the record after its initial release or add changes and modifications.
ConclusionThe DDLC approach is solely the responsibility of technical writers because it is an essential component of document development. Moreover, it outlines clear steps that technical writers can follow. In addition, the document must be developed to improve the document's accuracy and understanding by end-users. This approach needs to be accompanied by the latest publishing tools to be effective. Authors: Technical Writing Team
- Anas Abu Khaled
- Shatha Barakat
- Rana Alakhras