Developing Quality Technical Information 

 During a recent conference call with a new author team, the topic of “how to write” came up.  The folks wanted to know if we had guidelines, do’s and dont’s etc….  Well we do and we don’t.  We have them in different forms – like Powerpoint presentations and Word documents – but we don’t have a comprehensive document.  My colleague has spent the last couple of days pulling that together.  I just remembered that we have an IBM Press book on the subject.  While it doesn’t address business books – it’s a great resource for creating technical documents.  Sometimes things are right under your nose! Here’s the skinny on the book:

 Developing Quality Technical Information

Direct from IBM’s own documentation experts, this is the definitive guide to developing outstanding technical documentation–for the Web and for print. Using extensive before-and-after examples, illustrations, and checklists, the authors show exactly how to create documentation that’s easy to find, understand, and use. This edition includes extensive new coverage of topic-based information, simplifying search and retrievability, internationalization, visual effectiveness, and much more.

Coverage includes:

  • Focusing on the tasks and topics users care about most
  • Saying more with fewer words
  • Using organization and other means to deliver faster access to information
  • Presenting information in more visually inviting ways
  • Improving the effectiveness of your review process
  • Learning from example: sample text, screen captures, illustrations, tables, and much more

Whether you’re a writer, editor, designer, or reviewer, if you want to create great documentation, this book shows you how!

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