CASE STUDY: INVESTMENT SOFTWARE COMPANY PRODUCT DOCUMENTATION
As today’s world becomes more complex, a software application’s most beneficial features may not be immediately apparent to the intended user community. When the application documentation is as cryptic to the user as the application, users bombard the software developer’s support group with pleas for help, costing the development company many thousands or even millions of dollars annually.
Recently, a prominent financial software company preparing for development of an update to their popular application realized that it would be necessary to significantly raise their application’s feature content to stay relevant in an increasingly competitive market. Understanding that producing a more powerful tool without making the application more difficult to use was critical to satisfying their large existing user community, the company determined that some significant upgrades would be necessary to the application’s user interface. These changes would necessitate incorporating support documentation directly into the application in a way that would provide easily accessible support and training.
One of the key features of the integrated support function needed to be the inclusion of very user-friendly text and graphics that would be quickly and easily understood by the users. The company soon realized that continuing the past practice of having developers write the documentation would not provide an acceptable result.
Essential Data provided the company with a technical writing support team matched to the development phases of the software project. To minimize the budget impact, writers were coordinated sequentially with the development schedule, providing the specific skillsets best suited to each stage of development.
Benefits for the Client
- Documentation was user friendly, minimizing the use of development jargon.
- Documentation was produced effectively and efficiently, minimizing the budget impact on the project.
- EDC was able to provide a locally based consultant, enabling the writer to work remotely, but attend onsite meetings as needed.
- EDC’s writer supplemented the in-place development team, allowing the developers to perform within their specialty skills without being distracted by collateral writing requirements.