The documentation is as important as the product - UKcopy Copywriting and Corrections

Posts Tagged ‘documentation’

The documentation is as important as the product

Monday, February 14th, 2011

It doesn’t matter whether you are producing a physical product for commercial gain or writing Open Source software; the documentation is still essential. For a physical product the quality of the instructions on how to use it could mean the difference between a happy customer and a returned product. With software, both commercial and Open Source, good documentation is key to rapid adoption.

For too many projects documentation seems to be an after thought but it is still part of the product and it gives customers an impression about the company that produced it. Good documentation is actually a promotional feature. It should be celebrated and announced to anyone who will listen and as much care should be taken over the documentation as the advertising copy.

With software projects the problem is down to who produces the documentation. It is often left to the developers themselves to create it. Developers don’t want to write documentation, they want to code. Also, they may not have the skills to write good documentation. Often the best person to write the documentation is someone new to the project but skilled at explaining things. If they can explore the software and ask the developers any questions they have then they will be able to produce documentation that is valuable to the user. A developer is not a user. They have different needs and expectations.

Many manufacturers, especially in the Far East, are now able to take advantage of the Internet and sell directly to customers would wide. This is either through their own website or via auction and merchant services like Ebay. It is an unfortunate fact that poor English on websites and Ebay adverts severely harms customer confidence and trust. This is especially true on Ebay where customers worry about being ripped off by foreign merchants and being unable to get their money back. To reassure potential customers and to build a professional online presence it is essential that English copy is correct and reads in a professional and appropriate way.

This may sound like it is going to cause a large increase in cost but if you already have your documentation, website, adverts translated into English UKcopy can quickly and cost effectively check and correct your English for you.

We also now offer a $5 Ebay advert correction service so if you are using the same advert multiple times then it is definitely worth getting it checked and corrected.

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