All decent technical writers have a process. Here’s mine:

1. Analyze and Plan

  • Analyze user needs.
  • Analyze user tasks.
  • Choose tool.
  • Create high-level plan.

2. Organize and Design

  • Organize user tasks by user role.
  • Create detailed plan (outline of each document).
  • Write sample topics.
  • Create timeline.

3. Write and Edit

  • Write draft content from specifications or design documents.
  • Create screen captures and diagrams.
  • Validate content against application.
  • Create context-sensitive links (online help only).

4. Revise and Publish

  • Revise content based on feedback.
  • Create final versions of documentation.
  • Manage translation process (if localization is required).
  • Publish.

At each stage during this process I require approval and feedback from you, my client, to ensureĀ that you are completely satisfied with the results. This also optimizes my efforts and minimizes your costs.