A look back at the best from a year ago.
Why do we write documentation? Because someone told us to write it? Because our competitors have it? Or because we want our software to be easier to use? It should be the third one, but often, writing documentation is an afterthought, and it is deprioritized, and we just get it done, instead of thinking about the goals for doing it in the first place and doing it right.
Yesterday we wrote about focusing our documentation on what our users are trying to accomplish. With a structured requirements approach, or with an interaction-design driven approach, we’ve already solved half the problem – determining what to document.
Our proposed documentation approach is to write about what users are doing with the software, not what the software can do for the users.
Kathy Sierra writes (another) great article at Creating Passionate Users. This time, she talks about why users don’t upgrade and presents ways to get users to install the latest version. We focus in this article on one way in particular – using goal-driven documentation to encourage upgrading.