Product Documentation and Online Help: A Comprehensive Solution
Pulse is a leading manufacturer of home and hotel room automation systems used throughout Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. As Pulse added features and enhancements to its products, thereby increasing their complexity, engineers developed a product installation document for each product. As Pulse succeeded in the marketplace, it began receiving a higher volume of technical support calls related to the installation and use of its products.
Pulse engaged InfoPros to develop a comprehensive solution to include both technical documentation and a Help system for its software application. The documentation and Help needed to be clear, concise, and include all of the requisite product information while consistently reflecting the Pulse brand.
Instead of having a series of documents, InfoPros recommended a single, comprehensive installation and configuration guide, the content of which would be used to generate a smaller, quick installation guide and would feed into the Help application.
Templates address all style elements of a document, from the font and heading levels, to callouts on images – their purpose is to ensure style consistencies. InfoPros designed a template to provide a standard look and feel for all of Pulse’s documentation. The template includes Pulse’s branding requirements with a focus on displaying information in an easy-to-read format for the target audience.
InfoPros worked closely with Pulse’s subject matter experts in France to gain an understanding of the technical requirements for the documentation. The engineering documents were assessed to determine the content required to develop the installation and configuration guide.
The content was converted from MS Word to FrameMaker and a developmental edit was performed to ensure stylistic consistency and continuity, and a logical flow.
After the installation and configuration guide was developed, InfoPros used a single-source method to create a task-oriented Help system with conceptual and reference topics that would be integrated within the Pulse software application. The system includes a search function, an index, and instant technical support for Pulse customers.
InfoPros addressed Pulse’s core need: a comprehensive documentation solution that represents the technology created by Pulse and provides clear, concise information to both product installers and customers. The documentation was streamlined from several engineering-level documents to a quick reference guide and a complete installation and configuration manual – both provide simple, easy-to-follow instructions. The Help system provides instant access to technical support questions, thus reducing the number of support calls received.
Pulse relied on InfoPros to develop a complete solution in order to allow its engineering staff to stay focused on their core competencies, while enhancing the product’s ease of use. Pulse continued to work with InfoPros on the development of new documentation for new releases and products.
“Pulse relied on InfoPros to develop a complete solution…enhancing the product’s ease of use.”