In today's information society, it is essential to have access to information that assists us in doing our daily jobs effectively. When society is driven by complex information technology, well-documented system information is especially essential.
We have all encountered a time when such information is lacking. We get extremely frustrated when we can't find the information we need in a hurry or there is no help at all or the instructions that are available is incomplete. As a result, poorly-written technical documentation will become costly.
In contrast, good technical documentation has many tangible benefits. Clear documented instruction can prevent errors and make business processes more reliable and efficient for the user.
The benefits included are:
The end-user experience is more successful because of high-quality written materials. Poor or non-existent user manuals alienate customers, inadequate on-line help wastes valuable time and support that is not available immediately, or slow in coming, will frustrate customers. As a result, your software brand suffers.
Good documentation will reduce your support costs
Every solution that your user finds in the user guide or online help means one less call or email to your support desk. The support team can concentrate on finding answers to real problems, rather than explaining to a customer how to operate a computer program.
Your products will attain longevity
Clearly written instructions can prevent customer errors and make business processes more reliable. The sooner your customer gains benefit from your product the longer they will use it and not be hindered by it. As a result, your software brand benefits.
Improved sales result from the availability of easy-to-use product information. As a result, agreement can be reached on system functionality between IT staff and client business departments thus finalising system and user documentation.
and as a bonus...
Free usability testing of your software product
The process of documenting a software application can also reveal functional and UX problems and lead to their correction. To produce complete user documentation all options of a software system are essentially tested at a presentation and usability level.