This technical documentation course has been designed to build on the skills of Developers, Engineers, Designers, budding Technical Authors who write technical guides or handbooks.
If your job involves writing any of these…
Software code documentation
Instructions for how a product or service operates
Lengthy procedures or processes
…this course is for you.
It concentrates on the principles and processes involved in communicating technical information effectively, whether to the layman or the expert.
Writing technical documentation well is a difficult task, and one that many people just have to learn on the job. Technical writing training can help you to produce better documents faster, rather than wasting time learning by trial and error.
What you will learn on this technical documentation course
By the end of the course, you will know how to:
Produce a documentation plan, including estimates and schedules
Design and structure a document by analysing the readership and selecting the right information
Write clearly and in the correct style for your readers
Help readers find information by using appropriate ‘signposting’
Use layout, typography and illustrations to help get your message across
Check your own drafts
Get the best out of writing tools and templates
What our customers say
“I enjoyed the course as a refresher, the 2-day structure is a good design for consolidating information. The trainer had a good speaking style and there were some great tools employed – e.g. Designing a document to explain to an alien how to use a spiral staircase, and the traffic light scoring card.”
SN – in4tek Ltd
“Nice and informal – paced well – good training notes and a good trainer. Has helped reinforce the work I have been doing, and given me new ideas to try.”
SW – Sage UK Ltd
“Very enjoyable course that was run at a nice steady speed with lots of opportunity to discuss the material.”
RS – Sage UK Ltd
How we deliver the technical documentation course
It is available as a one or two-day private tutor-led course at your premises or a one or two-day open course in London.
A one-day intensive course. It concentrates on showing you, step-by-step, the process of designing and writing technical documents. Exercises are used to illustrate various points throughout the day.
A two-day workshop. Delegates practise technical writing skills, learning through group discussion, exercises and working on real examples of documents you bring to the workshop.
Private courses at your premises
We adopt a flexible approach so that even our standard courses are tailored to your needs. Our trainers are all professional writers as well as experienced trainers. They use their judgment on the day to adjust the content and pace of the course so that delegates get the training that is right for them. This is done by:
Discussing your requirements with you before the course
Assessing the pre-course questionnaires
Discussing with the delegates at the start of the course their objectives and outcomes
Checking throughout the day that objectives are being met.
We specialise in small class sizes so that you get personal time with the tutor.
We deliver our technical documentation course at venues in central London, all easily accessible by public transport. All the rooms have natural daylight, independent air conditioning and free Wi-Fi.
If your journey into London means an early start, don’t worry; on your arrival you can have a light and tasty breakfast of fresh bread, pastries, cereals and fruit. Throughout the day there's an endless supply of freshly brewed coffee and speciality teas as well as chilled water, fruit and homemade snacks. Most venues also provide a hot lunch and all can cater to special dietary requirements.
1. Basic principles
A quick overview of the documentation process
Understanding the purpose of technical documents
Appreciating the benefits of good documentation for your product, customers and company
The most common technical writing mistakes
When you book we send you a questionnaire which we ask you to return to us before you attend the course. This enables our Trainers to assess your needs in advance.
Standards and guidelines – knowing where to look for guidance
Making assumptions when the product is incomplete
Physical presentation and its implications, eg printed or on-line
Deciding how the documents will be developed, produced and updated
Things to consider when estimating timescales and costs
Preparing and maintaining schedules – synchronising documentation and development
Writing the documentation plan – what should it include?
3. The right document for your reader
Clarifying your purpose – how to set a clear objective
Analysing your audience – knowing your audience; questions to ask yourself; dealing with a mixed audience
Selecting your information – sources of data; gathering information; deciding what to include
Organising your information so it flows – a look at the options for sequencing
Designing your structure – techniques to help you; basic structures and alternative structures; what to include in different types of documents
Producing a ‘skeleton’ or detailed outline – and the benefits of taking this approach
Gaining approval – knowing the right time to do so can save you a lot of work
4. Technical writing techniques
How to make your writing clear, unambiguous and easy to understand
Writing for an international audience
5. Supporting content with layout and illustrations
Choosing an appropriate layout for the type of user and how the document will be used
Navigational aids – contents lists, indexes and ‘signposting’
Crafting headings to guide your readers through the document
When and where to use illustrations
6. Choosing the right writing style
Choosing the correct writing style for different types of document
Tutorials and installation documents – presenting concepts, instructions, lists