Installation instructions, operation and maintenance manuals, spare part lists, training materials – the list goes on and on. This is the prized information that your customers crave in order to get the very best out of your products. The more complex your product family is, the more important it is to find a solution that can easily handle all the information required. To help you through this jungle, Citec has made professional technical modular documentation easier to manage than ever before.
In modular documentation, content is created as separate thematic sections, or modules, which can then be reused in various publications. This is a great advantage for businesses of all sizes, and especially for companies maintaining an extensive collection of regularly updated texts. Furthermore, being based on consistent policies and quality requirements, modular documentation increases the effective usage of texts.
“For example, if a product family includes similar products with uniform properties, we can reuse various text modules, but we can also filter out content that is not needed (see example). A modular writing style saves time and money during creation, and especially when it comes to the subsequent translations. The amount of text is also easier to control, thus avoiding inconsistencies and even possible errors,” explains Citec’s Head of Product Information Sari Leinonen.
According to Leinonen, professionally written modular documentation, which will take into account modern distribution channels and translations into several languages, is part of the user experience of the product itself.
“It is so much easier to select the exact instruction you need directly from the distribution portal offered by Citec than browsing through a 2,000-page manual, even though it usually includes a table of contents,” Leinonen adds.
Example: Modular documentation in a nutshell
Let’s say you have a product family with three different product variants that you need to create instructions for. Instead of creating three different user manuals from beginning to end, we can create reusable modules that are combined into larger entities.
1. Within the same module, you can have both general content as well as specific content for different product variants. For specific content, conditions are applied.
2. When publishing, you (or Citec) can select:
- for which product variant the manual is being generated. The content is filtered accordingly
- What output format and distribution channel you prefer: PDFs, Online Helps etc.
3. The output, user manuals in this case, only include information and instructions for that specific product variant.
Suitable options for everyone
Recently, Citec’s technical documentation team have concentrated on defining their modular content creation offering as a product family. When the documentation-related products are presented in a well-wrapped package, everyone can find the most suitable option to match their requirements.
“We have been using the lightest and the largest documentation solution for many years already. Now we have added a new one, which is especially directed at small and medium-sized businesses. As we are striving to continuously develop our offering, I am happy that we have product-design expertise in our team, which we can use to present our portfolio on the market, ” says Nicoleta Lerscht, Director of Technical Documentation.
Citec’s modular documentation offering makes it much easier for everyone to find a suitable documentation solution for themselves.
The productisation of Citec’s modular documentation strengthens Technical Documentation as part of Citec’s core product range.
“Our investments in product-family thinking have received positive feedback. The goal of the development is to give our clients a clearer view of the structured documentation we can create for them – with a modern approach and utilising up-to-date technologies. We are very pleased that we can now serve our customers with an even wider choice of solutions than before,” Lerscht concludes.
The technical documentation team, Jukka-Pekka Heikkinen, Sari Leinonen, Nicoleta Lerscht, Sonja Ahonen and Hanna Korpinen (Bibish Nalilakaran not in the picture), help customers to navigate through their complex information jungle.
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Director, Technical Documentation EDC