Writing good documentation

In Timeline on August 31, 2009 at 9:54 AM

One subject that interests me is how to write good documentation. Trying to explain to someone else what is perfectly clear in your mind is a challenging task. In The Timeline Project I get to practice writing many types of documentation such as comments in source code, user manual, instructions for volunteers how to participate, and replies to emails on the mailing list.

I am interested in improving my ability to write good documentation and I think one prerequisite is good writing skills. Therefore I was browsing the web for podcasts about writing and I found a website called I’d Rather Be Writing. In addition to some interesting podcasts I found this informing article: Documentation Usability: A Few Things I’ve Learned from Watching Users. The author has some really interesting suggestions how to improve documentation for applications. In particular he claims that the user manual might not be the best type of documentation for a user. I definitely have to read more on his website. Maybe I can implement some of the ideas in Timeline.


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