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Documentation That Breaks The Mold

Excitement and innovation aren’t really words that come to mind when you think of “technical writing,” right?

I didn’t think so.  As interesting as the profession can be, we often find ourselves filling in the same template for the same type of document over and over again. And while it’s important to make clients happy and follow the standard formats, we must always keep sight of our goals – does our documentation serve its purpose? Does it teach? Does it explain? Does it do these things well?

Here’s an interesting example of some really high-quality documentation that I encountered recently: Jeff Keyzer at The Mighty Ohm recently published this fantastic comic book explaining everything you need to know in order to solder electronic components to a circuit board.  Although somewhat casual, the comic book format is perfect for this type of tutorial. Each step is described and illustrated in detail, including warnings and helpful tips. Better than writing yet another canned “Job Aid,” right?

Have you ever stumbled upon an interesting or innovative way to approach How-To documentation?

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