Khurshid Alam, Documentation Lead at Quick Heal Technologies joins us in this episode of Knowledgebase Ninjas.
Connect with Khurshid and Quick Heal here:
Twelve years experience
Khurshid has twelve years experience in documentation and currently leads Quick Heal Technologies documentation team that currently consists of four full time resources.
An agile documentation process
Quick Heal Technologies has implemented an agile documentation process that involves both the engineering and product teams.
The difference between fiction and technical writing
To understand the difference between how you should write fiction vs technical writing, you must understand that people do not want to read technical writing right through to the end.
People reading technical writing and looking for a solution to their problem NOT to entertain themselves, Khurshid highlights the need ensure that your editing reflects this understanding.
Customers want self help, not to call support
Khurshid is of the belief that users and customers don’t actually want to reach out to support, they want to solve their problem.
This led the Quick Heal Technologies team to implement popups within their software that would appear when an error occurred and would direct people to the relevant piece of documentation.
How Khurshid saved Quick Heal Technologies $150,000
Quick Heal Technologies serve documentation in eight different languages. These documents used to be served in .pdf format which meant that there were significant translation costs incurred. Khurshid introduced an online content management system and installed a plugin that would automate this translation. This saves Quick Heal Technologies over $150,000 per year in translation costs.
This online content, which is now indexed by search engines also has started to generate organic search traffic.
Khurshid’s cryptic documentation related lessons to his twenty year old self
- Documentation should be multipurpose
- Documentation should be not be short, but also not too long
- Documentation should be both complete and edited
Khurshid’s top four documentation resources
- The Editor’s Companion: A Comprehensive Guide to the Principles of Editing
- The Chicago Manual of Style
- Microsoft Manual of Style
- Read Me First! A Style Guide for the Computer Industry