Assessing Documentation Quality

How can you assess the quality of technical documentation (especially software documentation)? What are the characteristics of clear, user-friendly user manuals, online help files, screencasts, demos, and tutorials?

characteristics of high quality technical documentation

How can you assess the quality of your contractor’s services if you’re not a technical documentation expert? What makes online help and manuals user-friendly?

Most important: Don’t assume that the users of your products think like you. You already know your product—new users don’t.

show/hide sectionGoal-oriented approach
show/hide sectionClarity
show/hide sectionDirect access
show/hide sectionUse of specific media features
show/hide sectionNavigation and search
show/hide sectionTone, unambiguousness
show/hide sectionConsistency, terminology
show/hide sectionStructure in detail
show/hide sectionLayout
show/hide sectionAuthoring process, updates, and translations