Lecture: Architecting Install Manuals for Hi-Tech Industries

In this presentation, the authors will share their experience on how they are creating Software Install Manuals that is relevant for Engineers, who work in cutting-edge nanotech industry/Semiconductor manufacturing. It is a niche field, where Engineers help to build next generation microchips that power mobile phones, tablets, and laptops. These Engineers need powerful hardware tools that help in the manufacturing process. The Engineers have a familiar problem, how to install software on these tools and constantly upgrade them. The Engineers’ needs are rarely felt or seen by the software developers, who work on creating the installation software or by the Technical Writers who develop the Install documentation. This means Engineers must constantly rely on help of software developers.

The authors have used a combination of mechanisms (such as roundtable meetings, surveys) to gather valuable feedback to improve the installation experience.  By turning concerns from these Engineers as opportunities, the authors will explain how a standardized structure and flow chart approach was developed for the Software Install Manuals, that is relevant for the Engineers. The standardized structure help Engineers to get information relevant to them, when they need it. This structure will be applied to all product software Install Manuals, resulting in Engineers having a consistent user experience. The procedures are enhanced to be more reliable, enabling Engineers to carry out installation or upgrade independently. 

The paper will cover: Highlights of user feedback, overview of standardized structure created and recommended to the Engineering divisions, and constant ongoing communication with the Engineers to maintain the quality and reliability of the installation procedures. The authors hope their target audience— Senior Technical Writers and Tech Pubs Leads/Managers—will benefit from an understanding of these best practices.