Terrific Technical Writing: The User-Product Existence Cycle – A Documentation Tool

The User-Product Everyday living Cycle (U-PLC) is often a effective instrument to the Consumer Document author. Make use of the U-PLC to generate the high-level subjects for your personal Consumer Document.


Usually, after we think about a product Life Cycle, we predict when it comes to the advancement and manufacturing in the Solution alone. When writing User Documentation, take into account the U-PLC to help you produce every one of the topics needed for an entire document. Person Documentation ought to assist your Users in all of their interactions with all the product or service wordpress planet

The User-Product Living Cycle refers to the complete assortment of interactions among the Person and the Merchandise itself. It is much more than merely “how to implement the product.” When you will see down below, “Use the Product” is barely just one stage during the U-PLC.

Stages Inside the U-PLC

Here i will discuss the stages In the U-PLC (assuming that the Person as acquired the Product or service):

— U-P LC Stage: Transport the Products to its working area

— U-P LC Stage: Unpack the Products

Transport and Unpacking on the products are listed here just for completeness. These are generally currently exhibited within the packaging alone, typically in pictorial kind, and do a superb position.

— U-P LC Stage: In general understanding in regards to the Item.

This really is facts that is definitely offered into the Person early while in the User Files.

Topics right here include things like basic safety, legal, and disclaimers related to the item.

The description of the solution really should suggest how the merchandise may perhaps adjust the best way the Person at present does items. One example is, an analog voice recorder will require the User to listen to the many stored objects to locate a specific 1; a electronic voice recorder will help the Consumer to speedily jump from a single message to another.

— U-P LC Stage: Set up or Install the Solution

* Environments

It truly is essential for your author to consider the varied environments where the products will exist. One example is, how need to a computer application be set up in a Windows, Mac, or Linux environment?

“Environments” consists of other points that the merchandise must function with. Such as, how should really a DVD player be set up inside of a technique presently composed of the Tv and a VCR? How about set up into a Television & VCR program in which the Television has just one video input?

* User Capabilities.

The capabilities required for your Person to create the merchandise are also vital. Since the assumptions linked to the Person for set up may be different from the assumptions regarding the Consumer in using the merchandise, the wise author will present the skills (and perhaps regulations) needed to setup the product. A section entitled “Can You Put in place This Products?” will permit the User to make the decision about whether to set the products up themselves, or find outside help wordpress planet

By way of example, suppose the item is an electrical light dimmer that’s intended to replace the light switch within the User’s home. Using the product merely requires adjusting the dimmer’s single control to established the desired light degree. Installing the product or service requires experience with home electrical wiring–does the User have these capabilities?

Sometimes, the limitation may perhaps be legal. In some jurisdictions — Quebec, Canada, such as — only qualified electricians are permitted to install or modify electrical circuits within the home. Thus in Quebec, the general Person from the dimmer will not be able to (legally) set up the light dimmer.

— U-P LC Phase: Make use of the Product or service

This component is the focus of most Person Documentation. It should contain at least these three sub-topics:

– Starting the product or service

– Actual Use of the product

For most products “Actual Use” is the central focus of the Person Document.

Ideally, this ought to be divided into basic or common item functions, and advanced functions. A good illustration is photo-editing software. Most Users want to crop, rotate, and adjust the brightness and contrast on the image. These are generally basic functions. A lot more advanced functions might be combining the parts of a person picture with an additional.

– Shutting down the item

Is there any maintenance to be done at shut down? List it below and while in the “Maintain” section.

— U-P LC Stage: Maintain the Product

Consider breaking this down into time periods, such as: after each use, weekly, monthly, yearly, as applicable.

— U-P LC Phase: Move the Merchandise

For just a laptop software program, how the Person ought to move the application and its data to another laptop; computer system consumers often upgrade their laptop hardware. While it truly is often assumed that the User must re-install the products to the new personal computer, there always is the question about moving the data related to the merchandise: where by is it located, and how really should it be moved so the newly-installed system can recognize it within the new computer?

For just a physical item, are there any special considerations in moving the Product or service to another locale?

— U-P LC Stage: Discard the Solution or its By-Products

Right here I would like to mention only selling the used products. It might be wise to mention that by keeping the Person Manual, the seller may well discover it easier to sell, and possibly get a higher price, to the used product.


As you make the topics for your personal Consumer Document make sure that you keep the U-PLC in mind. Ensure that you incorporate subjects in your Consumer Document Outline to assist your Person in all phases in the U-PLC.

Wonderful User Documents can assist from the UP-LC section that I did not present below: acquisition of your product or service. Your marketing department may perhaps be able to work with your Excellent User Document as part of its marketing campaign.

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