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

The User-Product Existence Cycle (U-PLC) is actually a powerful software for your User Document author. Make use of the U-PLC to make the high-level topics for your Person Document.


Typically, once we think of an item Life Cycle, we predict with regard to the development and creation from the Merchandise itself. When producing Consumer Documentation, think about the U-PLC to assist you generate the many matters essential for a whole document. Consumer Documentation should aid your Buyers in all of their interactions with the product support forum

The User-Product Existence Cycle refers to the comprehensive range of interactions between the User plus the Product by itself. This is additional than basically "how to make use of the item." When you will see beneath, "Use the Product" is simply a person phase within the U-PLC.

Phases While in the U-PLC

Listed below are the levels Within the U-PLC (assuming the Person as acquired the Merchandise):

-- U-P LC Phase: Transportation the Products to its performing spot

-- U-P LC Phase: Unpack the Merchandise

Transport and Unpacking from the merchandise are detailed the following only for completeness. These are typically at this time exhibited to the packaging alone, usually in pictorial kind, and do a superb position.

-- U-P LC Stage: Total information about the Products.

This is certainly details which is presented for the Person early in the Person Paperwork.

Topics listed here involve safety, authorized, and disclaimers connected with the product.

The description of your product or service must reveal how the products may improve the way in which the Consumer now does factors. By way of example, an analog voice recorder will require the Consumer to hear each of the stored goods to locate a individual one; a digital voice recorder will allow the Consumer to easily leap from one message to another.

-- U-P LC Phase: Set up or Install the Product

* Environments

It is actually critical to the author to think of the assorted environments where by the item will exist. One example is, how must a computer system be put in within a Windows, Mac, or Linux natural environment?

"Environments" consists of other elements which the item will need to operate with. As an example, how need to a DVD player be mounted in the process at present composed of a Television and also a VCR? How about set up to some Tv set & VCR program where by the Television has just one video input?

* Person Capabilities.

The capabilities required for the User to create the products are also essential. Since the assumptions related to the User for set up may perhaps be different from the assumptions concerning the Consumer in using the product or service, the wise author will present the skills (and perhaps regulations) needed to set up the product. A section entitled "Can You Create This Merchandise?" will permit the Person to make the decision about whether to established the solution up themselves, or find outside enable plugins

For instance, suppose the solution is an electrical light dimmer that's intended to replace the light switch while in the User's home. Using the product merely requires adjusting the dimmer's single control to established the desired light stage. Installing the products requires experience with home electrical wiring--does the Consumer have these capabilities?

Sometimes, the limitation could be authorized. In some jurisdictions -- Quebec, Canada, for example -- only qualified electricians are permitted to install or modify electrical circuits during the home. Thus in Quebec, the general Person of your dimmer will not be able to (legally) install the light dimmer.

-- U-P LC Stage: Use the Product or service

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

- Starting the product or service

- Actual Use of the item

For most products "Actual Use" is the central focus of the Consumer Document.

Ideally, this really should be divided into basic or common item functions, and advanced functions. A superb example is photo-editing software. Most People want to crop, rotate, and adjust the brightness and contrast on the image. They're basic functions. A lot more advanced functions might be combining the parts of one particular picture with one more.

- Shutting down the item

Is there any maintenance to be done at shut down? List it right here and within the "Maintain" section.

-- U-P LC Stage: Maintain the Merchandise

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

-- U-P LC Stage: Move the Products

For your personal computer software plan, how the Consumer should really move the application and its data to a different computer; computer end users often upgrade their pc hardware. While it's often assumed which the Consumer really should re-install the product around the new computer, there always is the question about moving the data linked to the product or service: the place is it located, and how need to it be moved so the newly-installed system can recognize it around the new computer system?

For the physical item, are there any special considerations in moving the Product or service to a different site?

-- U-P LC Phase: Discard the Merchandise or its By-Products

Listed here I would like to mention only selling the used product or service. It might be wise to mention that by keeping the Consumer Manual, the seller may possibly discover it easier to sell, and possibly get a higher price, for your used merchandise.


While you make the matters for the User Document make sure that you keep the U-PLC in mind. Ensure that you include matters in your User Document Outline to assist your Consumer in all phases in the U-PLC.

Terrific Person Paperwork can assist inside the UP-LC section that I did not present below: acquisition of the item. Your marketing department may possibly be able to make use of your Wonderful Person Document as part of its marketing campaign.

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