User experience and technical documentation: how does it drive growth for your company?

Rainer Börsig Rainer Börsig CTO at Fischer

In an increasingly digitalized world, the user experience is a decisive factor for the success of companies. This aspect is particularly important in technical writing. The ability to not only create high-quality technical content, but also to create a well thought-out and positive user experience from it, is increasingly becoming a differentiating factor. In this blog, we take a look at the world of user experience through technical writing and highlight challenges, strategies and best practices.

Tabel of contents:

    How can the technical writer team generate a user experience for your customer?

    The move from pure information transfer to creating an experience-rich interaction with users is a paradigm shift that is becoming increasingly important in the field of technical writing. The user experience encompasses not only the clarity and precision of the information provided, but also the way in which access to the required information is designed and how it is presented. The challenge is to prepare technically complex content in such a way that it is not only understandable, but also answers the user's specific questions and knows the situation in which it is needed.

    Technical writing is no longer limited to the creation of manuals and technical documents. It is becoming the architect of the user experience. The Component Content Management System, as the central tool of technical writing, plays a decisive role here. It not only enables the efficient creation of content, but also the targeted design of a positive user experience.

    The Component Content Management System TIM is at the heart of creating an outstanding user experience. Thanks to the modular working method, the right answers to users' specific questions are always provided based on a target group. The context in which the respective information is relevant for a user is defined by the metadata. Not only texts or graphics, but also videos, 3D models, animations, entire documents and other information objects answer the user's questions in a targeted and appropriate way - for the specific situation, the specific target group, the specific product and the specific country or market.

    The information objects organized in TIM can be used in very different output channels. In addition to classic documentation in PDF or HTML format and provision as a WebApp, more and more customers are appreciating the use of information in online portals, dedicated applications such as apps for commissioning or troubleshooting and now also in knowledge databases and various expert systems. The contribution of the technical writer team is an essential part of communication with external and internal users. Making complex products easy to understand, answering users' specific questions about the products in a targeted manner, helping users in difficult situations with checklists and step-by-step instructions. This allows you to meet the expectations of users with regard to the provision of information.

     All in a stylish design with user-friendly use of media and functions that provide users with real added value. This allows you to create a new user experience - technical documentation that is fun.

    Application examples

    TIM Content Delivery

    TIM optimizes the efficient and targeted provision of content. Exciting case studies illustrate how companies are taking the user experience to a new level by improving the provision of information. 
    The content that finds its way to the user here often comes from different sources. TIM is naturally predestined as a source system for content, but as the content is organized in other systems for order processing, engineering, document management or enterprise resource planning, the simple integration of this data via standardized interfaces is a key success factor.

    By enriching the content in Content Delivery Enriched with additional product information, interactive elements, personalized content and innovative forms of presentation, the user experience is further improved. Best practice examples (series products, mechanical engineering, systems) show how these approaches can be successfully implemented.
    TIM Content Delivery

    TIM Customer Experience Hub

    Customer portals such as the TIM Customer Experience Hub help to improve the customer experience, increase efficiency and facilitate interaction between companies and customers. All the information that customers need about their products, the corresponding contracts or documents, as well as news and events, can be easily accessed at a central point in the portal and is always up to date. 
    Thanks to modern, standardized interfaces, the information from the respective systems can be easily transferred to the portal. Of course, each customer only sees "their" data.

    The TIM Customer Experience Hub also includes the integration of a ticket system, as well as the option of providing additional information and media such as videos and animations, 3D models, learning materials and even software upgrade packages alongside the product manuals. 

    TIM Service Assistant

    Every service job requires in-depth information about the product. This ranges from individual service plans to maintenance activities with work duration, required training and spare parts requirements. From troubleshooting measures to step-by-step instructions for complex processes. From information on the specific configuration of a device to the maintenance already carried out on the individual device. Depending on the target group, such as the end customer's service personnel, service partner organizations or the manufacturer's own service experts, the information provided should have different depths and therefore different levels of visibility.

    The TIM Service Assistant not only provides information, it also supports users with their queries and provides information on comparable problems or similar machines. The virtual assistant creates real added value in service, from which users benefit in particular if they do not have access to a wealth of experience gained over many years. They benefit from the knowledge base, which grows with every ticket, every connected data source and every new use case.

    Overview of the user experience

    How does the technical writer team harvest growth for the company from this?

    Technical documentation is an integral part of the product - we are all aware of this, even if the importance of technical documentation is often not appreciated in companies. We have looked at how content can lead to real added value for different users and thus create a new user experience using the use cases of TIM Content Delivery, TIM Customer Experience Hub and the TIM Service Assistant.

    Creating impressive user experiences is then not only a question of customer satisfaction, but also holds considerable potential for company growth. Not only does digital provision create a dialog with the customer or user - documentation becomes communication. If used correctly, this communication can generate upselling potential such as spare parts business, product upgrades, accessories or merchandising, which can otherwise only be generated through considerable sales or marketing efforts.

    In addition, communication also opens up or initiates new, adjacent market segments, be it events, training courses, additional information for a fee, etc.

    Last but not least, the provision of technical information via a digital interface and the associated digital availability and integrability is a key contribution to the digital transformation of companies. Important information, previously "hidden" in documents, is now digitally accessible. In portals and apps, usable in processes, available worldwide and always up-to-date. Here is a look at the knowledge graph of the Sherlock platform integrated with TIM.
    To the information platform Sherlock


    The Technical writer team is faced with the challenge of not only providing product documentation, but also designing communication with the user and thus creating an overall experience. TIM acts as the key to realizing this goal and positions the technical writer team as a driver for company growth through enthusiastic users and the digital provision of modular information. Content created with TIM can be offered context-sensitively and proactively to the respective target group. This not only optimizes the efficiency of the technical writer team, but it also ensures that each piece of information created answers the specific questions of the target audience and is digitally ready.

    On the basis of TIM, the technical writer team makes a valuable contribution to digitization in the company and enables the use of high-quality technical information through the underlying knowledge graph and shapes the departure into the digital world.