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Information Design

Unclear about what written content you need? We create customised documentation plans, style guides, and templates.

twi-information-design-img-1Ideally, a professional information developer or content strategist should be consulted at the start of any content development project to determine what documentation is required, and set up a plan and timeline for creating it. At TWi, this typically involves the following:

  • Interviewing subject matter experts (SMEs) such as software developers, engineers, or scientists
  • Analysing any available technical specification documents and mock-ups
  • Reviewing the documentation that is delivered with similar products – either by your company or competitors
  • Applying knowledge of documentation best practices and any applicable industry-specific or regulatory standards

DOCUMENTATION PLANS

Putting a good documentation plan in place involves anticipating and addressing the information needs of your target audience. This audience can typically be broken down into a number of different groups, each with their own role, tasks, and level of expertise. For example, if you’ve developed a piece of software, it may be of interest to the following individuals:

  • Decision makers who want to assess its potential benefits and decide whether or not to buy it
  • IT administrators who need to configure and integrate it into their system landscape
  • End users who must learn to work with it on a daily basis to perform certain basic tasks
  • Developers who want to extend it by building on an API that you’ve developed

These groups have very different information needs. Whether it’s software, hardware, medical technology, or pharmaceuticals that you produce, we can partner with you to develop a comprehensive documentation plan. With TWi’s help, you can ensure that the right information is available to the right person, in the right place and format, right when it’s needed.

 

TALK TO US TODAY

Call us on +353 (0)21 242 8800 or complete our simple enquiry form to discuss any information design or content strategy issues you may have. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

TEMPLATES

Your target audience expects all of your documentation to have a professional and consistent look and feel. Our team at TWi can create customised documentation templates for all of the written content you plan to deliver. This could include, for example:

  • Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
  • Quick-start guides
  • Process descriptions, standard operating procedures (SOPs), or work instruction documents
  • Detailed configuration or upgrade guides
  • User manuals or instructions for use (IFUs)
  • Training material
  • E-learning
  • Business reports

We design templates that reinforce your branding and speed up the document creation and review processes. For each template, we outline the sections that should be included and highlight the information that is mandatory and optional within each. This ensures your documentation set is complete and well-structured, follows a logical sequence, and avoids any unnecessary repetition. Where possible we use structured XML or DITA authoring to facilitate reuse of your content in multiple formats. Our team can also update your existing templates or migrate them from one authoring tool to another if required.

STYLE GUIDES

It’s essential that all those involved in the development of your content adopt a uniform writing style and use the same terminology in the same way. Your target audience should not be able to tell if different writers and editors have worked on your documentation. A style guide is required to introduce a unified voice for your company’s content. This helps readers focus on the message and not the formatting. It also conveys a sense of quality and professionalism and inspires trust. Style guides outline standards and guidelines to follow when writing, for example:

  • When to use numbered and bulleted lists
  • How to formulate on-screen explanations and messages that appear on user interfaces
  • How to refer to products and their components
  • What capitalisation rules to apply to different types of text
  • Whether to use US or UK English

At TWi, we can help you to create or enhance your own in-house style guide to speed up the content creation process and improve the clarity and consistency of your communications. While our information design service can be standalone, many of our clients combine it with other services, such as project management and consultancy, technical writing, editing, and proofreading.

WHAT OUR CLIENT SAID

The Janssen project with TWi involves standardising several hundred internal process documents and making them easily accessible through an online playbook. This central information repository will prove a valuable tool for supporting and speeding up employee inductions as well as knowledge-sharing between various teams. We agreed to run a pilot project to pressure-test both the capabilities of the TWi team in writing for such an audience, as well as our own ability to support such an exercise. During the pilot, TWi did an excellent job in driving us forward, giving great advice and insights on what we were trying to achieve. The writing team quickly came up to speed on the complex subject matter of drug development and offered a fresh, objective perspective on what we had. The questioning of our own dogma was superb and really helped us to mature our thinking once we moved to the main project.

By using a combination of high-level overviews, workflow diagrams, and comprehensive linking to more detailed source documents like SOPs, the writing team are greatly enhancing the usability of our content. Together with the process owners and subject matter experts (SMEs), they are also helping to fill in any information gaps that are identified. The feedback from the entire Janssen team is hugely positive, specifically in relation to the interactions between TWi staff and our own SMEs, and the writers’ ability to generate concise but comprehensive process descriptions from often raw or incomplete content. The TWi team has built a great foundation of trust with the Janssen team, which makes for a smooth ongoing collaboration.

Leonard James, Director of Process Improvement, PDMS, Janssen Biologics

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