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Documentation Raises the Bar for Computational Biology Software Company

A computational biology software client needed help updating and creating a variety of documentation as they prepared their software for commercial consumption.

Challenge

A computer biology software company wanted to prepare an app, which had strictly been used in an academic setting, for sale commercially. When the offshore agency initially hired to perform the documentation work didn't return exceptional results, the company turned to WWT.

Although the previous agency had created some online help and technical documentation, WWT identified several gaps during our initial six-week assessment of the software. Our team of experts audited and edited the copy to ensure it adhered to WWT and industry standards, and made sure it flowed in a way that would give users a seamless experience.

Solution

As part of an effort to spin up a WWT technical writing practice, we brought on a contract technical writer to edit the assessment prepared by WWT technical experts to ensure it complied with industry standards.

From there, our technical writer partnered with two of the client’s computational biologists to update the online help documentation. This included rewriting content, taking new screenshots and making updates any time changes were made to the interface and/or functionality. 

Along with these changes, our writer wrote release notes for each production deployment. As technical documentation was prepared by WWT infrastructure resources, the writer edited, optimized and finalized all content.

Our technical writer also worked closely with the client's UX team to prepare content for mockups and proposed application enhancements. The writer ensured consistent and intuitive terminology was used, always taking the end-user experience into account.

Results

WWT’s technical writer proofread and edited all online help copy, edited and streamlined all PowerPoint presentations and edited 17 technical documents. The initial technology documentation comprised a 50-page document, which WWT edited to have a single voice. Our technical writer also created and organized release notes about all changes in the application and created links to them, added screen shots to all documentation in online help, and collaborated with tech leads to ensure accuracy.

Clear, concise and accurate documentation is paramount to delivering value to any customer. Without it, new resources can struggle to understand the tools they're using, which can adversely affect productivity. When documentation is easy to understand and illustrates the benefits of using a certain tool or engaging in a new process, it empowers the reader and facilitates positive end-user experiences.

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