Organization of Documents for International Audience

Subject: Organization of Documents for International Audience
From: Nancy Allison <maker -at- verizon -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 12 Apr 2011 14:52:13 -0500 (CDT)

Hi, all.

My question pertains to user manuals, quick start guides, etc., that are published as PDFs.

If your books are translated and distributed around the world, do you reorganize any of the content depending on the market they will go to? Or do you follow the typical American document organization and leave it that way?

I have seen some documents from a German company that follow quite a different order from our standard order. I don't know if this order is more typical of European documents, or if it is unique to the tech writer who produced the manuals. Here are some differences between our typical document organization and the German document organization:

General American document organization:

1. Cover
2. Legal matter including copyright statements
3. Table of Contents (describes scope and purpose of book, audience's level of knowledge, typeface conventions, warning icons)
4. Preface
5. Introduction to the X
6. Safety section
7. Chapters pertaining to setup, use, analysis of results
8. Appendix: Technical Specifications
9. Other appendixes


General European (German) document organization:

1. Cover
2. Table of Contents
3. Legal matter including copyright statements
4. Preface (does not describe audience, book structure, typefaces, etc., but does provide contact information and further copyright limitations such as "no unauthorized copying")
5. Guarantee and Compensation Conditions (conditions under which customer can get a refund, etc. What we would consider contract terms.)
6. Introduction to the X
7. Chapter containing Technical Specifications
8. Chapters pertaining to setup, use, analysis of results
9. Appendixes about various topics

If you are aware of different expectations around the planet as to how a user guide should be organized, do you reorg your documents to suit the expectations in different markets? Or do you just stick to one organization?

Also, any suggestions about sources of info about world document design will be gratefully received.

--Nancy
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with Doc-To-Help.
Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need. Try
Doc-To-Help, now with MS SharePoint integration, free for 30-days.
http://www.doctohelp.com

---
You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit http://lists.techwr-l.com/mailman/options/techwr-l/archive%40web.techwr-l.com


To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
http://www.techwr-l.com/ for more resources and info.

Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:
http://lists.techwr-l.com/mailman/listinfo/techwr-l-chat


Previous by Author: Re: Print only PDF pages that have comments
Next by Author: Print only PDF pages that have comments
Previous by Thread: Re: Name That (Date) Field!
Next by Thread: Calling all medical writers


What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads


Sponsored Ads