Module: Information Development

About the topic

Information development is the core activity of technical communicators and is thus of vital importance. The tasks of technical communicators and the methods used in technical documentation can be described more or less detailed. However, a technical communicator should not only know in detail which methods are used in technical documentation and in what manner, but he should also be aware of the interaction between the different subprocesses. Therefore, it is necessary to have an overview of the entire process of information development including all its aspects. In addition, it is also necessary to know how the individual stages of information development are linked to other processes, for example, how information development relates to the product development and the phases of the product life cycle.

To begin with, the entire process of information development needs to be designed. The analysis of products and audiences provides the essential data for the information design. The results of these analyses are reflected in the different definitions and decisions of the actual information design.

The realization of the information design is generally done through processes that are organized like a project. Although there are standard technical processes for information development and its subprocesses, planning and developing new documentation is very much organized like a project - which can be more or less pronounced depending upon the respective product. Therefore, it is important for technical communicators to know and apply the tasks and methods of project management, which they might have to use in other projects as well, e.g. in terminology projects or the introduction of IT systems.