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.