Good Technical Composing: The User-Product Everyday living Cycle – A Documentation Instrument

The User-Product Living Cycle (U-PLC) is usually a strong software for that Consumer Document writer. Utilize the U-PLC to deliver the high-level topics for your User Document.


Ordinarily, whenever we visualize a product Daily life Cycle, we expect regarding the enhancement and production on the Item alone. When creating User Documentation, look at the U-PLC that can assist you make many of the topics required for a complete document. Consumer Documentation should really help your End users in all of their interactions with all the item plugins

The User-Product Life Cycle refers to the whole vary of interactions among the Person plus the Products itself. This really is much more than merely “how to implement the solution.” When you will see beneath, “Use the Product” is only a single phase within the U-PLC.

Stages Within the U-PLC

Here i will discuss the stages In the U-PLC (assuming which the Consumer as acquired the Product):

— U-P LC Stage: Transportation the Solution to its functioning spot

— U-P LC Stage: Unpack the Item

Transportation and Unpacking on the product or service are listed right here only for completeness. These are at the moment exhibited on the packaging by itself, normally in pictorial type, and do an excellent job.

— U-P LC Phase: All round understanding concerning the Product or service.

That is data which is introduced on the User early during the Consumer Documents.

Subjects right here incorporate safety, authorized, and disclaimers associated with the product or service.

The description of your product or service ought to show how the item may possibly improve the way that the User presently does issues. As an example, an analog voice recorder would require the User to listen to the many saved items to locate a unique a single; a electronic voice recorder will permit the User to quickly jump from a person message to another.

— U-P LC Stage: Setup or Set up the Product

* Environments

It really is important for the writer to think about the assorted environments where the merchandise will exist. By way of example, how ought to a computer method be put in inside of a Windows, Mac, or Linux atmosphere?

“Environments” includes other issues which the item need to function with. For instance, how need to a DVD player be put in in a procedure at present composed of the Tv set along with a VCR? What about installation into a Television & VCR procedure wherever the Tv set has just one video input?

* Person Capabilities.

The capabilities required for your Person to create the product are also important. Since the assumptions connected with the Person for create may be different from the assumptions with regards to the User in using the merchandise, the wise author will present the skills (and perhaps regulations) needed to set up the product. A section entitled “Can You Build This Item?” will permit the User to make the decision about whether to established the product or service up themselves, or come across outside help suggest ideas

For example, suppose the item is an electrical light dimmer that is definitely intended to replace the light switch while in the User’s home. Using the product or service merely requires adjusting the dimmer’s single control to set the desired light amount. Installing the merchandise requires experience with home electrical wiring–does the User have these capabilities?

Sometimes, the limitation may be authorized. In some jurisdictions — Quebec, Canada, for example — only qualified electricians are permitted to set up or modify electrical circuits from the home. Thus in Quebec, the general Consumer from the dimmer will not be able to (legally) set up the light dimmer.

— U-P LC Stage: Make use of the Merchandise

This component is the focus of most User Documentation. It really should contain at least these three sub-topics:

– Starting the products

– Actual Use from the item

For most products “Actual Use” is the central focus from the Person Document.

Ideally, this ought to be divided into basic or common merchandise functions, and advanced functions. A fantastic case in point is photo-editing software. Most Users want to crop, rotate, and adjust the brightness and contrast of the image. These are generally basic functions. Extra advanced functions might be combining the parts of just one picture with a further.

– Shutting down the product

Is there any maintenance to be done at shut down? List it below and in the “Maintain” section.

— U-P LC Stage: Maintain the Solution

Think about breaking this down into time periods, such as: after each use, weekly, monthly, yearly, as applicable.

— U-P LC Stage: Move the Product or service

For just a personal computer software plan, how the User should move the plan and its data to a different pc; laptop people often upgrade their computer system hardware. While it’s often assumed the User ought to re-install the product to the new computer system, there always is the question about moving the data linked to the solution: exactly where is it located, and how need to it be moved so the newly-installed plan can recognize it on the new laptop or computer?

For your physical merchandise, are there any special considerations in moving the Products to another site?

— U-P LC Stage: Discard the Item or its By-Products

The following I would like to mention only selling the used item. It might be wise to mention that by keeping the Person Manual, the seller might uncover it easier to sell, and possibly get a higher price, for your used solution.


When you deliver the subjects in your Person Document make sure that you keep the U-PLC in mind. Ensure that you involve topics in your User Document Outline to assist your Consumer in all phases in the U-PLC.

Great Person Files can assist during the UP-LC section that I did not present here: acquisition on the product. Your marketing department may be able to implement your Terrific User Document as part of its marketing campaign.

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