According to the target audience and described subjects, technical documentation in software development is divided into different types (they'll be discussed below). But the main purpose is common — a good tech document should be searchable and useful
for the intended audience to use your product and understand your processes.
Good technical documentation conveys information in a simple and clear way
so that anyone can understand it. It shouldn't require a Ph.D. to make sense of it (highly-tech system documents for engineers as an exception). A good one is going to get you using the product or handle processes right away
, while the other will make your brains puzzle over it.
Finally, good technical documentation covers all necessary scope of project-related data in a concise manner.
It shouldn't be a Royal Annals and Chronicles. Brevity is the soul of wit (and of a great tech document too).
Well-written technical documentation allows all parties to achieve their goals:
- Enjoying a product while optimizing its functionality and maximizing its life span for end-users
- Saving costs on customer service (if end users follow the documentation/use the products correctly/refer to the user guide to troubleshoot issues)
- Improving communication between all stakeholders and avoiding the Chinese Whispers effect