Good Technical Writing: The User-Product Existence Cycle – A Documentation Instrument

The User-Product Lifestyle Cycle (U-PLC) can be a powerful tool for your User Document author. Use the U-PLC to produce the high-level topics in your User Document.


Normally, after we consider an item Living Cycle, we predict when it comes to the improvement and manufacturing of the Product alone. When producing User Documentation, contemplate the U-PLC that can assist you deliver all of the subjects required for an entire document. User Documentation ought to support your Buyers in all of their interactions with all the product or service plugins

The User-Product Lifestyle Cycle refers back to the entire range of interactions in between the User along with the Product by itself. This is much more than simply just “how to work with the product or service.” As you will see underneath, “Use the Product” is barely a single stage during the U-PLC.

Phases From the U-PLC

Allow me to share the levels Within the U-PLC (assuming the Person as acquired the Products):

— U-P LC Phase: Transportation the Product to its working site

— U-P LC Phase: Unpack the Merchandise

Transport and Unpacking of the item are detailed the following just for completeness. These are at present displayed on the packaging itself, normally in pictorial form, and do a fantastic career.

— U-P LC Phase: Overall expertise regarding the Merchandise.

That is facts that’s introduced on the User early during the Person Documents.

Subjects the following contain protection, authorized, and disclaimers related to the solution.

The description on the product or service should reveal how the product could change the way that the Person at the moment does elements. For instance, an analog voice recorder will require the User to pay attention to the many stored objects to find a individual a person; a electronic voice recorder will make it possible for the User to quickly leap from just one message to another.

— U-P LC Phase: Put together or Install the Product or service

* Environments

It really is essential for the author to consider the varied environments exactly where the product or service will exist. For instance, how ought to a computer application be installed in the Windows, Mac, or Linux natural environment?

“Environments” includes other factors which the item should do the job with. As an example, how should a DVD player be installed in a very system currently composed of a Tv set as well as a VCR? What about set up to your Television & VCR system where the Television has only one video input?

* Consumer Capabilities.

The capabilities required for the User to create the item are also essential. Since the assumptions connected with the Consumer for put together may be different from the assumptions about the Consumer in using the solution, the wise author will present the skills (and perhaps regulations) needed to put together the solution. A section entitled “Can You Build This Product or service?” will permit the User to make the decision about whether to established the product or service up themselves, or locate outside assist development blog

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

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

— U-P LC Stage: Use the Item

This component is the focus of most Person Documentation. It need to contain at least these three sub-topics:

– Starting the product or service

– Actual Use in the products

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

Ideally, this must be divided into basic or common item functions, and advanced functions. A great case in point is photo-editing software. Most Buyers want to crop, rotate, and adjust the brightness and contrast from the image. These are basic functions. A lot more advanced functions might be combining the parts of just one picture with one more.

– Shutting down the merchandise

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

— U-P LC Phase: Maintain the Solution

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

— U-P LC Phase: Move the Merchandise

For just a laptop software program, how the User must move the method and its data to another pc; personal computer consumers often upgrade their laptop or computer hardware. While it really is often assumed which the Consumer really should re-install the item over the new computer, there always is the question about moving the data associated with the product: the place is it located, and how really should it be moved so the newly-installed plan can recognize it about the new laptop or computer?

For the physical product, are there any special considerations in moving the Solution to another location?

— U-P LC Phase: Discard the Product or service or its By-Products

Here I would like to mention only selling the used item. It might be wise to mention that by keeping the Consumer Manual, the seller may well come across it easier to sell, and possibly get a higher price, for your used solution.


As you create the matters in your Consumer Document make sure that you keep the U-PLC in mind. Ensure that you involve topics in your Consumer Document Outline to assist your Person in all phases of the U-PLC.

Excellent Person Paperwork can assist in the UP-LC section that I did not present listed here: acquisition with the product. Your marketing department may possibly be able make use of your Excellent Consumer Document as part of its marketing campaign.

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