Write the Docs Podcast episode 30: Documentation templates, with Juan Lara
Documentation templates refer to established patterns we follow for common documentation types, such as quickstarts, how-to guides, concepts, tutorials, reference, troubleshooting, release notes, FAQs, or other information types that have similar, predictable patterns.
Templates can be helpful in orienting new writers, but they can also help ensure consistency among larger groups of experienced writers too. Our discussion in this episode ranges from observations about when templates are right for users versus writers, and how templates fit into an overall content strategy and information architecture.
Beyond templates, your user’s goals and journeys will influence the shape of your help content.
Resources mentioned during the show:
- Google’s Technical Writing Courses
- Cloud Spanner documentation
- The Good Docs Project: Templates to make good docs.
You can see the original post here: WTD Episode 30: Documentation templates, with Juan Lara.
See also the Conceptual topics in API docs in my API docs course for a list of best practices about overviews, getting started tutorials, quick references, glossaries, and other common topic types more specific to API documentation.
About Tom Johnson
I'm a technical writer / API doc specialist based in the Seattle area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out my API documentation if you're looking for more info about that. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me. Finally, note that the opinions I express on my blog are my own points of view, not that of my employer.