Terrific Technical Crafting: The User-Product Life Cycle – A Documentation Instrument

The User-Product Life Cycle (U-PLC) is usually a effective instrument for the Person Document author. Utilize the U-PLC to create the high-level subjects for the User Document.


Usually, when we visualize an item Everyday living Cycle, we think with regard to the enhancement and production of the Products itself. When creating User Documentation, think about the U-PLC that may help you create each of the subjects important for a whole document. Consumer Documentation should really aid your Buyers in all of their interactions with the products suggest ideas

The User-Product Existence Cycle refers to the entire range of interactions concerning the User and also the Merchandise by itself. This is certainly far more than only “how to use the item.” When you will see below, “Use the Product” is barely one phase while in the U-PLC.

Levels Within the U-PLC

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

— U-P LC Phase: Transportation the Merchandise to its functioning spot

— U-P LC Stage: Unpack the Products

Transportation and Unpacking with the solution are detailed below only for completeness. They are at present displayed within the packaging alone, commonly in pictorial type, and do a fantastic job.

— U-P LC Stage: Over-all know-how with regards to the Product.

This is certainly data that is definitely presented to the Consumer early within the Person Documents.

Subjects below involve safety, legal, and disclaimers associated with the merchandise.

The description in the products need to show how the merchandise could alter the way that the User now does points. For instance, an analog voice recorder would require the User to hear all the saved merchandise to locate a particular just one; a digital voice recorder will enable the Consumer to speedily leap from a person message to a different.

— U-P LC Stage: Set up or Set up the Item

* Environments

It is actually important to the author to consider the various environments exactly where the merchandise will exist. Such as, how need to a pc method be put in in the Windows, Mac, or Linux setting?

“Environments” contains other items which the products will need to get the job done with. As an example, how ought to a DVD participant be mounted in a method presently composed of the Tv set in addition to a VCR? What about set up to your Television & VCR program exactly where the Tv has only one video input?

* Person Capabilities.

The capabilities required for the User to create the item are also critical. Since the assumptions associated with the User for put together may perhaps be different from the assumptions with regards to the Person in using the products, the wise writer will present the skills (and perhaps regulations) needed to build the product. A section entitled “Can You Set up This Merchandise?” will allow the Person to make the decision about whether to established the item up themselves, or obtain outside assist documentation

By way of example, suppose the solution is an electrical light dimmer that may be intended to replace the light switch during the User’s home. Using the merchandise merely requires adjusting the dimmer’s single control to established the desired light stage. Installing the product requires experience with home electrical wiring–does the User have these capabilities?

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

— U-P LC Stage: Make use of the Item

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

– Starting the merchandise

– Actual Use of the product

For most products “Actual Use” is the central focus with the User Document.

Ideally, this ought to be divided into basic or common product functions, and advanced functions. A fantastic instance is photo-editing software. Most Buyers want to crop, rotate, and adjust the brightness and contrast from the image. These are basic functions. Extra advanced functions might be combining the parts of one picture with another.

– Shutting down the merchandise

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

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

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

— U-P LC Phase: Move the Merchandise

For your laptop or computer software plan, how the User should really move the program and its data to a different personal computer; computer system consumers often upgrade their personal computer hardware. While it can be often assumed which the User should re-install the product over the new laptop, there always is the question about moving the data connected with the products: exactly where is it located, and how really should it be moved so the newly-installed software can recognize it over the new laptop or computer?

To get a physical products, are there any special considerations in moving the Solution to a different place?

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

Right here I would like to mention only selling the used solution. It might be wise to mention that by keeping the Person Manual, the seller may possibly discover it easier to sell, and possibly get a higher price, for the used product.


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

Excellent Consumer Paperwork can assist in the UP-LC section that I did not present here: acquisition from the item. Your marketing department may be able to make use of your Wonderful User Document as part of its marketing campaign.

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