Great Technical Crafting: The User-Product Living Cycle – A Documentation Resource

The User-Product Daily life Cycle (U-PLC) is really a potent software for that Person Document author. Make use of the U-PLC to generate the high-level matters on your Consumer Document.


Typically, once we think of an item Everyday living Cycle, we predict with regards to the growth and manufacturing on the Product or service alone. When crafting Consumer Documentation, consider the U-PLC that will help you create all the topics important for an entire document. User Documentation should really assist your End users in all of their interactions when using the merchandise Suggest Ideas.

The User-Product Existence Cycle refers to the entire selection of interactions amongst the Consumer plus the Solution alone. This really is much more than simply just “how to work with the products.” While you will see under, “Use the Product” is only one stage inside the U-PLC.

Stages From the U-PLC

Listed here are the levels In the U-PLC (assuming that the User as acquired the Products):

— U-P LC Phase: Transport the Products to its doing work locale

— U-P LC Stage: Unpack the Products

Transportation and Unpacking on the product are detailed listed here just for completeness. These are at this time shown to the packaging itself, ordinarily in pictorial kind, and do a very good position.

— U-P LC Stage: General know-how concerning the Product.

It is details that is certainly introduced to the Consumer early during the Person Paperwork.

Matters below include security, legal, and disclaimers related to the product.

The description from the merchandise need to suggest how the products could modify the way in which which the User now does issues. By way of example, an analog voice recorder will require the Person to pay attention to all the saved items to find a distinct a person; a digital voice recorder will permit the User to swiftly jump from a person message to another.

— U-P LC Phase: Build or Install the Product

* Environments

It is crucial for the writer to consider the varied environments exactly where the products will exist. For example, how really should a pc method be put in within a Windows, Mac, or Linux environment?

“Environments” includes other things that the product ought to get the job done with. As an example, how ought to a DVD participant be installed in a procedure at present composed of a Tv in addition to a VCR? How about installation to some Tv set & VCR procedure in which the Tv has just one video input?

* Consumer Capabilities.

The capabilities required to the User to build the products are also significant. Since the assumptions associated with the Person for build may well be different from the assumptions with regard to the Person in using the merchandise, the wise author will present the skills (and perhaps regulations) needed to create the merchandise. A section entitled “Can You Set up This Solution?” will make it possible for the User to make the decision about whether to established the solution up themselves, or come across outside enable.

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

Sometimes, the limitation could be legal. In some jurisdictions — Quebec, Canada, by way of example — only qualified electricians are permitted to install or modify electrical circuits from the home. Thus in Quebec, the general Person on the dimmer will not be able to (legally) set up the light dimmer Suggest Ideas.

— U-P LC Stage: Utilize the Products

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

– Starting the product or service

– Actual Use in the merchandise

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

Ideally, this ought to be divided into basic or common product or service functions, and advanced functions. A very good illustration is photo-editing software. Most End users want to crop, rotate, and adjust the brightness and contrast with the image. They are basic functions. Far more advanced functions might be combining the parts of a person picture with one more.

– Shutting down the item

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

— U-P LC Stage: Maintain the Merchandise

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 Products

For just a computer system software system, how the User should really move the plan and its data to another laptop or computer; pc people often upgrade their laptop or computer hardware. While it can be often assumed which the User should re-install the merchandise within the new personal computer, there always is the question about moving the data related to the solution: exactly where is it located, and how really should it be moved so the newly-installed application can recognize it over the new laptop or computer?

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

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

Listed here I would like to mention only selling the used product or service. It might be wise to mention that by keeping the Consumer Manual, the seller might obtain it easier to sell, and possibly get a higher price, to the used products.


While you make the matters for the User Document make sure that you keep the U-PLC in mind. Ensure that you incorporate topics in your Person Document Outline to assist your User in all phases of your U-PLC Support Forum.

Fantastic Consumer Paperwork can assist while in the UP-LC section that I did not present below: acquisition in the product or service. Your marketing department could be able to make use of your Good Consumer Document as part of its marketing campaign.