There has to be an explanation *

From here to… an infinite mess

Creating a great manual for a great product isn’t that hard.

The real fun (and by “fun” we mean “blood, sweat and tears”) begins when…

  • you realize that you need translations. Your technical writer is using InDesign – do the French, Spanish and German translators have it? Does the guy in Russia have the right fonts? Oh boy.
  • you’re adding more products and variations. Traditional Copy & paste works for a few documents. But what if you need 20 manuals in six languages, with subtle variations? You see where this is going.
  • you realize that people now mostly use mobile devices to navigate support resources. Your manual sure looks great in A4/letter format – but many of your younger users do not even own printers anymore.
  • you learn that you have users with disabilities. Complex PDFs are notoriously hard to navigate.

“We’ve only just begun…”

Think of these issues as dimensions. You start with a single point/document – and before long, you find yourself in a four-dimensional flea circus.

(And we haven’t even talked about updates. Do you have the budget and the proper workflow to update your manuals when you release a new product version?)

It’s magic.

Let’s make this as simple as possible

9to5 Media Services will help you avoid a lot of headaches so you can focus on what you do best: Creating and marketing great products.

  • We’ll help you create translation-friendly, version-enabled documentation. By using a technology called conditional text, we can create multiple documents from the same source, making updates and corrections over a whole product/document range much easier.
  • We’ll use a web-based translation process that allows translators to focus on translations. They won’t have to do layout work, and they couldn’t mess up your documents  even if they wanted to (they don’t).
  • We’ll create mobile/web-friendly target documents – lightweight, clean PDFs and/or HTML manuals that can be read even on smartphones.
  • We’ll build and maintain __translation memories__ and termbases for you, and we’ll deliver them with your documents. This means that for new products/manuals, you’ll only pay for the delta between old and new versions. And if you want to work with someone else, you’ll have a great starting point: Your intellectual property in an industry-standard format – not locked away in some service provider’s system.

And when we’re done, we can all say: “Hey – that wasn’t so hard!”

What’s next?

  • If you want to learn more about our services and the technologies that make up a great writing/translation workflow, refer to our Service page.
  • Your marketing team already has their digital toolbox. Head over to our Tools & Formats page to see if we’re on the same wavelength.
  • Finally, you may ask yourself why you should trust us. Maybe… because all these well-known brands already have.

* No, really: There has to be an explanation

While “There has to be an explanation” sounds like a typical Agent Mulder line, failing to ignore it could get you into hot water. In most countries and territories, complete and unambiguous end user documentation is a legal requirement, and failing to provide one can have serious consequences.