Information Management Systems, like Knowledge Base typically utilize technical writing. So what exactly is technical writing? It encompasses all documentation of technical processes. It includes reports, executive summary statements, briefs. Any time technical information is conveyed in writing at work, it is technical writing. This can include but is not limited to: high-tech manufacturing, engineering, biotech, energy, aerospace, finance, IT, and global supply chain. The format is no longer bound to lengthy user manuals as it once was. Technical information must be presented unambiguously.
bottom line: If you work in a technical field, you are most likely performing technical writing.
- DO NOT, make assumptions, or in my experience the best assumption to be made is that your client knows nothing on this topic. However you need to write as clearly and concisely as possible. No one wants to read a book, they just want their problem solved. So if you can explain it well, put it into writing, see if you made any assumptions on their prior knowledge, see if you wrote clearly, and most importantly write concisely.
- Use anchor links in lengthy articles – MS SQL Server Express Installation and Configuration
- Make the content easy to skim use: headers, bullet points, spacing, and visuals to highlight important information, and if possible keep the complete set of instructions visible at a glance.
- Make things easy to read, write to your audience, and avoid slang or anything that may have an alternate meaning. Be concise and and use tools like Grammarly to cut out any extra content if you are not sure on how to write concisely with proper grammar.
- Organize your knowledge base article logically, in chronological order, if there is no particular order then order the tasks by difficulty. This increases the likeliness that they will follow the whole article and not be discouraged. Structure your responses in a way that will sustain activity and momentum.
- Use links within the articles strategically. Where they will be the most helpful.
Stick with simple article title, before I started restructuring OSKAR I saw a lot of lengthy titles like:
- How to Utilize Technical Writing for Your Knowledge Base – instead of –
- Writing for Your Knowledge Base – see the difference?
- Use images to save time and create clarity – who doesn't want an image in place of 3 paragraphs if it explains it clearly?
If you are still uncertain please read through OSKAR articles and see which ones do this? Which ones don't? Which ones do you like? Which ones do you not like? This will help you to have a better idea on how to set up and write for you Knowledge Base. Attached are some examples you can import to help you get started on what Knowledge Base is and Understanding Support. These are just very basic guidelines to help you with the task of creating a knowledge base.