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Harmonize, Refine, Elevate

Transforming Documentation Chaos into Consistent Brilliance Across Product Lines

CILENT

TIMELINE

ROLE

SERVICES

Daikin Applied

2019

Technical writer

• Catalogs
• Data Sheets
• Installation & Operation Manuals
• Information Architecture
• Content Management System

 Delivering the Next Generation of Solutions

Problem Statement

Defining the problem

Documentation has inconsistent tone, voice, and style guide throughout existing product documentation for multiple product lines - in addition to out-of-date material.

This involved writing standard operating procedure manuals for contractors for a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) company. I worked with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) across North America and with more than 70,000 employees worldwide.

 

I edited the content provided for over 25+ manuals to define best practices and document procedures for every step of the installation and operation process. The material was delivered both online, PDF download, and in printed saddle stitch hardcover.

HIGH LEVEL TIMELINE

Ongoing before marketing news releases of new product development 

MAKE OF THE TEAM

I was the lead writer, managing 1 other technical writer

MAIN GOAL

Reduce costly mistakes due to outdated information in revisions

Background

The bigger picture

HYPOTHESIS

The reduction of errors occurring on job sites with better-aligned documentation to help contractors understand and follow engineering written guidelines.

WHY?

The documentation should reflect the voice that the company has built over the years. Continuing to build the customers' confidence in the product with its competitive and inventive engineering amongst the rest, should also reflect in the documentation. 

However, outdated or unclear information in the manuals has caused accidents on job sites. These costly mistakes not only cause damage to materials but also fall back on the company departments this information funnels through.

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES

Daikin Industries, Ltd. is a Forbes 1000 global company with 2019 revenues of over $24.3 billion and more than 70,000 employees worldwide, making it the largest HVAC manufacturer in the world.

 

So the company continues to have a competitive edge, keeping continuous updates of accurate information promptly will increase customer satisfaction. 

RETENTION

reduce outdated information in the documentation.

LOGIC

reduction of user confusion and errors on the job sites.

KEY GOAL

Build confidence with current and potential customers

Research

Understanding the market & users

Analyzing audience choice of language 

  • Conversational Style: Instructional

Constraints

Jobs onsite go incomplete due to unclear information in the documentation. This slows down the installation process and causes costly issues.

Frustrations

Unclear wording funneling down from engineering to properly translate into effective documentation to provide support to contractors while on job sites.

User Goals

Complete job site installations without error and promptly reduce unnecessary additional costs and additional efforts.

COMMON APPLICATIONS

  • EDUCATION

  • DATA CENTERS

  • HEALTHCARE

  • OFFICE

  • MFG

Insights

Key takeaways

Target Audience 

Contractor Representative

Licensed personnel

Sales Representative

Manufacturers

"Great group of people. There's a great maintenance group and always easy to work with."

Concept

Brainstorming

Touchpoints

The entire company has access to internal drives and may request access to sites in different regional areas. These drives include anything from images, renderings, forms, and various data needed for documentation. Migrating to SharePoint was used as a backup option to utilize the cloud storage. The tools used to update and manage these files for publication included:

+

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

SharePoint

+

Adobe InDesign

Key Elements

  • Adobe Acrobat Pro DC provides the ability to collaborate and make suggested comments and edits to documents.

  • All tools have metadata tagging capabilities to ensure search engine optimization for both new and older documents that may have been missed. 

  • InDesign is the best choice to design and publish multipage documents with precise grids to position page elements and create polished layouts.

  • Move away from the Microsoft Word format of older documents and instead to the InDesign format.

Design

Breaking down the process

Meta Data

To summarize basic information about data which can make tracking and working with specific data easier to increase search results of documentation. We did this in all tools that were used for documentation publication.

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

To ensure accessibility of the correct document is found. 

To increase the chance of finding correct documents during a search.

If needed, additional metadata would be added.

Used for older documents with missing information.

Adobe InDesign

2022-02-28 11_05_30-File Information for 01_IOM1266_Front_Cover_and_TOC copy2.png

Newly created documents we start from the file information here.

Language

The decision on the language of choice for documentation is formal and informative which enhances knowledge and imparts information. Leaving out any extra unneeded words and not using "your" as if talking with someone personally. 

Example #1

information

^

as-built

^

s

a

Example #2

provide

Abbreviations

We should never assume that anyone looking at the documentation knows the abbreviated terms of products before providing the full product name first. 

WME

WSC

WDC

WCC

Place abbreviations only after mentioning the full product name.

Daikin Applied

Take a look for yourself!

Feel free to visit the company website for an overview of all material.

Pittsburgh-AC-Repair_Air-Pro-min.png
Summary

Conclusion

Deliverables

Sharpened inconsistent language throughout product documentation, partnered with the product manager and legal for risk and compliance reviews.

Summary

  • Reduced user confusion, redundancy, and information overload by conducting content audits throughout more than 25+ manuals of the multi-product documentation.

  • Increased traffic on the sales portal by optimizing coherent metadata to improve the performance of search engine results.

  • Shaped the role of content in the design process by partnering with the Product Manager and Legal for risk and compliance reviews.

Future Outlook

To reduce the amount of old information that is printed in-between revisions and to reduce the cost of printed material, it would be beneficial to move all documentation to digital format.

QR Codes

Quick Response (QR) codes are capable of storing data that when scanned, the QR code allows the user to access information immediately. This is mostly done on any mobile device via the camera. No additional app is required.

 

A sticker with the QR code would be placed on units before shipping.

I really work!
This is a real code.

WRITING SAMPLES

Writing Samples

Water Cooled Chillers Catalog

Air Cooled Chillers Catalog

View more at DaikinApplied.com

THANK YOU

NIKITA KING

Let's create something amazing together.

I love meeting new people, especially other designers and am always open to new opportunities. Let's chat and grab a virtual coffee, preferably tea! ☕️

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