Writing of User Education (Online Help) for MSN and Money, MarCom for TV Platform Marketing

Microsoft – MSN, Money, Television Platform Marketing

Microsoft’s MSN team had great ambitions for providing world-class content through a network of related websites and software products. MSN Investor, MSN MoneyCentral, and Microsoft Money were three teams requiring contract technical writing support to make their software as user friendly as possible.

The Television Platform Marketing (WebTV) team also hired me as a contract technical marketing writer. The task at hand was to create content for the team’s website and an instruction manual for a TV hardware product.

In my experience, when you’re a contract technical writer at Microsoft, you have to balance being a strong individual contributor with being a real team player. In four total assignments with MSN, Money, and WebTV, I learned that success as a technical writer requires strong interviewing and interpersonal skills to get all the necessary information. And then when you’re writing the docs, it’s all on you (with some peer editing if you’re lucky).

I was hired for online help writing, user interface text, and technical marketing communications. I owe my success to a great sense of the user experience so as to be able to deliver strongly user-centric documentation.

All the documents I created for MSN, Money, and WebTV were successfully shipped with the products. I believe my work added incrementally to the success of great software by adding to user satisfaction and reducing customer support requests.