Online Help Writing for Microsoft Office Live

Microsoft Corp., Office Live

The Office Live team was preparing to launch beta software for the free version of Microsoft Office as a web app. Considering that the web apps contained many of the same features as their desktop counterparts, each required comprehensive documentation.

The Office Live documentation team required supplemental staff to help them to plan and write online help topics for new and old apps on a tight deadline to launch, and that’s where I stepped in.

My first step was to use the Office Live product to obtain the user’s view of the app: key tasks, navigation, and potential trouble spots.

Next, I created a documentation plan and got necessary approvals for team stakeholders. With the plan ready, I begin to develop the online help topics in the standard Microsoft style, beginning with the most commonly performed user tasks.

Working with documentation staff and program management, the help topics were reviewed for accuracy and adherence to Microsoft guidelines.

The clear and easy-to-read online help topics enhanced Office Live’s ease of use and helped to reduce to the overall product maintenance and support costs.