As a technical writer, I write a variety of documents on any given day. I enjoy the variety of writing tasks that come with my job, for the most part, but writing defects is not something I like to spend a lot of time on. (Come on, who really likes
writing defects?) So when I do stumble upon a product defect I need to share with our development team, instead of cursing to myself and pretending I didn’t see it, I can just let Defect Scribe explain the issue for me.
The problem I have with writing defects is I’m not always sure if I’m including all the information our developers need to understand and fix the specific problem. When I use Defect Scribe to record the actions I performed to come across the issue, I don’t have to worry about keeping track of so many details. The results have everything I need to submit a thorough defect record in our TestTrack
database. I just need to take a little time reviewing the results, adding any notes I feel might be helpful, and then I can create the defect right from Defect Scribe.
But why stop at submitting defects? Here are a few other writing tasks I’ve found I can use Defect Scribe to accomplish.
Author’s note: Some people think all tech writers do is write step-by-step instructions. Don’t be that guy. A Defect Scribe subscription can make writing steps easier, especially for people who don’t like to write, but it cannot replace your technical writing team.
Documenting product features
Let’s say I need to document a simple but important task, such as creating a code review in Surround SCM
. This isn’t all that different than writing a defect, except the way I use the information Defect Scribe gives me is a little different. I tell Defect Scribe I want to record against Surround SCM. When the recording toolbar appears, I go ahead and create a new code review in Surround SCM. Once the code review is created, I tell Defect Scribe to stop recording and a few seconds later, I have all the steps one needs to follow to create a code review at my disposal.
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Defect Scribe Results edited to documentation style[/caption]
I simply edit the text for each step, keep the captured screenshots I could use in the documentation and remove the ones I don’t need, and save the updated information as a Word document. From there, I can copy them to my help authoring tool to apply the necessary formatting or even send them out for a tech or peer review before putting them in the help.
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Defect Scribe results exported to Microsoft Word format[/caption]
Double-checking my work
Even if I’ve already drafted a help topic for a new product feature, I can still use Defect Scribe to record the actions against the new feature and then double-check my draft against the results. This can come in handy when I need to ensure I don’t skip any details when I’m documenting a more complex task.
Emailing quick procedures to co-workers
Sometimes I’ve got some tips or shortcuts I can share with other tech writers on the team to make certain tasks easier. The easiest way for me to communicate these things is to send an email. I don’t always have a list of these tips just sitting around waiting to be emailed, but Defect Scribe can help me quickly compose one. After I’ve recorded the information I want to share, I can click the Send Email button and the steps are listed out in a new message for me.
Want to learn more?
Defect Scribe serves as a great “extra set of eyes”, which is quite the useful resource for all writers and non-writers alike. And, the fact that it’s really easy to use is a no-brainer reason to give it a try. For more information about how Defect Scribe works, check out the Defect Scribe help