In a break from pure coding, I was lucky enough to be involved in writing the help manual for Steinberg’s new release of WaveLab 7 recently. A mammoth task of distilling a thousand page manual into an inline help system.
WaveLab 7 is a professional audio engineering package for Mac and PC that allows you to do everything from audio restoration to professional CD mastering. Along with Colin at CDA Cambridge, we wrote the copy for the inline help system. Not only was it a technical writing job but we also had to script and compile the Help system in a proprietary markup language for a documentation system called Doxygen.
Needless to say it was a long on-and-off job as the software was developed in various iterations. Each new feature meant some more learning for us as we figured out how the software worked. In terms of instructional design it was an interesting project as not only was the GUI design out of our hands but the complexity of the interface of WaveLab with its various “Workspaces” and thousands of functions created a lot of thought on how best to present it all to the user.
I was also responsible for making sure the Doxygen system we compiled the Help with all ran smoothly which was challenging at times after language translations and updates. Its now been released into the wild and selling well – you can read more about its new features at http://www.steinberg.net/en/products/wavelab/whats_new.html