As a technical writer I can always tell when a company has had their own techs write the documentation: “To Print from Google Chrome, open the Chrome Print Dialog, select “Print to Google Cloud Print” from the destination dropdown, and click “Print”.” I spent 30 seconds scratching my head while trying to find out where they hid the”Chrome Print Dialog” until I figured out they really mean “Hold down CTRL and hit P”.
I am the author of an ISP user manual with over 500,000 copies in print. That company grew from me and one tech to over 600 employees and was the largest independent ISP in Toronto, because they understood the value of making things easy for their customers. I learned to never take it for granted that people would understand the company jargon. If you are getting feedback that your documentation is hard to read, a modest investment could more than pay for itself in customer loyalty, word of mouth, and lower call centre costs.
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