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Last edited 25 Oct 2021
Documentation is the process, act or instance of classifying, annotating or authenticating information contained within documents for purposes of factual verification or permanent record keeping. A document is a representation of information in a written, drawn or digital form.
Design documentation is a term that is sometimes associated with the development of computer software (as in architecture design documentation) and web design (as in user experience or UX). In Design Documentation: Why You Need It, Nick Babich provides an overview of the basic ideas of design documentation for UX. This includes:
- Making documentation usable for the target audience.
- Providing up-to-date documentation.
- Working on design documentation incrementally.
- Testing documentation.
- Avoiding jargon.
- Creating easy access.
- Providing visual samples in the documentation.
Generally, this sort of design documentation should include information about users, implementation details, agreed upon decisions and project deadlines. The creation of design documentation should take place during the early stages of a project in order to clarify expectations and expedite the achievement of goals.
These same basic principles can apply to design documentation for building and construction. At the very least, there should be a suitable amount of documentation written to inform staff at an appropriate level of the work that they are expected to complete.
Ideally, this collection of documents and resources should cover all design aspects of a building project, including decisions that have been made during the design process to satisfy business, legal, environmental, social, technical and so on requirements and support the execution of the design.
- Contract documents.
- Tender documentation.
- Types of drawings.
- Briefing documents.
- Planning permission.
- Construction contract certificates, notices and instructions.
- Commissioning documentation.
- Handover to client.
- Project brief for design and construction.
- Quality management systems (QMS) - beyond the documentation.
- Record keeping.
- User experience UX.
- Nick Babich, Design Documentation: Why You Need It.
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