User assistance for Philips Home Control products
As Philips was developing high-tech universal controls, they asked Human Interface Group to develop high-quality, clear and concise documentation.
Philips Home Control is a division of Philips Consumer Electronics dedicated to the development of an extensive range of remote controls, game pads, keyboards, etc.
Among others, Philips has developed a series of high-end universal control panels. Instead of using a different remote control for each device, the user can integrate a universal control panel in his home theater system, and address all the devices in his home with this device.
Installing and configuring a universal control panel and the accompanying software is somewhat more demanding than placing batteries in a basic TV remote control. Philips wanted high-quality, user-friendly documentation to match its high-end product, and asked Human Interface Group to develop it.
Our job was to create clear and concise documentation - printed manuals as well as online help - for the end-users of the control panels and for the installers who generally set up the control panels. One of the challenging aspects was explaining in words and drawings how the universal remote control operates in a home theater system: how it communicates with a number of different devices in various rooms in a house.
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As the control panels were to be sold in several European countries, in the US and in Canada , the documentation had to be translated in up to 13 different languages.
What We Did
Human Interface Group created various kinds of manuals for the control panels, ranging from foldable Quick Start Posters to short booklets, manuals and online help.
Not only did we write and test this documentation in user tests, we also
- helped develop the installation drawings;
- coordinated the layout of the different manuals;
- coordinated the translation of each piece of documentation.
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One of the manuals that we developed for Philips Home Control, the RFX6500 User Guide, won the Merit Award at the 2005 STC Competition for Technical Communication.
A quote from Daniel Tonks on www.remotecentral.com
"The ProntoPro NG's documentation consists of a 68-page bound manual and a 12-page leaflet detailing how to use the remote standalone and install the PC software. The manual is well written and easy to follow, with plenty of diagrams and screenshots. Software users will also be pleased to hear that full online help is provided in ProntoProEdit NG."
An excerpt of the judges' statement:
"This Noncomputer Equipment Guide has solid strengths and deserves recognition for a job well done. It achieves its purpose and meets the needs of the intended audience.
The quality of writing and copy-editing make this document easy to read and use.
Graphics are used often and effectively to help the reader to orient him or herself to the tasks associated with the guide.
Consistent use of visual elements adds to the usability and readability of the document.
This is a well-made, appropriate document that should be taken off the shelf and read!"
Refer to Services: Support for more information about user documentation.
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