• Easy-to-read documents are more likely to be read.

    Give your documentation the reputation for quickly solving users' problems. Learn to apply structure, relevance, consistency and your users' vocabulary.

  • Without documentation, your product is incomplete.

    Complete your product with documentation that is tailored to users' needs, whether they be operators, supervisors or technicians.

  • Reduce Staff and Customer Downtime

    Let us ask the dumb questions, saving your clients and staff the embarrassment of doing the same. Improve productivity with accessible answers that solve users' problems.

  • Keep Staff and Customers Safe from Harm

    Reduce risk by following a simple set of standards when documenting hazards.

What We Do

Choose the Relevant Medium.


It's the digital age, so we deliver the information your staff and clients need, in whatever medium is most effective.

Document Current Reality.


Mitigate harm to your business, staff and customers with clear, concise and up-to-date documentation. If policies, processes and procedures are not documented or are not kept up-to-date, how can you hold anyone responsible for ignoring them?

Process / Workflow Mapping

Find out what you don't know by documenting current reality.

Chances are, what you think your staff do, and how you think they go about doing their jobs, does not reflect reality. It's time to uncover what is happening in your business!

With process mapping workshops, staff feel valued on seeing their reality unfold. The mapped processes become a clear visual representation of what staff do to get the job done. Show your staff you are listening by taking on board what they do and how they do it.

With receptive staff, you will be in a better position to implement change. With current reality documented, you will be in a knowledgable position to implement effective change. Win your staff over before introducing changes. Together, managing change shouldn't be difficult.

Procedure / Operation Manuals

The purpose of a manual is to mitigate downtime.

A manual must solve problems as soon as practicable. Finding the solution to a problem must be no more than three page-turns away. The solution (procedure) must be easy to follow. It must solve the problem; allowing the person to resume work with minimal loss of time.

Improve productivity by putting clear, concise and easy-to-follow documentation in place.

Online Help

Providing help-desk support can be expensive. Sure, you can track how well and how often your staff are helping clients. There is the feel-good factor that comes with staff-client interaction. And of course, the more you help, the better it feels!

Would it not be better if your clients didn't have to phone through the problems they are having with your software? After all, it's far simpler to provide users with what they need, when they need it?

With effective online help, finding the solution to a problem should be no more than three mouse-clicks away.

Reduce your support costs. Empower users with effective and accessible Plain English online help.

Competency-Based Training

Don't get caught out with the 'buddy' system of training. The buddy system is prone to personality-based assessment. Where health and safety is important, the buddy system can lead to serious harm. In Court, the buddy system will only serve to demonstrate negligence.

Embrace competency-based training programmes. Build a set of training documents based on learning outcomes. Each document is tailored to its respective audience. Whether it's the learner, trainer, or assessor, each role receives targeted documentation.

With a competency-based training programme, you can also build in evidence of attendance and achievement. Deliver consistent training programmes across all your workplace sites with competency-based programmes.

Illustrations & Video

A picture paints a thousand words. It results in a leaner document and connects with people in ways that copious pages of boring text can never do.

Help staff get up to speed faster and reduce human error with clear illustrations.

Take things a step further, and show staff and customers how to perform tasks. Watching a video demonstration enhances the effectiveness of any training.

Why provide expensive one-on-one training when you can record once and train many.

Human Machine Interface (HMI) Design

Operating a machine on a production line should be as easy as operating a phone app.

While many developers bury a human-machine interface in complexity, users prefer simplicity. A human-machine interface should be simple to navigate and operate. It should be clear what the user can do with the machine, and it should be clear what the machine is doing.

Look and feel is important. The 'look' equates to appearance. The 'feel' equates to behaviour. Inconsistencies in appearance and behaviour make a product feel unintuitive. This leads to frustration, increased documentation costs, increased training costs, and lower productivity.

For increased productivity:

  • standardise onscreen terminology on users' vocabulary
  • use colour consistently to differentiate interactive elements from non-interactive elements
  • use colours that are consistent with real-world cues, e.g., health and safety signage
  • use, e.g., push buttons to express the action that the user can perform; not the current state of the machine.

With an intuitive human machine interface, you can eliminate the poor design choices that slow users down for years to come.

Empower users to work efficiently and effectively by giving them an easy-to-use human machine experience.

Adding clarity to the behaviour of onscreen controls enhances learning and productivity while reducing documentation requirements, training costs, and support costs.

Chris Heath Technical Writer & Illustrator.


Chris is a technical writer and illustrator based in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. Chris brings clarity to your business's documentation, making it easier to read – saving your readers’ time.

Chris Heath

Writer & Illustrator

Process

With over twenty years experience in documentation, Chris can manage the documentation development process through to completion. This involves gathering relevant information, ensuring drafts are reviewed and feedback incorporated, and the completed documentation signed off. This process typically involves facilitating the involvement of a range of stakeholders with minimal impact on their time.

Structured Writing

The principles of structured writing are applied to ensure content is:

  • easy to locate
  • relevant to the audience's needs
  • broken down into easily digested chunks of information, and
  • consistent in terms of vocabulary and style.

Simplicity

Achieving simplicity involves balancing clarity with conciseness, and this can require a fair bit of analysis. Being concise and to the point is good, however, never sacrifice clarity for conciseness. Too little information can be just as ineffective as providing too much.

Clearly identifying the audience and purpose of the documentation makes it easier to:

  • add information that is meaningful, and
  • remove information that is irrelevant.

Some information that feels important on the day to some stakeholders, or is considered nice to have, serves no purpose within the context of what is being written. Surprisingly, greater clarity can be acheived simply by deleting it.

Style

Style plays an important role in the documentation process. Each information type, e.g., procedure, hazard notice, or policy statement, should be categorised and styled consistently throughout a document or suite of documents.

On a subliminal level, readers should be able to recognise particular types of information at a glance. For example, a hazard notice should never look like a policy statement. Procedure steps should never be mistaken for a numbered list of items, and vice versa. It's all in how you style your content that makes different types of information instantly recognisable.

BUSINESS WRITING

Business Writing Simplified

Business Writing Workshop with Chris Heath

If it's easier to read, it's more likely to be read.

The Workshop

This 3-hour workshop covers a range of principles that your team can apply to writing a range of documents.

We cover cover the principles of good business writing, and learn to:

  • identify the primary message
  • format content to focus atttention
  • create an effective call-to-action, and
  • make written communication work for a wider audience.

Attendees will spend time in small groups for practical exercises and discussions.

Testimonial

Chris’s 'Business Writing Simplified’ workshop has been invaluable for our staff and business as a whole. Chris delivered a concise, interactive course that delivered to our needs.

An instant improvement in both internal and external communication has been noticed within Vet Services.

Arron Scoble Group Retail Manger, Vet Services Hawke's Bay Author image

This workshop can be customised to solve the issues you may have with your businesses emails, reports and documentation in general. For more information about running a workshop for your team, get in touch with Chris by filling out the form below.

  • Being a small team it was essential to future proof the organisation in case a staff member left. Having documented processes and procedures enables new staff to get up to speed quickly, ensuring interruption to our business of granting to community organisations is minimised. We found Chris excellent to deal with. He quickly gained an understanding of our organisation and was a good sounding board for our questions and comments.

    Author image
    Jonathan Bell General Manager, Eastern & Central Community Trust
  • With Chris’s training programme, we not only have a manual, we have an in-house resource to maintain it. Already the manual has helped new staff come up to speed quickly, made it easier to transition staff from one set of responsibilities to another, and will help us replicate our operations to new locations as we expand the business.

    Author image
    Guy McPhail Kooga New Zealand Ltd
  • We were pleased to find and identify Chris Heath as the person who could assist us with redocumenting our process and procedure manuals. I spent time working with Chris to establish our templates and content, resulting in a very good end product. I happily recommend Chris’ services to anyone who is considering this for their business.

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    Greg Paget New Zealand Master Franchisee, Cleantastic NZ
  • Chris has been invaluable in getting our manuals and procedures up to date. This has kept Drug Free at the forefront of the drug testing business in an ever-changing environment.

    Author image
    Gavin Bush Director, Drug Free Testing NZ Limited
  • Working with Chris was an absolute breeze. Not only was I impressed with the quality of his documentation, he helped us improve the user experience of our product.

    Author image
    Matt Dwen Director (Development), Group 6 Technologies
  • Chris highlights the value of clear, simple communication which is important across all aspects of business; both internal and external.

    Author image
    Stephen Haswell Director, BioAg Ltd.
  • Chris is amenable and innovative and has added good structure and process to obtaining a high-quality output from a large and diverse group of leading experts in environmental monitoring.

    Author image
    Rob Christie Principal Scientist, Hawke's Bay Regional Council

HB Technologies (HBT) is an IT company specialising in solutions for business. Starting in 2007, our personal approach to providing managed office services has seen more than 600 customers choose us for their office technology and support.

We have had the pleasure of engaging Chris Heath to assist us with developing a range of written material, including IT policies and procedures, proposal templates, user training videos and one-off assignments for specific written proposals to customers.

In all cases we have appreciated Chris’s ability to quickly pick up on what we require, make professional and considered suggestions for enhancements to the final product, and produce the required material always to the timeframes needed. We are always totally impressed with what is produced.

We find Chris incredibly easy to work with and appreciate his ability to completely “get” who we are as an organisation. His writing fully reflects who HBT is, and provides us with material that is well worded, geared to the target audience and thoroughly professional.

Duncan Wallace Managing Director, HB Technologies HB Technologies Logo

Get In Touch with Chris.


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Contact Chris:

Phone: 027 43 93 796