Year of collaboration

2021 – ongoing

Context: a global, high-growth diagnostics company

Oxford Immunotec develops tests for various diseases based on its innovative T-SPOT technology, which measures immune cell responses to antigens. Their leading product, the T-SPOT.TB test, is used for diagnosing infection with tuberculosis, the world’s largest cause of death from infectious disease. Recently, they also started to develop instrumentation to help labs automate their processes and workflows.

Aim: Create user documentation for a product launching in the Japanese market

With a series of new medical instruments that they were releasing, Oxford Immunotec needed a holistic and consistent approach to their user documentation. Oxford Immunotec were looking for an experienced partner who would standardise and restructure their instructions for highly-specialised medical equipment across complementary user guides.

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Challenges: Improve and localise a documentation set with a formal approval process, regulatory requirements, and tight timescales

Being aware of the complexity of their new instruments, Oxford Immunotec realised the need of setting up an appropriate strategy towards their user documentation. The existing MS Word inputs that they wanted to improve were bulky, contained duplicate information and lacked formatting.

Therefore, defining a content model with the best practices for user guides, as well as restructuring the content using an XML-based single-sourcing tool, became vital. The latter would also contribute to effectively dealing with language variations, given that some content created in English was not suitable for the Japanese version due to differences in regulatory requirements.

The urgency at Oxford Immunotec to bring the product to market meant timescales were tight, as the product was still in development while the documentation needed to be started.

Solution: A consistent documentation set, localised to Japanese, designed to meet regulatory requirements

The 3di team:

  • Set up content models and content plans for all user guides, establishing common structures based on best industry practices, in compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • Migrated content to MadCap Flare and designed new, tailored-to-fit templates for the PDF outputs.
  • Reviewed, rewrote, and applied styles to user documentation following the best technical communication standards.
  • Identified areas and opportunities for reusing content across documentation sets for different products.
  • Developed a style guide to be used across different document types.
  • Worked closely with SMEs and document creators to understand and refine content during the rewriting process.
  • Created glossaries and terminology lists prior to localisation, and used XTM to manage translation memory, ensuring consistency across documents.
  • Implemented a process of continuous improvement to the documentation set while it was being authored and translated into Japanese at the same time.

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Result: An improved framework for creating user documentation, and a cost-effective localisation strategy and workflow

  • Oxford Immunotec gained an outsourced documentation provider who can manage their documentation sets in line with their approval system and regulatory requirements.
  • Delivery of the Japanese version of user documentation allowed 3di to lay the groundwork for scaling up the localisation process in multiple markets (including 7 new languages).
  • 3di standardised document templates that supported content reuse and minimised the time and effort needed to create new documents.
  • 3di implemented an agile process, using a standard content model and a style guide, to ensure content quality and consistency.

Testimonial

‘We decided to partner with 3DI based on the value they could add to our user documentation and its associated localisation for various markets. Assessing information interpretability and advising on preferred approaches, we have found a great partner to support us with our documentation needs. The team have been responsive, personable, accurate and professional and the partnership has enabled us to meet some challenging document delivery timeframes that we’d otherwise have missed. We are particularly impressed by the smart way that 3DI re-use content and translations which save on time and cost as the relationship matures.’

– Andrew Page, Director, Global Technical Services

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