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What is ISO 15511:2018?

ISO 15511:2018, also known as the International Standard for Technical Documentation and Support Processes, is a set of guidelines developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to ensure the quality, clarity, and consistency of technical documentation across various industries. These guidelines are applicable to any organization involved in creating, managing, or distributing technical documentation and support materials.

The Purpose of ISO 15511:2018

The primary purpose of ISO 15511:2018 is to establish a standardized framework for technical documentation that enhances usability, simplifies understanding, and facilitates knowledge transfer. By adhering to this standard, organizations can ensure that their documentation is clear, concise, accurate, and easily navigable, thereby improving customer satisfaction and reducing errors or misunderstandings.

Main Components of ISO 15511:2018

ISO 15511:2018 consists of several key components that guide organizations in creating effective technical documentation. These components include document structure, style and design, terminology management, content development, revision control, and localization considerations. Let's take a closer look at these components.

Document Structure

A well-structured document is essential for easy comprehensibility. ISO 15511:2018 provides guidelines for organizing information into logical sections, such as front matter, main body, and back matter. The standard emphasizes the use of headings, subheadings, lists, tables, and figures to improve readability and facilitate quick access to relevant information.

Style and Design

ISO 15511:2018 suggests best practices for ensuring consistent style and design throughout technical documentation. It covers aspects such as font selection, font size, line spacing, margins, colors, use of diagrams or illustrations, and consistent formatting. By following these guidelines, organizations can create visually appealing documents that are easy to read and understand.

Terminology Management

Consistent terminology plays a crucial role in technical documentation. ISO 15511:2018 provides guidance on terminology management, including the use of standard terms, definitions, abbreviations, acronyms, and glossaries. Clear and consistent terminology helps avoid confusion and misinterpretation, ensuring accurate communication between the document creator and the end user.

Content Development

ISO 15511:2018 emphasizes the importance of developing content that meets the needs of the intended audience. It encourages the use of concise language, active voice, and plain English to enhance clarity and readability. The standard also highlights the significance of using appropriate examples, explanations, and referencing relevant standards or regulations when necessary.

Revision Control

Effective revision control is essential for maintaining up-to-date technical documentation. ISO 15511:2018 provides guidelines on version control, change tracking, and document approval processes to ensure that all revisions are properly recorded and communicated. This helps both the document creators and users stay informed about any updates or changes made to the documentation.

Localization Considerations

In an increasingly globalized world, organizations often need to adapt their technical documentation for different languages, cultures, and markets. ISO 15511:2018 offers insights into localization considerations, including translation, cultural adaptation, and regional requirements, to ensure that technical documentation remains effective and usable across diverse target audiences.


ISO 15511:2018 serves as a valuable resource for organizations seeking to improve the quality and usability of their technical documentation. By following the guidelines outlined in this standard, companies can enhance customer satisfaction, reduce errors, and ensure efficient knowledge transfer. Implementing ISO 15511:2018 will not only benefit organizations but also contribute to the overall improvement of technical communication across various industries.

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