iFixit has announced Dozuki (http://www.dozuki.com/), the software behind iFixit’s manuals. Dozuki has two products, Guidebook and Answers.
“User manuals are stuck in the 20th century,” says iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens. “Even the best manuals are still distributed as static PDFs. Service technicians are often stuck with documentation that is months, if not years, out of date. Users hate IKEA-style manuals with vague instructions, confusing graphics, and no photos. We started iFixit with the idea that there was a better way — that useful documentation could help people do amazing things.”
Guidebook is a modern procedural documentation platform designed to make easy for anyone to create how-to instructions or publish service documentation for complex devices. Every manual is available online, as downloadable PDFs, through dedicated mobile apps like iFixit’s iOS app — or through custom API (application programming interface) applications. It’s simple for technicians to suggest changes, so manuals consistently get better over time, says Wiens.
Answers is an enterprise-grade Q&A for experts. It’s a structured tool for focusing expert conversations into a useful (and searchable) knowledge base, says Wiens. Answers gives companies the ability to make their products a hub for knowledge exchange.
“Dozuki isn’t just a content management system — it’s a community platform that empowers companies to give their expert customers a voice,” says Wiens. “Companies that allow their customers to extend their documentation will see consumers flock to sustainable, durable products. By joining the community, manufacturers have the opportunity to set a positive tone, provide leadership, and increase long-term demand.”
Dozuki also targets enterprises needing collaborative workgroup tools.
“Imagine improving the productivity of distributed teams by giving people access to domain expertise already available within the company,” says Wiens. “Dozuki can transform existing procedures and support documents into a framework for social interaction.”
Dozuki partnered with O’Reilly to bring Make Magazine’s do-it-yourself projects into the digital realm. Their Guidebook community, Make: Projects (http://makeprojects.com), allows users to post their own DIY projects alongside Make’s professional articles. The software is in private beta now and will be launching publicly this fall.