The blog where Tod McCoy blogs


Technical Writing portfolio for Tod McCoy

Listed below are documents that I’ve worked on in the past in my capacity as technical writer as well as documents for various other causes.


Xbox Support work:

Use Kinect voice commands with Xbox One. This is a good example of what I did on the Xbox Support team. We created “break-fix” articles, which were intended to give people information to fix their Xbox without having to call the support line.

Tod-McCoy-video-article-sample. Another Xbox article. My specialty was largely Xbox Music and Xbox Video, which changed branding a few times over the years.

Tod-McCoy-locale-faq-sample. Another Xbox article, this one in the form of an FAQ.

TFS 63584_music-videos-on-xbox-one_v04_v-todmc. This document shows some of the editorial process and includes markup used when sending the final version to Production.

The strategy, which I helped develop over the years, was to write neatly, concisely, not to be verbose, use bullet points wherever possible, and write at a simple level (largely a fifth-grade reading level). Our objective was to “deflect,” which meant to try and keep the customer from contacting Support by giving them the tools they needed to fix the problem on their own. We found that people preferred to do this. Our content effectiveness increased from 58% to 85% while I was there.


Miscellaneous work:

Seller Desktop application help files. Created while working for the Seller Desktop team at Amazon. I eventually turned this into a CHM file that was bundled with the software.

Software Assurance Customer Quick Start Guide. This document was created for the Volume Licensing team at Microsoft.

How To Use Your Software Assurance Benefits. This document was created to outline Microsoft’s Software Assurance Benefits for those interested in purchasing volume licensing of software.

TransPOD System Design Specification Final Draft Standard 20080421. Proposal written for Novax Industries Corporation in Vancouver, BC, who proposed to create a stoplight system that would allow buses to more efficiently move through the stoplight grid in Vancouver.

Seventh Week article on Telling Tales. An article written for the “Seventh Week,” a quarterly publication from esteemed writing workshop Clarion West. In the past I worked as a feature writer for newspapers in Phoenix, publishing more than a hundred feature articles.