What is technical writing?

Communication about anything specialized benefits from technical writing, and so does communication involving technology. If you’ve ever used jumper cables, furniture assembly instructions, or test strips for a home hot tub, you’ve encountered technical writing in everyday life.

There are three types of technical writing needs. They are:

  1. Communicating specialized information such as software documentation
  2. Instruction or guidance material
  3. Communication technology itself, including websites and help systems

So you can see why technical writing is everywhere and not limited to fields like finance, law, and manufacturing. Some kinds of technical writing require specialized knowledge. There is also an art aspect to conveying a concept with clarity and simplicity for the right purpose and the particular audience.

Specialized information needs to be simplified and translated for an end-user, whether it is product documentation for a layperson or a readme for a software engineer. Technical writing takes information like software or technology specifications and presents it in either a technical or a non-technical format depending on the need. If the end-user is another expert professional, more specialized knowledge or experience is helpful, such as a technical writer specializing in WordPress Plugin developer tools.

Guidance, such as the furniture assembly instructions or a curriculum, and instructional design, is another form of technical writing. Examples are product user guides, FAQs, and knowledgebases. This guidance could be for a non-technical task or concept or assembling a new vacuum cleaner. Designing an employee onboarding curriculum and standard operating procedure documentation are examples of technical writing found in any business.

Websites, help systems, and social media platforms are yet another form of technical writing. Along with design and marketing, technical writing helps deliver content in the right-sized level of detail for the audience. Imagine if there were no help articles about the new technology you have to use for work or if there were no social media. This type is also not limited to specialized fields, technology, or human resources needs. Introducing a new product and designing for the user experience is an example of technical writing.

We can help or hurt our business efforts by taking on the challenge to advocate for the end-user and communicating with a technical writing approach. Everyone from consumers, employees, and even ourselves stand live, learn, and work with more ease thanks to the benefits of skillful technical writing. Technical writing makes the world go round a little more clearly and conveniently.

Schedule with Integral Documentation Solutions and talk about meeting some of your business needs with technical writing.

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