A good technical writer is one who can break down intricate and complex data and communicate the information in plain, simple and easy to understand English. The following 5 tips will help you to enhance your technical writing skills and also increase your confidence level to take any kind of technical assignments.
- Use Plain & Simple Language
While writing technical content, you need to keep in mind the kind of audience you are writing for. Based on the knowledge level of the audience concerned, you need to present the content in clear and simple language. The goal of the content is to make sure that the audience understands the vocabulary or language used in the content, or else the content will be a total failure. Nowadays, there are a lot of online freelance technical writers available in the internet, that you can simply post your requirements and have all your freelance writing jobs for technology gets done easily.
- Test it yourself
It is always better to test it yourself wherever possible to understand the product more clearly and it becomes much easier to write about the product. Readers will lose focus on the content or manual if instructions are vague, so it is wise to test the product from the eyes of a customer. This may not be always possible with high-end products and systems, where some cost is involved in creating a set-up to test the entire system. In that case, it is better to indulge in more research and understand about the product, rather than blindly writing what your colleagues might say about the product.
- Use Sufficient Images
When it comes to technical content, even though the crux of the matter lies in the content, users will be able to better understand the content when it is supported by visual materials. So try to include as many visual materials like charts, images, graphs, diagrams and illustrations wherever needed.
- Avoid Ambiguous Terms
In technical content, to provide more clarity to the reader, it is better to provide specifics (e.g. 5 kilos, 3 minutes, etc.) rather than using ambiguous terms like a few minutes, a while or few kilos. When you can’t provide specific numbers or details, try to use visual materials like illustrations or images to make things more clear to the user. Let’s say you are writing an instruction manual for microwaving popcorn. If you provide instructions to cook for five minutes, instructions need to be clear and precise as different sizes of microwave can alter the cooking time. So provide specific time, size and power capacity of the microwave in order to enjoy good popcorn. Or else provide generic information for the user to be more observant while cooking and stop the microwave when the popping slows down.
- Task Based Approach
Organizing information is a key skill every technical writer should concentrate more and breaking up the data into tasks and sub-tasks and then providing information for these tasks and sub-tasks will make the content clear and easily understandable for the end users.
These are some of the basic tips needed for a technical writer, but continuous writing and learning from their mistakes are the ones that can improve your qualities and skills going forward. Finally, review what you write and also use special tools to check for grammatical and spelling errors or have the content reviewed by others to avoid mistakes.