Technical Writing for Dummies – Technical Writer? Who?

Succumbing to temptation and peer pressure, you’ve finally gone ahead and bought the latest smartphone. After admiring the box it came in and popping a few bubbles on the bubble wrap, you hold your prized possession in your hands at last! Only to realize, you have no clue how to switch it on, let alone do the various things the ad promises you can do (OK, we are exaggerating this a bit! But just play along, will you?). You then scramble to find the user manual among the things you strewed around while unpacking the phone.

Once you start reading the user guide, you realize how comprehensive it is. With drawings, screenshots, and step-by-step instructions, it explains almost every little aspect of your phone. Soon, you are Whatsapping and sharing and doodling like a pro!

Ever wondered who writes these very useful user guides? You got it! The technical writer. Technical writing is the art of explaining complex “stuff” in a simple, unambiguous manner.

And the user guide is just one of the many things a technical writer authors. Functional specifications, online help, reference guides, tutorials, readme notes, and admin guides are a few other collaterals prepared by a technical writer. In fact, technical writers today do more than just write. They create screencasts, multimedia videos, training materials, e-learning courses, and more.

You might also have also come across user guides that read like the menu card in a foreign restaurant for all its usefulness; try hard as you might, you just don’t understand what’s written there! Or a guide that read like an essay? Or one that seemed like a never-ending list of to-dos!

This leads us to the crux of the matter – the role of a good technical writer who authors help that really helps – and delights. A well-written user guide could motivate us to return to the same brand while a badly written one might lead us to condemn an otherwise good product.

At TechWritingLabs, we accord very high importance to being a good technical writer – in fact, we aim to be good technical communicators who use all available channels and media to communicate and engage with the intended user / audience.

 

If you think you have it in you to be a good technical writer or want to graduate from being good to great, come join our “Technical Writer’s Program”. It’s customized to promote self-paced learning and is far removed from typical classroom trainings! Want to know more? Drop in a note to info@techwritinglabs.com.

Category: Career, Documentation, Technical Writing, Technical Writing for Dummies, User Guides

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