Technical Writing Articles

Principle Seven: Communicate Visually

01 30

Principle Seven: Communicate Visually The primary task of technical writers is to write. However, technical communication encompasses many fields of expertise. One field that technical writers should be familiar with is visual design, also referred to as visual communication design. Visual design ‘Visual design is the use of imagery, color, shapes, typography, and form to […]

Principle Six: Organize Information Logically

01 10

Principle Six: Organize Information Logically Unstructured text typically consists of one paragraph after another, maybe with a randomly formulated title here and there. Information presented in this way is monotonous and visually unappealing. Furthermore, unstructured text provides no anchor points for the human eye nor perceptible patterns which makes it difficult for users to skim […]

Principle Five: Negate with Purpose

01 10

Principle Five: Negate with Purpose Negate (verb): to use a negative sentence or word with a negative connotation.* Writers in marketing communications know that it pays to adopt a positive tone of voice. Unlike marketing content writers, software developers are often better at criticizing their work than extolling the virtues of their products. However, in […]

Principle Four: Choose Verbs with Care

12 7

Principle Four: Choose Verbs with Care The power of verbs A verb is usually the word in a sentence that is essential to the structure and meaning of the sentence. Therefore, verbs and how they are used can sometimes make or break the clarity of the intended message. Verbs with multiple meanings verb + preposition […]

Principle Three: Use Active Voice

11 22

Principle Three: Use Active Voice ‘Whodunit?’ Verbs can be used in one of two voices: active or passive. In the active voice, the subject of the verb performs the action described by the verb. Example: Passive: You are followed around online and information is collected about your browsing habits and interests. Many trackers and other […]

Principle Two: Use Parallelism

11 15

Principle Two: Use parallelism I like reading, writing, and traveling. Like sentences with simple word order, sentences that follow a pattern are easy to understand. When two or more concepts are logically equal, the same grammatical form can be repeated in a series of words, phrases, or sentences, for example, “reading, writing, and traveling”. In […]

Principle One: Keep sentences simple

11 14

Principle One: Keep sentences simple “Much to learn, you still have.” — Yoda (The Empire Strikes Back) English and other languages that are spoken and understood by many people in the world, such as Mandarin, are based on the subject + verb + object sentence structure. subject + verb + prepositional phrase is also common: […]

When More Is Less and Less Is More

11 14

Broadly speaking, minimalism is any style or technique that is characterized by an extreme reduction to necessities and radical simplification. A minimalist is a person who strives to restrict the means and ends required to achieve a goal to a minimum. Applying minimalist principles to writing can support the key objective of technical communication: to […]

The Bestselling Technical Writer: An Oxymoron?

01 28

No one reads documentation It’s the year 2017 and people use apps for everything; no one reads documentation. The job of a technical writer has been replaced by an icon on a mobile device. Yet for many companies, documentation is still necessary to fulfil specific legal and safety requirements. Technical writers still strive to create […]

Technical Communication

12 28

In the second millennium, ‘technical’ and ‘communication’ undeniably go hand in hand. Computers, mobile telecommunications, and the Internet in particular, have dramatically influenced how we communicate. Many people now use these open and easily accessible communication channels to share their thoughts and ideas: at home, at work, and increasingly while traveling. modern Web publishing and […]

Information Development

Copyright © 2024 Helen Fawcett | Made with ♥ and 💀. Design by milo
  • Send a mail
  • In a nutshell, I optimize user interface text such as control labels and create on-screen instructions and help documentation for developers & customers. | Helen works as a user assistance lead at SAP SE.