Designing and Developing Information

This topic describes how to define a technical communication project, determine how the content will be presented, develop and produce that content, and assess the content's effectiveness. Specific subtopics include:
  • Creating technical content
  • Producing technical content
  • Preparing world-ready content
  • Assessing technical content

Managing Technical Communication Groups

This subtopic describes the processes of estimating and tracking projects, managing technical communicators, and making decisions affecting an entire technical communication staff.

Technical Communication Products

Technical communicators produce four general categories of documents:
  • Documents that explain products, services, and policies. Materials in this category include help, technical-support websites, user’s guides, service guides, references, and policies and procedures.
  • Documents that share scientific and technical information. Materials in this category include technical reports, scientific articles, conference presentations, and book-length projects.
  • Documents that train users to develop skills. Materials in this category include online tutorials, job aids (quick references), and materials for use in face-to-face classrooms and virtual classrooms.
  • Documents that market products and services. Materials in this category include proposals, marketing websites, white papers, catalogs, brochures, and newsletters.
Technical communicators produce these documents in a variety of media, including online, print, video, and audio, for use on devices such as computers and mobile devices. Partly to increase efficiency and partly to reduce the likelihood of errors, technical communicators often produce materials once and use them in a variety of media or for several purposes. Creating one set of materials that can be published in several media is called single-sourcing. Producing materials that can be assembled with a variety of other materials is called reusable content. In addition, technical communicators produce these documents to serve a variety of types of users, from scientists and engineers in specialty areas to end users of products, and from executives to the general public.

Following Technical Communication Standards

Following standards ensures that technical communicators can easily share source files (that is, the computer files containing original content) and information, and present it in various ways.

Using Tools and Technology to Produce Technical Content

When creating, editing, and publishing technical content, technical communicators use many publishing technologies.