Technical Communication

Technical communication is a method of communication employed to convey engineering, scientific or other technical information. Individuals with varied professional credentials and in a variety of contexts engage in technical communication. Individuals who are designated with the task of relaying technical information are known as technical writers or technical communicators. 

These individuals make use of a set of methods to document, present, and research technical processes or products. Technical communicators can put the information they capture into:

  • Web pages
  • Computer-based training 
  • Paper documents
  • Digitally stored text
  • Audio
  • Video, etc. 

The Society for Technical Communication has defined this field as any type of communication that:

  • Focuses on specialized technical topics
  • Communicates specifically by the use of technology, or 
  • Provides instructions on how to do something. 

The Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators defines it as factual communication, generally about products and services. Whatever the definition of the field may be, the ultimate goal of the practice is to create accessible and easily available information for a specific audience. 

Technical communicators typically tailor information to a specific audience, that may be subject matter experts, end-users, consumers, etc. Technical communicators often work in collaboration with their consumers to create deliverables like:

  • Online help
  • User manuals
  • Classroom training guides
  • Computer-based training
  • White papers
  • Government documents
  • Industrial videos
  • Reference cards
  • Datasheets
  • Journal articles
  • Patents

Technical domains can be of any kind, which include 

  • Soft and hard sciences
  • High technology including computers and software, and
  • Consumer electronics

They often work with several subject-matter experts on such projects.

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