I also include a number of other important aspects such graphic design tips for writers and how to establish and build good working relationships with your subject matter experts.
These high-level steps are the common elements in virtually every technical writing project — really in any business writing project — big or small.
Is the average user tech-savvy or a technological newbie? Create detailed technical drawings, prototype or scale model, mathematical and computer models, Conduct performance and user tests.
How similar or different from related products is this one? Technical writers can return to this stage multiple times, if their initial information is not sufficient to cover the necessary project information.
It also does not clearly account for the need to iterate; sometimes while revising your draft stage 3you may have to go back to the planning stage stage 1 to do additional research, adjust your focus, or reorganize ideas to create a more logical flow.
Generate possible solutions. Currently, online help doesn't work for the average driver in a car, so car owner manuals are likely to be produced in hard copy for the foreseeable future. While the stages of the technical writing process are similar to those of other writing projects, the technical demands of a technical writing project require a heightened awareness of presentation errors and style choices for the writer.
Learn from other Users Speaking of beta testers, does your company have a small group of dedicated users who regularly get first crack at trying new products in exchange for feedback on them? Preparation Preparation is the earliest stage in the technical writing process.
If you work for a software company as a technical writer, you don't necessarily need to be able to program a computer, but understanding something about the programming process can be immensely helpful both in relating to the programmers you will work with and in understanding the product your company produces.
Use a decision matrix to evaluation. Am I going to publish them in multiple formats — if so, are there any production requirements I should be aware of?