Technical communication connects those with information to those who need that information. It connects your message to your audience, your clients to your products and services, your employees to your organizational goals.
Technical communication delivers value by providing people with consistently relevant information in a way they can understand, enabling them to act on that information, and improve their productivity, their efficiency and, ultimately, their well being.
Communicate with your customers, employees, stakeholders – any audience that you want to connect with – by focusing on three principles.
Clear, concise, and contextually appropriate messages are the core of successful communication.
Well managed content and delivery systems provide consistency, which builds trust.
Each audience has a point of view. Speak to their perspective and reward their attention.
TECHNICAL WRITING & READABILITY
Readability is the foundation of successful technical writing.
Adherence to grammar and style rules will ensure your content is legible, but legibility is just the baseline. Readable text is not only clear, direct, and easily understood, but also informative and engaging. This is a function of many factors
Creating coherent topic structures
Provision of simple navigation
Adherence to platform conventions
Consistent use of vocabulary
Leverage of delivery channels
Designing to user purposes
Awareness of culture
Clean and presentable data
Fidelity to subject matter
Keeping these factors in mind during content creation ensures the content is highly readable, in the format and context most appropriate for the audience. Content that is clear, accurate, and inviting to your audience – this is content that is read, and that is the point, isn't it?
CONTENT MANAGEMENT & RELIABILITY
Over time, two things happen to content: it expands and delivery options for it multiply. As a result, managing content is simple in the same way that lion taming is simple – what needs to be done is easy to understand, but doing it requires expertise, stamina, and even a little courage.
I can help determine what content to manage, the details to capture, and what storage best suits the delivery channels required for the information to be communicated. These determinations support good decision making about what tools provide the most reliability and flexibility within budget priorities and extant time frames. What works could simply be a handful of index cards or a 100 page presentation deck, a no-frills blogging platform or a large scale CMS, a personal wiki or ad-hoc cloud based collaboration framework. Whether maintaining your content in existing systems, migrating to more appropriate systems, or simply getting started, I can help you develop the right methods and find the right tools to manage your content.
Your content has value, and will have more value in the long term when managed reliably – and you won't need to carry around a whip and a chair to do it.
INFORMATION DESIGN & RELEVANCE
"It's not what you say, but how you say it."
Information design is the art and science of how you say it.
Information design can entail many levels of design considerations – from page layout and typography, to knowledge maps and topic hierarchies and beyond, to database structures, software development and management practices, production frameworks, and related challenges. At any level, the goal is to present information in the most clear and effective way possible and, at every level, an emphasis on relevance brings the best choices into clear focus.
For information providers, the most valuable commodity is the audience's attention. Your audience is made up of individuals with a story and an outlook. Present content relevant to their perspective, reward their attention and you will keep their attention.
Summary & Next Steps
Craft your content with high fidelity to the subject matter while keeping the principles of readability in mind.
Manage that content with care, in reliable systems that leverage the delivery channel's strongest features.
Consistently provide relevant, engaging information to your audiences.
The result is effective technical communication.
I am available for short and long term contract work. Tell me about your project.