Our Profession

What is Technical Communication?

Technical Communication, also known as Information Development or Technical Writing, is the process of making complex and technical information clear, understandable and available to those who need it. Technical Communicators add value to a company’s products and services. We help deepen the relationship between the company, the people who create and design its products, and the people who actually use them. It is a fascinating and rewarding career for thousands of people all over the world. If you are highly interested in textual and visual communication, have a love of language and a sincere desire to teach others complex concepts, technical communication could be the field for you!

What we do

Technical communicators develop all kinds of materials, for print or online presentation. Our job typically requires us to:

  • gather information from the experts
  • analyze the audience and purpose of a document
  • decide how best to present and organize information
  • design the document’s appearance
  • define a document set to address the needs of different users
  • ensure the accuracy and completeness of information
  • identify duplicate content that can be reused (single-sourcing)
  • design diagrams that can help convey information visually

We may also:

  • test documents or procedures for ease of use and accuracy
  • design and deliver training courses
  • ensure the professional quality of materials
  • give feedback on product design
  • help develop marketing materials
  • advocate for effective product usability
  • create detailed and useful indices
  • design and plan the “architecture” of information
  • plan interface content that appears in software products, including screen and field names, on-screen instructions, and error messages
  • manage a group of technical communicators
  • create and manage websites, wikis and company intranets
  • work with content management systems (CMS)
  • convert information from print to online format (or vice versa)
  • help programmers create clear, self-descriptive names for internal software elements, such as fields, values, objects and classes
  • work with illustrators, editors, and other communicators

What we create

The work of technical communicators is everywhere. If you’ve seen one of the following items, you’ve probably seen the work of a technical communicator:

  • user guides
  • brochures
  • online help files
  • training materials
  • procedure manuals
  • white papers
  • on-screen instructions
  • proposals
  • Websites
  • presentations
  • product demonstrations

What we work as

Technical Communicators are active in many different fields and areas. They can work as:

  • Writers
  • Editors
  • Graphic artists
  • Technical illustrators
  • Instructional designers
  • Indexers
  • Multimedia artists
  • Photographers and audiovisual specialists
  • Translators
  • Project managers
  • Business analysts
  • Usability experts
  • Independent consultants and contractors