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Technical communication Vs Technical writing

By madiha jamal|18th Jul 2020
Technical communication & technical writing explained
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When you hear the term “data communication,” you might think of the specifications, product manuals, instructions, software documentation, etc. You are right, but “technical communication” and "technical writing" are much more than that. 

What is technical communication?

Technical communication is the field that provides the non-fictional and technical information to the users. The purpose is simple: to provide assistance to achieve defined goals. It focuses on all kinds of communication to assist users who need specific information to use any product or software. 


Technical communication uses different media platforms to provide information to the right audience. It is not journalistic, creative, and expressive writing. It also doesn’t use symbols or vague literary references. It’s the only purpose is to inform/instruct the audience with a specific goal in mind. 


Technical communication is concise and clear as it encompasses the group of documents. You might think that it is only limited to web content or information about computer software and programming. But, companies that create products still use technical communication. It might be for development, marketing, instructional documents, or to explain the user's goods/services. 


For example: If the company is manufacturing the playset. The developers will create the design and specifications to explain the length & width of each beam. Also, the colors and materials used for each part. 


In the next step, it must create TV commercials and store displays to advertise the product. It must include a set of instructions so that the users can use it safely. The advertisement, specs design, and end-user documents would not exist without the technical communication.  

Why is technical communication important?

Technical communication makes information more transparent and understandable. It makes consumer goods more convenient and helps in business productivity and growth. It also aids in advancing our economy by ensuring the research and protecting consumers through informative documents. 


Technical communication is essential for all kinds of industries to reach their consumers in the best way possible.


Following are the reasons why technical communication is needed:


● Create professional documents for a congressperson regarding current affairs. 

● Write about new technological developments for science and technology magazines. 

● Provide technical content to the websites. 

● Write about products or software manuals and user guides. 

● Identifying and solicit authors, enforce deadlines, assign reviewers to edit the style or document format, and manage the publication process. 

● Create business presentations and proposals to get new clients. 

● Assemble grant proposals, technical reports, and scientific documents. 

● Operating procedures and helping documents for different industries 

● Develop press releases and marketing stuff for technical products. 


Though technical communications are required in almost all businesses and industries, professional technical writers are concentrated in the scientific, IT, and technological sectors. 


Technical communication is transactional as it entails the worthy transaction between the sender and receiver. It provides specific information for specific and practical purposes of informing or persuading a specific audience. 


Using technical communication, you can create:


● Technical reports

● Websites content 

● Proposal and request for proposals

● Products manuals and specifications

● User guides

● Technical support 

● Research reports

● Trade magazines and media release

● Online help 

● Marketing content (promotions, brochures, and product specs)


Therefore, it is the best approach and highly designed communication form that requires consumers to know rules and regulations.


How technical communication helps the business? 

Technical communication helps businesses in several ways: 


● Make them more productive and customer-oriented. 

● Provide backgrounds so that employers get new ideas. 

● Employers may also set goals properly, understand, and accomplish tasks.


Technical communication is limited to the instructions only, but it may also include forms of communications. For instance, discuss technical topics or communicate using technology like webpages, files, and even social media.


What is Technical writing?

Technical writing is an essential aspect of technical communication. Whether it is computer software, robotics, engineering, finance, electronics, etc. you can utilize it in every field. It has grown rapidly and now becomes an essential part of the IT industry, mainly. It is crucial even if you are going to launch some kind of software or other tangible product.

Technical writing and technical communication are the same things. Both share the same goal of creating concise and clear documents to achieve a goal. 


Most people think that technical writing involves instructional types of writing and professional communication. It can be a user guide or a manual. But, technical writing also involve technical documents, website content, business proposals, white papers, case studies, and tech-reviews. 


In the modern era, most of the information is conveyed through different forms of technical writing. As technology has greatly advanced, everyone has access to various digital platforms, on which information, in the form of technical writing, is shared every minute. 


Types of technical communication/writing?

Several tech companies hire professional technical writers to maintain the product documentation quality. Their main job is to convey the stats and information efficiently and clearly. 


Technical communication can be done via following types of documents:


● Quick reference and guides

● Business proposals

● Business reports

● Email newsletters

● Technical website content 

● Product reviews and analysis

● Training materials

● How to use articles/blogs

● Marketing documents 

● User guides 

● Frequently asked questions/answer


Who are Technical writers?

Technical writers make complex technical information simple and easy to understand for non-technical users. They write technical information in a professional and more presentable manner. They work with sales personnel, coders, and graphic designers to ensure that the documentation meets the end-user requirements. 

Why do you need technical writers for technical communication?

Technical writers serve the business by conveying ideas, views, and instructions technically and logically. They understand the complex language and industry-specific jargon. Along with that, they are also responsible for creating accurate and object-oriented content. 


Technical writers also understand the audience better than others. They produce the exact documents according to their audience's needs. 


Technical writers are best for documentation because of the following reasons:


● They write the exact information that meets the audience's needs.

● Write user-friendly content so that users can easily understand it.

● Use the proper images and animations in the documents along with the text. 

● Use elements like list, headings, bullet points, and white spaces accurately. 

● Organize the technical documents in the best way possible. 

● Edit the documents and further proofread it, so there are no spelling or grammar mistakes. 


Technical writers/communicators should know the necessary computer skills. Knowledge about HTML and XML editors will be a plus point. They must need to have a sound understanding of the software or app for which they are writing a manual or user guide. 

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