Who Needs a Technical Writer?

The answer to this question is very simple—everybody who needs to prepare documentation of any kind. Now arises another set of questions:

  • Why need a technical writer? The engineer who had worked on making the product, can write about the procedures better, after all this person knows the technical aspects of the product.
  • Why involve someone, who is not a subject expert to do the job?
  • Why go through the loop of understanding the subject, the product, writing about it, and getting it reviewed by the engineer?

The reason is simple! You may have the most innovative product in the market, but if your customer fails to understand it, they will not use it. Technical writers compile information and write them in a language and format that can be easily understood even by the readers who are unfamiliar with that technology. Among others, technical writing is expected to help the users of the product to do the following:

  • Understand it with ease, without any or very little external help.
  • Understand all the features of a given product, by referring to the document.
  • Use the product effectively and productively to finish a given task on time.
  • Reduce support costs for the organization.

Documents should convey information so that the reader can understand and act upon it. Accurate and easy to use product manuals not only make customers happy, they reduce complaints, questions, and support requirements. This is why the role of a technical writer is considered to be valuable. A technical writer adds a great deal of value to the business by writing for the audience. This helps in saving money in the long run.

Example: If the you are trying to use a food processor and you are not able to understand the instructions given in the manual while trying to refer about the type of blade to be used for a particular process, you will feel that the product is not worth the price you paid for it. After a few attempts, you may feel cheated and put the equipment aside. Chances are that you may not want to use it again.

Inaccurate and confusing documentation turns the customer off completely.

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