Technical writing audience and purpose as it relates

The common division of audiences into categories is as follows:

Technical writing audience and purpose as it relates

For example, a marketing department usually has a clear idea of intended buyers of software. To best utilize their skill sets, determine if a designated resource is accessible and arrange a meeting with them.

A good resource can provide marketing analysis, possible pitfalls of terminology usage, and demographics in detail. This information is a good first step in understanding audience analysis.

Technical communication - Wikipedia

Their level of experience with similar products How they intend to use the software The jargon they use in their work Environment and Expectations[ edit ] If your intended audience is completely new to the target technology, you may have to include quite elementary instructions in your materials; but most readers today have at least some familiarity with these topics, and there is no need to waste their time repeating it.

By finding out how familiar the audience is with similar technology, you save your time and the reader's too. Most people don't buy software because they are interested in the names of all the buttons. Instead, they buy the software so that they can achieve a goal through completing specific tasks.

So your instructions must concentrate on the steps they need to reach their goal. I use a word processor so that I write and format text, not because I love hunting for menu items and building macros.

Hence, I expect instructions to show me how to create, save, edit, and finally print a letter or some other document. Always focus on the task the user wants to complete, and describe it simply and directly. So long as your software follows the conventions found in most similar products i.

The Microsoft Manual of Style is a good source for these software-naming conventions. Other terms that are specific to the software's intended purpose should come from the prospective users. If the end users of your software always refer to something as the "skryx", then so should you.

A software manual is not the place to try to change their terminology, but a place to reflect it so that readers immediately feel comfortable and confident that you understand them and will help. Your reader's environment affects what you write, and its format.

technical writing audience and purpose as it relates

This leads to some basic questions: What does your reader need to know? Exercise 1[ edit ] Use search engines and Wikipedia to research the background of wiki contributors.

List what is known about these people. List what is unknown. Personas[ edit ] Even if you have a pretty good idea of the end users of the software, it's still not very effective to write for a generalized "they.

Technical writers tend to document many different types of technology, and this means writing for very different audiences. Alan Cooper has proposed a workable solution. He suggests creating fictional but complete personas for each project, and then writing for the personas.

While creating a fictional character may seem to be an odd start to the process of documenting technological products and processes, it usually works. Because having a persona allows you to think deeply about your audience and cater the information to their needs. Then you can select the appropriate "natural" metaphors and data structures they will understand.

Personas are hypothetical archetypes, or "stand-ins" for actual users that drive the decision making for interface design projects. Personas are not real people, but they represent real people throughout the design process Personas are not "made up"; they are discovered as a by-product of the investigative process Although personas are imaginary, they are defined with significant rigor and precision Names and personal details for personas are made up to make them more realistic Personas are defined by their goals Interfaces that satisfy personas' needs and goals are built Source: Wording condensed and modified.

Exercise 2[ edit ] Write "How to make instant coffee" steps for Wing Lee. Coffee is an important part of the morning for many people.

Online Technical Writing: Audience Analysis

Unfortunately, there are times when a coffee maker is not available. Luckily, it is still possible to make coffee using hot water and instant coffee.

This will show you how to make some. Add 2 teaspoons of coffee powder in your coffee mug. Add a teaspoon of sugar. Add some cocoa powder or chocolate syrup if you want to. Now add the boiling water to your mug and stir.

Add some milk or cream, stir, and your coffee is ready. Exercise 3[ edit ] Create a detailed persona of a "typical" Wiki user, including age, family background, education, and experience with computers. · Audience and Purpose Summary: This handout will help you solve your memo-writing problems by discussing what a memo is, describing the parts of memos, and providing examples and explanations that will make your memos more Online Technical Writing: Audience Analysis and how it relates to what they've just read.

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· Audience Analysis []. Writing for the audience. Documentation is a form of support and product marketing for the audience it targets.

technical writing audience and purpose as it relates

Good technical writers have the ability to transfer the knowledge of subject-matter experts to the end user through their Proposals and audience.

in a technical writing course, Another point to keep in mind relates to the audience for different kinds of documents that may be. To write well, you need to write with integrity, to say what you wish to say, yet you also must understand that in writing, as in speaking, your voice needs to suit your purpose, your relationship to your audience, the way in which you wish your audience to perceive you, and your  · Technical writing is sometimes defined as simplifying the complex..

Inherent in such a concise and deceptively simple definition is a whole range of skills and characteristics that address nearly every field of human endeavor at some

General Writing Introduction // Purdue Writing Lab