What is Technical Communication?
The European Association for Technical Communication defines it as “the process of defining, creating and delivering information products for the safe, efficient and effective use of products (technical systems, software, services)”. The job of a technical communicator is to make complex information accessible to a unique audience and to help users understand the product information provided in the documentation.
A technical communicator needs to keep the user experience in mind and to connect with its audience. One of the main goals of technical communication is to assist the user. When creating technical documentation the focus should be on the user and not on the product. It is important to provide simple, clear, and comprehensive information thus helping users do their final job.
The purpose of technical communication is to explain what, why, and how or the results of a particular research study. Efficient technical information needs to be easy to use, easy to understand, and easy to find.
The extent of Technical Communications may vary based on the industry. The following disciplines are often associated with it:
- Technical Writing/Authoring
- Technical Editing
- Technical Illustration
- User Experience Design
- Information/Document Design
- Instructional Design
- Publishing/Content Delivery
The European Association for Technical Communication (tekom) published a Competence Framework that defines the Competences for Technical Communicators. In this comprehensive guide, you will be able to find information about the “Technical Communicator (tekom)” Certificate, and their Three-step Certification Process.
If you have any further inquiries about getting your certification, you have the possibility to contact the expert advice of qualified counselors (this service is free to tekom members who pay membership fees). They also provide a list of downloadable documents needed to get the tekom “Technical Communicator” certification. They have also made other useful tools available on their site.
Technical Communication Today
Nowadays, technical communication is a worldwide growing profession. Different design features such as typography, spacing, and color are used to enhance readability.
Product companies are investing in hiring technical communicators to create the technical data about their products such as manuals, and assembly instructions. For them, it is a product strategy and an investment that will differentiate them from their competitors. A technical communicator will help their users to effectively assemble their products and have a better user experience.
Universities and colleges all over the world are expanding their curriculums to include programs in technical communication such as the TCLoc Master’s at the University of Strasbourg, in France.