The Latest Trends in Technical Writing
As in every field, technical writing undergoes changes periodically based upon market trends. Presently, consumers are demanding a more accessible and common language, causing technical writers and technical writing services in the U.S. to adapt accordingly. Thus, we are experiencing a global shift towards using Simplified Technical English (STE), transforming technical writing as we know it.
A Tool for Today’s Technical Writers: The STE Dictionary
An easy-to-use tool increasingly being employed by technical writers is the STE dictionary, comprised of under 1,000 universally easy-to-understand words (compared to multiple thousands in a conventional dictionary), and streamlined writing and grammar rules.
Easier Maintenance Manuals
An important use of technical writing is in the maintenance of various machines and devices. It was a practice among earlier maintenance staff to work with the knowledge inherited from their senior staff, who were often there from the moment of installation of the equipment, which they’ve maintained from the information they have gathered over time. The newer generation of maintenance employees, however, seeks manuals in formats that are easy to follow and don’t require an extended personal history with a particular device.
Looking Ahead: Measuring Content Created by Technical Writers
Companies increasingly expect technical writers to produce first-rate content. But there isn’t a common way to measure the quality of content. Simply using STE will not solve the issue. There must be a simple method to rate content for its quality, or at least, to its adherence to STE. One way to achieve this is to include such measuring methods in the current STE-assisting software available. This will help in improving the quality of content. It can also ensure that there is a commonality and consistency to content created by different writers.
Developing a tool that integrates STE along with rating methods will be very helpful to both technical writers and technical writing companies, and down the line, to maintenance staff, consumers, and the public broadly.