“If you could taste words, most corporate websites, brochures, and sales materials would remind you of stale, soggy rice cakes: nearly calorie free, devoid of nutrition, and completely unsatisfying.” — Jason Fried
Engineers and technically oriented people normally do not like being sold to, yet they expect a rational case to be made for a technical product or service. If you’re writing about such a product, you need to present a Unique Value Proposition (UVP) that states in a clear and compelling way how the technical product or service will improve the engineer’s job like no other product can.
Given these conditions, what do you need to know when given a technical writing assignment so you can do the best job possible for your client? Here are some simple guidelines to follow that will get you headed in the right direction.
1) Define the topic — Is your copy about offering a solution? Or perhaps defining a system, a product, or a product line? Do you need to differentiate a specific model of that product? Is there a specific industry use or application of that product? What sort of support services will you offer for that product? What kind of accessories are available?
The list of questions goes on, but I think you get the idea. Engineers and technical people have little time (and less tolerance) for extraneous words, so make sure you have the topic clearly defined in your mind before you proceed too far.
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