You can improve your technical writing not only by writing documentation itself but also by following the below habits.
Learn Before Interviewing
Interviewing is the main part of technical writing because it helps you learn details about a product and describe it clearly to your target audience. However, you should be prepared for the interview to make it more productive and helpful. By preparations I mean not only thinking over the questions but also reading available information about the product and documentation of a similar product.
Such preparations are essential because SMEs can be busy or, objectively, they can be unresponsive. So, make your meeting and interviewing as successful as you can.
Use Readability Checker
Check your content using a readability checker. A readability checker helps to understand how difficult your content is for your readers.
For example, I use ClickHelp for technical writing, where I can also check my content immediately, the results are shown in the topic header.
Here is the full list of readability metrics:
What is a ‘good score’? It depends on your target audience and goals. But there are some general rules of thumb. According to Future Now referring to various published studies, an “ideal writing standard” might be considered as the following:
- No less than 80% readability.
- No more than 4.25 characters per word.
- No more than 5% passive voice.
More info about readability metrics is here:
If you finished working on your documentation and published it, for example, it doesn’t mean that you can forget about it. The hot time begins when users read it and leave feedback. You should examine it and improve your documentation to make it more user-friendly.
Even experienced technical writers can forget something that’s why it’s a good idea to use checklists. Checklists really make our lives easier and project results better — you don’t have to keep in mind all the steps. However, the key benefit of a checklist, especially for a technical writer, is that it helps to avoid errors and oversights. It’s a great idea to implement checklists in your technical writing.
Read Books/ Take Courses
Nowadays, there are many resources that can help you improve your technical writing. I gathered some of them to help you save your time:
Have a Rest
However, the most important tip is to take a rest and find a hobby that will not be techwriting-related. It can be playing an instrument, collecting, painting or something else that can help you relax and refocus.
What are your habits that help to improve your technical writing?