Why you need a freelance technical writing expert to write your technical literature.
There’s an old TV show from the 1980’s which is still one of my favourites.
It is called ‘The Beiderbecke Affair’ and starred James Bolam and Barbara Flynn.
There is a scene where a Taiwanese manufactured hedge trimmer has to be assembled. The problem is that no-one can understand the instructions.
Try this they say:
“Applicate the bracket A to component B with appropriate screwing”.
“Have you tried that?”
“Not in front of the children!”
This demonstrates the capacity for any kind of technical writing to go very wrong.
It kind of reminds me of HD tv when it first came out.
If you went into a TV showroom around that time, you were bombarded with all kinds of jargon.
The industry completely lost the plot and started talking about SD, HD, FULL HD, 1080i, 1080P. What was all that about?
Which only went to confuse the buying public. It certainly confused me to begin with.
Even the staff in the showrooms didn’t understand what it all meant.
But there was something even more confusing.
People would buy a full hd tv. Because they were being promised that the picture would be ‘clearer’.
Only to be sorely disappointed.
When they hooked up their regular DVD player they found that the picture was exactly the same as before.
Yes, they might be watching it on a FULL HD tv but the original resolution of DVD is still the same as a regular tv.
If the industry had used numbers it might have been easier.
It would have been easier for everyone to understand.
I would suggest splitting the different tv resolutions into numbers.
576 = 576 lines of information is SD and DVD
720 = 720 lines of information is HD and HD DVD, X-box.
1080 = 1080 lines of information is FULL HD and Blu Ray, Playstation.
Then on the media they could have had ‘plays on 720 and above ‘ to show how to get the best benefit out of it.
Anyway, history is repeating itself.
Now, the latest resolution of a TV is 4k or 4000 lines of information.
But the same problem remains, play a DVD on it and it will look pretty rubbish.
This problem is exactly what got me started in freelance technical writing and is my mission to help organisations and companies get their message across, simply and easily.
For years I struggled to get people to understand some technical thing.
After a while it dawned on me that something I saw as so simple was, to them, very complex.
The problem was; I was making assumptions about a person’s technical knowledge. ‘I’ knew it and found the thing ‘so’ simple to understand, why couldn’t they?
I would leap over huge tracts of understanding that they had no concept of so my explanations fell on deaf ears.
The moral of the story is that you have to write very simply and to the person’s knowledge level.
Knowing this, helped me improve my communication skills.
Now, I write to a particular person. Someone who isn’t a ‘tecchy’ and try to write in their terms.
What would they understand? Is there a simple comparison I can make.
Don’t write Full Hd 1080P widescreeen. Write, The clearest picture you can experience.
Do you have something that you have trouble getting others to understand? Use my services to get your message across.
Contact me today and we can start a simple conversation about how to get your message out there.