Technical Writing: The Writing Process | Dr. Katharina Grimm | Skillshare

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Technical Writing: The Writing Process

teacher avatar Dr. Katharina Grimm, Writer & Writing Educator

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (1h 30m)
    • 1. Introduction

      0:49
    • 2. What Makes Writing Technical?

      11:34
    • 3. The Magic of Structured Writing

      5:58
    • 4. The Writing Process: Step 1

      16:57
    • 5. The Writing Process: Step 2

      16:33
    • 6. The Writing Process: Step 3

      17:43
    • 7. The Writing Process: Step 4

      10:54
    • 8. Best Practice Examples

      8:38
    • 9. FInal Thoughts

      0:34
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About This Class

Technical Writing plays a major role in communication technology and processes. It helps us to understand and use certain products or follow certain procedures effectively and safely – and this is exactly why Technical Writing has become an essential part of product development. However, many engineers, designers, product managers and even writers struggle when being asked to create a Technical Writing document. And this is where this class comes into play!

Who should join

This course is the perfect match for everyone who has basic knowledge about Technical Writing and would like to improve their writing. It is also well-suited for everyone who is unsure about how to start, write, and finish their Technical Writing document. 

What you will learn

In this course you will learn 

  • how to approach the blank page in Technical Writing 
  • how to properly plan your writing 
  • how to collect and organize your contents
  • how to write and edit your document  

Sounds good? Then join me in this class and learn how to create your first Technical Writing document step by step!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Dr. Katharina Grimm

Writer & Writing Educator

Teacher

I'm passionate about all things writing, language and communication. As an anthropologist, I specialized in the field of effective communication and how we, as humans, can build trust through communication. 

What I do

I've worked as a communication strategist for several years before becoming a full-time writer. Today, I support digital product teams by creating and editing all kinds of writing with them – from tiny microcopy in coffee machine interfaces to essays and blog articles. 

What I teach

My areas of expertise include

UX Writing  Copywriting Content Writing Technical Writing  Personal Writing such as Journaling. 

How I teach

I love making sense of all these forms of writing, discovering their simi... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: So hello everybody and welcome to technical writing, the writing process, which is my second course about technical writing. And in this course we will work our way through each and every step of the technical writing process. So if you're still unsure about how to start or right or finish your technical writing document, then this course is the right choice for you. And it is also the right choice for you. If you have just been asked to produce a technical writing document and would appreciate some guidance along the way. So this is a very hands-on course, and I would like to invite you to grab a text editing program of your choice and come along with me. And if you're ready for that, then I see you in the first lesson of this class. 2. What Makes Writing Technical?: So we will kick off this course with a very interesting question which is, what makes writing technical? This will have a son of stent, the specific characteristics of technical writing. And it will help us to recognize technical writing among other forms of writing. But let's first start with a formal definition that you may have come across in my other technical writing course, the introductory course to technical writing right here on Skillshare. It is the definition that I worked with when I teach about technical writing because it is actually one of the most credible and up-to-date definitions out there. This definition of technical writing is provided by the Society for Technical Communication, which is probably one of the most renowned, popular, respected, and trustworthy international institutions when it comes to technical writing. So this definition says that technical writing is any form of communication that communicates about technical or specialized topics. Communicates by using technology or provides instructions about how to do something. So please note that this definition right here does not speak of writing, it speaks off forms of communication. That means whenever you see a video tutorial about how to use certain software are when you see someone giving a presentation about a technical product or process. This is also a form of technical writing. So this definition helps us to see beyond physical forms of technical writing and understands that it is all about the contents of technical writing. So your technical writing must not necessarily be writing to be technical writing if that makes any sense. Now if you have seen my other course about technical writing right here in Skillshare, this slide is familiar to you and the following slide is as well. So we will not dive too deeply into that. Because here I want to show you different examples for what technical writing can actually look like. These are some of the most well-known forms of technical writing. But a part from these examples, there is something else that would like to show you in order to make clear what technical writing actually is. Because other than, for example, a copywriting or blocked writing, many people are not too sure what technical writing actually is. Sometimes writers wanted to start a career in technical writing without being a 100 percent sure about what the difference between technical writing and other forms of writing is in detail. So the following might be very helpful for everybody who's affected by that confusion. So let's take a detailed look at what makes technical writing technical and what sets technical writing apart from other popular forms of writing in the digital worlds, such as, for example, a content writing, copywriting, and your writing. So we will start from the bottom with content writing. Content writing or blog writing, even journalistic writing, whatever you might call it, comprises, for example, block articles, storytelling, and several other long copy forms of nonfiction writing. Such as these articles right here that I found on the Skillshare block. So let's take a closer look. The goal of content writing is actually to inform the reader about a certain topic, giving detailed inflammation, creating awareness and sometimes grabbing the attention of the reader and dragging his or her focus on a certain topic or a product or a brand. The audience of content writing, of course, is made up of interested readers who show a general interests and the topic of the article, or the kind of brand or the kind of product that the article is all about, usually detects that you write in the field of content writing our long copies. So articles consists of maybe 300, up to 2 thousand words or maybe even more. And they have a neutral tonality that is maybe touched up. But the personal tone of voice by the author. These forms of writing appear mostly in personal blogs, magazines, newspapers, media outlets, and so on. So we are probably all aware of this form of writing, right? Everybody knows that most of us read it day-to-day. So let's move on to the next one. A little bit more tricky. Copywriting. Copyrighting is basically marketing slogans, advertisement headlines, mostly short forum copy that tries to grab the reader's attention, convinced them of a product, and persuade them, seduce them, even. Copywriting, quirky, funny, provoking, like the example in the upper left corner. Hello or goodbye. If you're not ready for a change coming from a UX design agency or a design better, faster together. Then explaining what the website is all about. The digital product design platform powering the world's best use during user experiences and so on and so forth. So very confident, very persuasive, and very convincing. So all of this is copywriting and many, many, many people get this so completely wrong. Many people call all writing in a digital interface copyrighting, no matter the form on the style or the content of the writing. So it might happen that you scroll through a job advertisement and then see there is a job that says technical copywriter or UX copywriter. This is not quite accurate and I will show you why. The main undeniable goal of copywriting is to grab the reader's attention, right? To get them hooked, to make them become interested in you and your brand. It is often the first or the most prominent communication touch point that people have with the brand or a product, or in copywriting is there to engage readers, to persuade them, to seduce them, to provoke some form of strong emotion in them that sparks their curiosity about a product or a brand. So the main target group of copywriting is of course, potential customers. And most of the time it is quite short, so it's maybe two or, maybe a 100 or 200 words long. And it's provocative, emotional, amusing humerus, convincing. Sometimes metaphors of funny puns are used, leaving the reader laughing, are wondering or whatever. So copywriting is there to get you hooked to get your attention, okay? It appears in mainly in typical marketing contexts like ads or a marketing channel. It's like a landing page or everything that is similar to that. And many, many times copywriting is confused with UX writing, which is very upsetting, especially for me as someone who is mainly a UX writer. Because UX writing in its style and in its goals is quite the opposite of copyrighting. Okay? These are typical examples for UX writing. On the upper left you see an error, an error message on the pop-up saying your password is incorrect. Below that you see Paypal asking you for confirming that you are not a robot. And on the right-hand side you see a 40 for error message coming from the Pixar website. So since you xp writing is often a short from form text and sin, sometimes there's writings also funny like in the Pixar example, people confuse UX writing with copywriting. So let's take a closer look at the characteristics of that. The goal of your writing is to help users to use a product while they are in the product. It is not supposed to provoke them or get them hooked. Even though some product managers would like your exciting to be designed in a way that keeps the user in the product. But this is not the job of UX writing. The double-helix writing is to ensure usability, usability, and nothing else, my friends. So the target audience of your writing is users, of course, and your exciting is often short because it should be efficient and easy to skin so the user does not have to read, you know, of course, long-form texts to get along with the product. It's analogy is Brent driven. So what does that mean? The brand of a company defines its identity. It defines whether or not the identity is very serious and professional and formal, or very funny and informal and friendly. And this identity determines whether your UX writing is informal, warm-hearted, or neutral or whatever. However, for you exciting. Always make sure that there are no misunderstandings, that everything is clear and never, ever trade clarity for a good punchline. Okay? And last button, at least very important also UX writing always happens within a product. Ux writing is the instructions and the error messages you find within a digital product or within the interface of a physical product. Very important. Now last but not least, let's check out technical writing and find its place right here. So these are two typical examples for technical writing. On the left-hand side you see the Microsoft writing style guide, and on the right-hand side you see the technical instructions of a company called CA Technologies. Both documents hold valuable instructions for their readers. They aren't clearly structured and they are well-organized. They do not look overly fancy, but very professional. Now let's check out their characteristics. So the goal of technical writing is to help readers understand and use technology, mostly complex technology that we cannot use intuitively. All which brings certain risks or a dangerous with it. The target audience is users of that technology, maybe team members of a team that need to stick to a certain guidelines like for example, a design style guide or something like that. And stakeholders that need to be informed about the functioning or the usage of certain technology. Now, usually technical writing produces long-form texts and the tonality is super neutral because the text needs to be super clear and super easy to understand. So more than in any other form of writing that you see right here, misunderstandings need to be avoided in technical writing. And you'll find technical writing mostly in Wikis, a style guides, brochures, and any other contexts that I showed you earlier right here. So now a very short exercise to get us all started with the topic. Take some time for this and think about this. Did you know about these differences and which forms do you get usually mixed up? So give yourself a second and reflect on these two questions. And once you're done, as See you in the next chapter. 3. The Magic of Structured Writing: So welcome to the next lesson of this class. And this one will help us to understand why we will take a closer and very detailed look at the writing process in this course. Because in this lesson we will talk about the magic of structured writing. Because say, it is absolutely crucial to understand why it makes little to no sense to just sit down and start to write down what's on your mind or what you know. Well, at least for the field of technical writing. But let's take a step back and first talk about the main obstacles when writing. Because knowing about these, we'll show you why it is important to stick to a certain process when performing technical writing. The first one, of course, the notorious fear of the blank page. We all know it, we all have it and we all hate it. We are asked to write about a certain topic and we simply don't know where to start. Next thing is, we might be able to start, but we don't know which topics to include or exclude and we don't know how much we should go into detail, or how much is too much, how little is too little, and so on. Then, even if we get something done, we often don't know whether our writing is good or bad, or did we give enough information? Did we communicate clearly where we actually funny when we tried to be funny and so on. And that leads us to the problem that we don't have. We don't know whether or not our writing is effective. So is it actually helpful to our readers? Do they read it and say, this is exactly what I needed, or do they read it and go like, completely useless, what a waste of time. And we often don't know how to improve our writing over time. When and how it should be improved, when and how should changes be made and which changes exactly, and so on. So a lot of obstacles that get into our way when we try to produce all sorts of texts are written documents. But what does that actually mean for us? Well, I personally know that many people who are inexperienced with writing or who are not formally trained in writing, share one common assumption. You either can write or you can't. So people come up to me all the time and go like, Lucky you, you're so good at writing, assuming that experienced or skilled writers just sit down and spit out the final document? No, my friends, this is not the case, but instead, I would like to tell you the solution to all our problems is structured writing. Probably all experienced writers follow a certain procedure, a method, a protocol, a process are at least are certain routine. That doesn't mean that they always follow a textbook solution. I guess in most cases, each individual writer kind of knows their own routine. But what they all have in common is this. They follow a strict linear or circular process when producing a writing document. But how exactly does that help? Well, it helps you to start and finish your writing document. That means a structured process lets you know how to start writing your document and it tells you when you are finished with it. Also, it will help you to ensure high-quality and avoid risks because it will guide you not only through writing your document, but also through your very own self quality assurance process. And more or a well-structured writing process helps you to write efficiently. If you have ever been asked to write something in a professional context and you just start with writing. Chances are that as you go through your writing process, you will realize that you forgot something very important in the early steps of your writing. Maybe because you realize that there are many, many open questions or you realize that you forgot to mention something very important or just stuff like that. And that requires you to go back and forth and you're writing in a completely uncontrolled manner that costs you many hours and nerves and energy. So structured writing process will help you to do all the necessary things at the right moment in your writing process. Now, these are only some of the most important benefits of following a structured writing process. But let's go back to our case, the case of technical writing. What does that mean for technical writing and what dose inappropriate structured writing process for technical writing actually look like? Well, it looks something like this. This is the process that I follow and performance technical writing myself all when teaching technical writing, it consists of four steps, starting with planning, going on to information collection and drafting, revising and editing, and ending with proofreading and testing. Now if you have attended my first course, you are familiar with this process. In my first course, I described the different steps of this process. I told you what to do in each step. So you already got a vague idea of what a well-structured procedure and technical writing can look like. But in this course, we dive deeper into this process. And I will take you along step by step, and we will go into the very detailed, the very heart of each step. And we will work with a scenario case for which we will actually produce a technical writing document together. So you know exactly what to do, no theoretical explaining and a lot of showing and getting into writing. So on, you're ready. Then. Let's dive deeper into this. 4. The Writing Process: Step 1: So I'd say, let's cut right to the chase and let's get started. As promised, we will go through every step of the writing process and that means we will start with step one, which is the planning of your document. And as I said, we will work with a scenario. And if you also attended my first-class on technical writing, you already know that I like to work with very easy everyday life scenarios. So scenarios we all know processes or products or procedures we are all familiar with. So you can really see what kind of information we include, how much we go into detail and so on and so forth. So meet our scenario. It goes like this. After kindergarten in your childhood friends Sara moved to a remote island where soup does not exist. Returning to your neighborhoods 15 years later, she is invited to a soup tasting event. In preparation for this event, she asks you to for instructions on how to eat soup. So this is our very simple scenario and what we wanna do right now is take this writing process and work through each step. And we will also work through this in a very structured way. That means we will look at the things you need to do in each step, and we will pay attention to these three aspects. First, why is this task important? And second, what exactly needs to be done? And third, how is it done? So you're ready for this. Then let's go. As I said, we start with step 1, the planning of your document, and the planning phase, you need to define the purpose and audience of your document, correct, Darius, your target audience, that means you dive into their needs, preferences, fears, their prior knowledge, and so on. You define which topics to include and exclude based on your audience and your purpose, and you define the scope of the project. So how much time and resources do you need in order to write your document? So these are the tasks. Now, as I said, let's look at them more closely and pay attention to the three aspects that I mentioned. We will start with the first task of your planning step, which is the fine the purpose and audience of your document. This is especially important because it helps you to identify the topics to include and exclude. It helps you to choose the right medium. It helps you to identify the right stakeholders. It helps you to make decisions throughout the process, and it actually helps you to get started. So no fear of the blank page. Now, let's take a look at what exactly needs to be done to define the purpose and the audience of your document. Well, first you can brainstorm about the purpose of your document and your target audience. And here, just write down everything that comes to your mind and then. Boil everything down until you can summarize all of that into just one sentence. And this is exactly what I need you to do right now. So go and open your writing program, whatever that might be. So pages or Microsoft Word or Google Docs or whatever. And do that little tiny task with me. Let's take another look at our scenario and brainstorm about the purpose and the audience, and then put it into one single sentence. You can pause the video right here, do this exercise and then come back and I will show you how I do it. So you're ready. Then let's see how this is done. Let's take a look. So as you can see, I usually write in Google Docs because it has many advantages. For example, collaboration as easy access as easy access management is easy. Commenting as easy and making and tracking changes is easy. So when I plan my doc and I gather all of the material that I need, I also like to keep things structured so as you can see here, I use a table of contents. And what I also do is I link the sections so I don't have to scroll through my entire document when I wanted to go to a certain section. So we're right here doing the first task of our planning step, which is defining the purpose and the audience of our documents. So this is what we click on and we reach the section. This is why I told you to write down what your document should do and who it should do it for. For example, here are a toggle group is Sarah, and only Sarah from what we know. The goal is to teach her how to eat soup in a way that she does not get heard and does not spill soup on her clothes. This she should not embarrass self, self when eating soup and so on. So we should maybe give her a feeling of confidence by providing her with clear instructions on how to eat soup. You could, of course, brightened more or less here just what comes to your mind based on the information that you have. And then as I said, boil it all down into one sentence. We defined Sarah as the main target audience and we want to include this information in the purpose statement, which now reads, enable Sara to eat soup safely and confidently. This is your one-sentence purpose. It will be your guiding light and your north star throughout the whole process of writing your technical writing document. And it will help you to make decisions throughout the process. Because you can always ask yourself, does this or that information actually serve my overall purpose or not? So I think you all got this that. So let's move on from here. The next thing you wanna do is characterize your audience. Why is that important? Well, it's helps you to identify the topics to include and exclude from your document. It helps you to find the appropriate level of detail, which is a very hot thing to do for all writers out there. And it helps you to define the right tonality. So it helps you to determine whether or not you should use really complicated technical terms because your target audience is familiar with that vocabulary, are for example, whether you should use very formal or informal language. Now let's see what we need to do to fulfill that task. And this part of the first phase, we need to write down the assumptions that we have about our target audience, including our target audience, knowledge, needs, and preferences and fears and so on and so forth. We write down all open questions we have about our audience. So things we need to know, but which we don't know yet. And then of course, we need to answer those questions by conducting qualitative research, which means, for example, to interview or observe your target audience. Now I know you cannot observe or interview fictional Sarah. So you don't have to do this exercise right now. We actually can just skip it and hit Overwrite to the next step. How is it done? So let's take a look and go back to our planning document. So I made a little subsections right here, which are prior knowledge, needs and fears, contexts of use. So when and how will our target audience would like to use our document and preferences. I personally work with these categories, but if you like to include more categories or other categories, just go ahead and at them or change them. Once you have found your categories, you fill them with your knowledge and your assumptions about the characteristics of your target group. You can mark the things you do know about your target audience. And green, just like I did here, because we actually only know that Sarah has never eaten so before are at least she can't remember how to do it, but at least she knows what service. Okay. Then we've got a couple of assumptions and questions that we can highlight in red color, just like this. So for example, if she has eaten hot food before, also she seems to be excited about eating soup. So she probably has only heard positive things about soup, but we're not sure about that. Now, these are a lot of assumptions and a lot of unanswered questions, but this is actually the reality of technical writers, okay? Oftentimes the management comes up with a request for a technical writing document. And we, as technical writers realized that we might know a lot about the topic, but we only know very little about our target group. And it's better to realize that in the very beginning of your writing process, because right now we can only go and simply ask our target audience all of these open questions and falsify or verify our assumptions. So let's assume we did that and turned all of our RET, open questions into green knowledge. So this is what we know afterall fictional interview was fictional. Sarah. She, for example, knows how to use dishes including bolts in which soup is served. She has eaten hot food before, but only solid hot food. She indeed has. Heard positive reviews of soup and so on and so forth. So this is our relevant knowledge about our target audience. This will help us to choose which topics to include and which topics to exclude from our instructions, which will be the next thing to do. Define which topics to include and exclude. Again, remember the fear of the blank page with this task right here, making a concept of what we need to tell an audit document to fulfill its purpose. The blank page won't be a problem anymore, because right here, you will define what you will actually want to write about. So let's go. Why is this an important thing to do? Well, it helps you to make your document effective and helpful for your target group. It helps you to make your document efficient because there will be no irrelevant information in it. And it will help you to keep your research efficient because you can't focus on the few, most important topics. So what do we need to do now that we know the purpose of our document and we know about our target audience and their prior knowledge and their wishes and so on. We can now go and collect the information our audience needs and Alda for our document to fulfill its purpose. And of course, we also collect all the information that we could potentially include but choose to exclude because it is irrelevant for our audience. Now this is definitely something they can now do and try for yourself. So let's do another exercise. Well, you know, our purposes to provide Sarah width instructions that allow her to safely on confidently eat soup and this is what we know about her. You can't again, pause right here and brainstorm. So collect all the topics to include and exclude from your document. And if you're done with that, you can hit play again. And we go ahead. So when you're finished, Let's move on. So how is this done? I'll show you how I would do it. So let's turn back to our planning document. So these are the topics that I chose to include. I want to include the dangers of eating soup, including spilling or burning her lip and tongue. I wanted to include how to eat soup with a spoon, how to take SU, honest spoon, how to take soup on a spoon to the mouth. Special tips and tricks on how to make soup taste extra good situations in which soup is a great choice and relevant characteristics of soup. So this is just the, the results of my brainstorming. I kind of chose an intuitive order here, so I just wrote them down, but it's not the final order, just the results of my brainstorming. We will get them into the right order later. And I chose to exclude irrelevant characteristics of soup, different kinds of soup, how to cook soup, and how to serve soup. So now we have laid the foundation of our document and we know what we want to write about. So that means that we can start with actually creating our document. But before we get to the writing itself, we still have one task to do in the first step of the writing process. We need to do a little bit of project management, okay, and the least we can do is define the scope of our project. So why is this important? It actually helps you to plan the resources, especially time for getting your doc finished. It helps you to manage their resources throughout the process because with a proper plan, you will be able to see whether your project is on track or whether it is going out of hand. And this is very important in real life situations. It helps you to set realistic expectations for stakeholders. Because sometimes your managers might expect you to produce a technical writing document within the time period that is simply unrealistic to stick to. So a good plan for the scope of your project will help you to illustrate how much time you'll need for each step. So how should you proceed with this? Well, first of all, get an overview of everything you need to do from start to finish. Then plan how much time you need for each of these tasks. Plan. Who needs to be involved in each task when you write collaboratively and create a timeline to get an idea of when you will be done. So Let's take a look at how I would do this. I again use my document where I have a section that is named sculpt. And in this section I write down the single steps of the writing process and make an estimation on how much time I will need for each step. As you can see, this is, of course, a very small project. So the first step will take me about 1.5 hours. The second one will be 2.5 hours. The third one will be 1.5 hours, just like the last one. And in a realistic project, of course, you probably write a larger document. You will need to do more extensive research and you probably need to involve more people. However, when planning the scope of your project, right, all of these inflammation down. So you've got an overview. And when you're done, you can create a little Gantt chart just like the very simple one I created here. This lets me know that it will probably take me about a week to complete this because I of course, can't work full-time on this document. And of course you can put more effort into this. Use. Professional illustrations and calculation tools does put very simple and it is the least used to do, but at least you got an overview of what you need to do here. So now let's reflect. Let's take a moment and think about this again. Please note that we are working with a very simple and even oversimplified example that helps us to understand the underlying principles of the writing process. However, I would like to encourage you to take a moment and think a little bit about how this would apply for an example from your everyday life. Something that I always think about when I tried to transfer these principles to my everyday life is a UX writing style guide. So who would I need to involve? How much time would it take for me to write this and so on. So before heading over to the next lesson, I want to encourage you to think about a real life example and how these things would apply. And if you're done with that, I'll see you in the next lesson where we will take a closer look at the second step of the technical writing process. So see you then. 5. The Writing Process: Step 2: So welcome back everyone to the next lesson of this course. And in this lesson we will discuss the second step of the writing process, which is inflammation collection and drafting. So in this lesson, I will show you how to get to your first draft of your document, which is very exciting. So let's go. As you have seen, we will move through this whole process step-by-step. And in the previous session we talked about the first step, the planning step. So this is where we're at right now, information collection and drafting. So what is this step all about? In this step, you define the outline of your documents. So basically the order of your topics you want to include, you plan and conduct the research that you need in order to find the right information about the topics you want to write about. You analyze and structure the data you have collected in your research. And then finally, today you create the first draft of your document. So now let's look at these tasks a little closer. As I said, the first thing we wanna do is creating an outline for our document and I will show you how to do that. But first, why is it important to do that? Well, it helps you to define the structure of your document and it helps you to find the logical connection between the topics to cover. And of course, first and foremost, it will help you to start writing, which is what we will do in this step. So let's take a closer look at what exactly needs to be done here. Very simple, put the topics you want to include into a logical order. And now this is a very simple exercise that you can do for yourself before I show you how to do it. So remember, these are the topics we chose to include. You can just of course ignored the topics we want to exclude. And you can pause right here and put the topics you want to include into a logical order and make headlines out of them. This will be the first draft of your chapter structure when it will not be the final draft because it might change throughout your research where you will find that you might need to add further topics and so on. But just give it a try and put these topics into an order that makes sense for you. And when you're done, you can press play again and we'll go ahead here. So I hope you are done now let's take a look at what I would do. So for me, the dangers of eating soup was the first thing that came to my mind, but it should not be the first thing to be mentioned in the document. I think. Instead I chose to start with the last topic, relevant characteristics of soup because for me, that makes a great introduction to the topic. The rest of the topics I kept in their orders. So I'd finish with the special tips and tricks and situations in which soup is a great choice. Because that is additional knowledge that is very nice to have but not essential for eating soup in the situation that Sarah needs this document for. So my final outline of the document looks like this. Starting with the characteristics and giving a warning about the dangers, then moving onto an actually how to do it. And to ending with tips and tricks and situations in which soup is a great choice. Then what we wanna do next is turn these topics into headlines for our chapters just by changing the layout. Remember, this is not your final drafts, so don't try to be too perfect, too early, okay? We use these headlines so we know where to put the raw information that we find throughout the research for our topic. Okay, So nothing more, nothing less. So don't stress about the wording or the clustering of these headlines. We will get to that later. What we need to do now is we need to understand what these chapters will look like in detail. So the next thing we wanna do is plan and conduct our research. And now let me tell you something about this. Many, many technical writers just sit down and write what they want to write about. They access their own knowledge and think that this is in not acknowledging the fact that this procedure keeps them very, very limited in the information they can provide to their readers. And this is the prime time for our fictional example. Okay. I chose the example of eating soup because soup is a dish that is common in many, many cultures. So I am sure that many of you know how to eat soup. So it would be super easy for all of us to just sit down and write what we know. Now, this very simple example will show you two things. First, you might not know as much as you think you know about a familiar topic. And second, being familiar with the topic makes it extra hard for you to reflect on the process and explain it to someone who is not familiar with it. So don't be too confident about writing about a topic that you think you're familiar with, just do your research. So again, let's have a look at why it is important. It is simply necessary to collect all the valid knowledge you need in order to create a complete and trustworthy document. Because as I said, otherwise you are limited to the things you know, which might not be the exact kind of knowledge that your target audience needs. So now let's see what we need to do here. So there are two types of information that you can access with research. First, there is secondary data, which is data that has already been collected, analyzed, and even described by others. And then there is primary data which is fresh, new data that you need to collect by yourself, for example, by interviewing people, are observing them, are conducting a survey, and so on and so forth. So what we need to do here for the secondary data is plan which material to consult. And for the primary data, we need to plan who took consult and how. Then plan the realization of your research project and make sure that you know about research methods. So educate yourself on how to properly interview someone to gain reliable insights or consult research experts and asked them how to do it. Now, how is this done? Let's take a quick look. We'll start with secondary data. You can consult several sources in order to find valuable information about the topics you would like to include. For the case of your software documentation or your design style guide, you might want to consult existing documents or your designers or developers notes and so on. For our case, you can just search the internet for topics. For example, what are the dangers of eating soup? What are the most relevant characteristics of soup, for example, is it always hot or are there Colt versions of soups, et cetera, et cetera. So I did that kind of research for a secondary data on our topic. Found a lot of interesting articles about soup. And I even found this amazing, very detailed instruction on how to eat soup, which made my life much easier when I was creating this class. So thank you Vicky, how? But anyways, I also found an image about the anatomy of a spoon. So that sing up parts of a spoon and the names of these single part which I figured would be very helpful when writing about how to use a spoon. Alright, next up is primary data. So data that you yourself collect through qualitative or quantitative research. In most cases of technical writing, you talk to a so-called subject matter expert, or in short, SME, who has advanced and detailed knowledge about the technology or the process you want to write about. So in your case, these might be designers or developers who helped creating a software or a design system, or the engineer who helped building the machinery you want to read about. And in our case, our subject matter expert is our good friends. Mark. He is 28 years old. He is a chef, so he is professionally trained in cooking soup and he works in a local restaurant and he is also a super expert and a soup fans. So definitely the right person to ask. But what do we ask Mark and how do we ask him? Let's take a closer look. So you remember the outline of your document, right? This is the basis for your interview Field Manual. So as you can see, we have just copied the outline of your document into the interview manual because we actually want to fill these sections up with inflammation, which is why we keep that structure. But of course we have to turn them into questions just like this. So instead of a header saying relevant characteristics of soup, right? What do you consider relevant characteristics of soup for someone who wants to learn how to eat it. So these are the questions we want to ask are a subject matter expert mark. And now keep in mind that this is a fictional example of that is a little oversimplified. So in your everyday life when performing technical writing, you might have more questions in your field menu. Now let's say you conducted a very fruitful interview with Mark. How do we further proceed? We want to analyze and structure the secondary and primary data we collected. But why is that important? Well, analyzing and structuring your data will prevent you from writing based on false assumptions. And it makes sure you don't miss out on any information. And let me tell you, structuring your data will save you time. Because when done right, you structure the information that you gain through your research in a way that allows you to start writing your document right away. But now what exactly needs to be done here? So for the primary data, so your answers to your interview questions and so on, you can collect all the data and put them into text form if they are not already in text form and for the secondary data. So the notes you took a while reading articles and brochures and books and stuff, put that knowledge into a text form as well. And now very importantly, categorize the knowledge according to your outline. So filled the subsections of your outline, what all the information you collect it. And now I will show you how to do that. Let's take a look. So I don't put the information that I collected through the research inside the document that I write because that can easily make the document a little chaotic. Instead, I work with a sheet like this where I keep all the information I find through secondary data research and primary data research. And this is what it may look like in our case. I put all the information I got into the right fields, just put it where it belongs, even when the inflammation of the secondary data and the primary data is repetitive, just put it there and we will take care of that in the next step when we create the first draft of your document. Yay. And please note we are creating the first draft. The very first draft, not the final version, not a perfect version. We create a first draft. Now, here's a quick quote from author Michael Marshall Smith, something that he posted on Twitter that goes exactly like this. Until you've done your first, first draft, you have no idea what you're writing. You have to quarry the stone before you can start to sculpt it. And that is very true my fellow writers because it is easier to sculpt an existing draft into something perfect then to write something perfect on a blank page. That's what that is. Now, what do we need to do here? Put the knowledge that you have gathered into words, turn your notes into a full-blown sentences, and proceed section by section when doing so, and always, always keep in mind, this is a first drafts. And now that you've made it this far, you're just about to meet your class project. So there's an exercise for you, a very simple one based on the information that you collected, write your first draft and I will give you a little extra help with that. I'll show you the inflammation we collected right here and now you can pause here if you like, and try to create your very own version of a first draft. And when you're done with that, you can press play again and we will go through that step together. So I hope you're done with your own first drafts. So let's go ahead and I'll show you how to do it. So let's take a look at how to create the first draft of your document. And the first thing that I do is to take all their research material that I neat. Including this overview and also including these instructions right here, and also including this image right here. And then I'll go back to my outline, which is this. Then I'll check based on the information I got through research if there are any more topics that I need to include, for example, because our subject matter expert told me it's important. And indeed, two more topics turned out to be important right here. Which is how to finish the soup, which is obviously a major issue in terms of manners and etiquette. And how to add garnish, which I just didn't think of when brainstorming topics to include. And something very helpful, which I also didn't think of, which is things to avoid when eating soup. So when you have added these topics, copy the notes from this sheet into your outline and this time when you copy them, make sure you avoid repetitive information. So when you have the inflammation, don't put too much soup on your spoon in your secondary data column and in your primary data column, only copy that once. And if you've done that, this outline turns into this. We have all the information here and you can already put these inflammation that into the right order. Just copy and paste them until they seem to fit right for you. So until they seem to, you know, make up a whole story. And then when you did that, write it all out, write it all out in full sentences. Turn your bullet points into text, just like this. Now this is the good thing about online courses. You can pause here to read what I wrote, see what I made out of my notes and so on. Do whatever you want to do right now with all of these parts and self-educate yourself right here, okay? And again, remember, this is only the first draft, so of course, it's not perfect yet. There are a lot of mistakes and arrow Senate, but that's okay. I promise we will get there in the next lesson. So take your time with this one, and when you're ready, I'll see you in the next lesson. 6. The Writing Process: Step 3: So welcome to the next lesson, everyone, as I promised in the previous lesson, we will now work on your first draft and we will now turn this first drafts into a final draft. This is the third step of the writing process, which is revising and editing your text. And you see where in the process this step takes place because we're right here, which means that we're almost done. And basically there's only one task that we need to do in this step. And that is the self reviewing and self editing of your a text-based on the quality criteria. But let's take a closer look the way that we did that in the previous steps. Why is this task important? As I said, it helps you to turn your first draft into a final draft. And that means it helps you to ensure the quality of your document according to formal standards. But what do we need to do in order to fulfill this task? As I said, very, very simple. First of all, we need to find a relevant set of formal quality criteria. And we need to review our document step by step. Now, if you attended the first course of technical writing here in Skillshare, you might already be familiar with these. This is one of the most common sets of quality criteria and it is the one that I work with. Now in the first course, we already got into detail here, but I don't want to be too repetitive. So we will touch these as much as we need, but we will not dive deeply into them again. Instead, we will look at what they can do for us in the case of our scenario. And again, we will do this together. We will do this hands-on and we will work on your document. Now, let's take a look at the quality criteria. Correct? So your information needs to be correct in terms of the value of information you give. So make sure that what you write is correct. So for example, don't write that Sue can also be eaten with a fork because that is actually not true. It should be correct in terms of honesty. So don't write that suitable. For example, it will heal you if you're sick, because that's not true. Of course it should be correct in terms of grammar and spelling because that will enhance your credibility and your trustworthiness. And it should it be correct in terms of language, especially because many of us writers write in English, while English is not our first language. So you might have guessed it, it's time for another exercise. Reviewing your own writing is a very, very important step in almost every writing process, in almost every writing fields. So each and every one can produce a first draft. But what actually makes a good writer is the effective reviewing and the quality assurance and the improving of your own texts. So I would really like to encourage you to do this reviewing with me. So take your first draft, the draft you've created in your class project and review it in terms of its correctness. Once again, I will show you the things that you need to look at. So this is all the information you need about the quality criteria enough. Correct. So you can pause right here and then hit the play button once you're done. And then I'll show you what I did. So if you're done, Let's see what I would do. Let's take a look. So this right here is from where we start. This is all first draft. So now let's try to make it correct first in terms of the value of information. So actually everything seems to be okay except for this little party in the first section where I say that soup is either served in the small bowl or cup, which is not completely correct. So I highlighted it in pink because of course they are also like larger soup plates that I didn't mention here. Then we check the document for typos and incorrect grammar and so on. There's actually a lot going on because I just wrote this down really, really quickly. Are all the errors I highlighted in blue actually. So for example, I spelled finger wrong or row by row instead of Bowl, asks the reader to make sure to open their mouth instead of mouth and wells. So there are also some flaws in terms of language, which I highlighted in red. I'm not a native speaker, but even I have to admit that the sentences sound a little odd. So for example, I'm pretty sure it's not completely perfect to write transports soup from your bowl to her mouth or spill any of the soup on your spoon. So after we identify all these mistakes and arrows, we of course correct them. And this is the results. So once we've done that, we can head over to the next quality criteria, which is complete. And your document should be complete in terms of information, of course, and in terms of the level of detail, in terms of formal elements. So for example, the numbering of your chapters, and you might have guessed it, it's time for another exercise. So press pause, grab your document and review it, check if it's complete concerning the information, the level of detail and all formal elements. And if you've done that, you can press play again. And I'll show you what I did. Again, I will show you the description of the quality criteria so you know what to look out for. So let's go ahead, press pause and then press play again once you're done. So when you're ready, let's head over back to our document and take a look at it. This is where we start. This is what our document looks like after we checked it for its correctness. And now to me, this document seems to be quite complete, just some details that I would like to add. For example, I provided an example for cold soup here because it is exotic and rather uncommon. And I would also like to provide an example for sweet soup, which is also very. And common. And next, I wrote that soup is either served as an entree and a three or five course meal or at a served as the main course. But I wondered if you can also eat soup for dessert and did some research. And yes, it is also possible to eat some forties art, for example, chocolates, super Barry soup. You see, we're really here to learn about this topic and we learn a lot of things about soup that we probably have no clue about. So further down the page, I also notice that I probably need to include the information that you should not slurp but eat your soup silently because it is considered good manners. And I also noticed something else. I mentioned that for this quality criteria, you should also check whether you are, you included relevant formal elements. So I edit numbers so the headlines, which makes it easier for Sarah to navigate through the document. Let me zoom out a little bit so you can see more of that page. So another very important form of element of technical writing documents is a table of contents. So make sure you include one on a separate page of your document. And that probably looks like this in our case. Alright. To so once we did all of that, we're done. And this is the result of editing our document on the basis of the second quality criterion, complete. Now let's move on to the next quality criterion of usable. So make sure your document is usable by ensuring readability and scalability. By organizing your information logically, by providing a clear structure and layout, and by including texts and links that help the reader to navigate between relevant sections in a second. So now again, it's time for an exercise. I would kindly ask you to turn to your document, take a close look at it and make sure it is usable. Again, this is the quality criteria in detail. So you know what to look out for. And if you're ready, just press pause and take a look at your document. And once you're done, you can press play again and we will go through my document. So if you're ready, then let's go. This is where we start. This is our document after it was reviewed for completeness. And ladies and gentlemen, this is now where the magic happens because we will turn these boring blocks of text into something that is actually usable. So first of all, by dividing these texts blocks into smaller chunks and by giving them little sub headlines. For example, In the second section where we talk about the dangers of eating soup, we now edit the sub headlines, burning and stains. So when our friend Sarah chooses to just scan this document quickly, she has a fair chance to get an idea of the most crucial risks of eating soup. Next thing we do is including some links. These links connect inflammation of different subsections with each other in a logical way. And Sarah can quickly jump from the introduction to the instructions if she decides that she wants to jump right into the heart of the document. And something that I also want to show you is this. I divided the long paragraphs of the how to eat soup section into a shorter paragraphs, which makes it easier for the reader to digest the information. Now, this is what our document looks like now. So we can move on to the next quality criteria on which is clear. A super-important quality criteria because it makes sure that your readers can use your document without further explanations. The document itself is clear enough to help them understand what they need to know in order to use a product or follow a process, and that is how it should be. So clarity is in short by using clear and easy language, by avoiding ambiguity and by assigning a clear meaning to technical terms. By using charts and images if they transport meaning more effectively, and by using clear names for chapters and headlines. So if you're ready, let's do another exercise. Returned to your document and check it for the quality criterion of clear he is what you should pay attention to it. And you can now just pause the video and come back right here and press play once you're done. Now, this is where we stopped. This is what our document looks like after I reviewed it for usability. And now we're talking about clarity. And now just so you know that this is a real life example, I did not put any mistakes in there on purpose. I just wrote it the way I would write it. So this is authentic. Okay. So to me, these first parts of the document seem to be pretty clear. However, at the instructional part, still need some polishing in terms of clarity, I think. So let's head over there. So there's actually a lot of text and a lot of very detailed explaining on how to hold a spoon, how to get the soup from your plate into your mouth. And now something that would definitely make things easier for Sarah is to provide images. For these sections. I chose the ones from Wiki how which really hit the nail on the head for me. So this is what our document looks like right now. Smaller chunks of texts with images that illustrate these instructions. And now everything should be kind of clear, should be easy to scan and easy to understand. Let's move on to the next quality criteria, which is concise. Now, this is something most writers aim for, efficient and concise writing. And conciseness is ensured by using efficient grammar and syntax, using short and simple words, and choosing efficient forms of presentation. So for example, up four bullet points instead of long-form texts when you can. Now again, I would kindly ask you to check exactly that in your document. I will give you the description of the quality criterion. You can head over to your own document, press pause, and then come back. When you're done. So once you're done, Let's take a look at my document. This is where we start. This is what my document looks like after reviewing it for clarity. The images I included are further down the documents. So just so you know, I just give you an idea of what I do here to keep the course kind of shirt. I only show your relevant excerpts of the document, but you should know that the instructions are further down the document and this is where the images are that I just showed you in the previous part of the course. So this is where we start, right? I made some tiny improvements, put some sentences and the more efficient grammatical forms. So it looks like this, which makes the first part of the document a little shorter as you can see. And I also chose to again edit the instructional part by getting rid of these numbers which are actually completely unnecessary. So I just turned them into bullet points, reducing some cognitive load here. And this is the result. This is what our document looks like right now. Let's move on my dear friends to the very last quantity criteria on which is consistency. Consistency is super important to give your document and overall professional, credible, trustworthy look. And also to avoid misunderstandings. You can ensure consistency by using consistent naming of headlines, by being consistent in terms of terminology, by using consistent design, and by making sure your document fits the standards of your organization and fields. So luckily, there is no organization then there are no soup industry standards for documenting instructions on how to eat soup. But still, let's see what we can do here. You know the game. You go first and grab your document and check it for consistency, press pause, and then come right back. I will give you again the description of the quantity criterion. So you have it all here. Now, you can press pause, returned to your document and review it for consistency. And now if you're ready, let's move forward. This is where we stopped. This is what our a document that looks like right now. And what I noticed is that on the bottom of this page right here, I speak of food went throughout the rest of the document. I always speak of soup, which makes more sense here. And once I also always do is checking whether or not I chose consistent user a dressing, which I already did, as you can see right here, I always say take the spoon, dip the spoon and so on and never switch to the spoon needs to be taken or something like that. So make sure you got that right. And of course, always opt for active voice instead of passive voice. And always addressed the user directly to ensure clear communication and to keep your communication as efficient as possible. So my dear friends, this is it. This is what our document looks like right now. Now I know that this document should be improved even further. We could give it a more appealing look work with even more images, correct? Even more arrows. So, but this was just to illustrate the process for you and to give you an idea on how to ensure quality in your technical writing document. Now in my first course on technical writing right here on Skillshare, I uploaded a very detailed checklist that will help you to go through your document and make sure everything is done correctly. You'll need to do the course if you're another technical writing beginner, but you can go there and download the checklist if you like, because it is actually very helpful for all kinds of technical writers. So, all right, friends, and we're almost done. There is only one step left until we hit the finish line in our writing process. And if you're ready for that, if you're ready for the last step, I'll see you in the next lesson. 7. The Writing Process: Step 4: So welcome to the next lesson of this course, which is all about the fourth step of the writing process, which is all about proofreading and testing. And I promise this will be great fun. As I said, it is the last step of the technical writing process model that I work with and it will help you to ultimately finalize your document. Now let's see what this step is all about. Well, in this step you should have your document professionally proof, read. You design and conduct a user test or a survey with your target audience. You adjust and improve your document according to your findings. This step is also about repeating the process on a regular basis. So let's start with the first task right here, half your document professionally prefer it. Why is that important? Well, it helps you to create credibility and trust because it helps you to appear professional and to leave a professional impression. And of course, it is the ultimate quality check that helps you to ensure readability and avoid confusion. So what do we need to do here? You can solve exactly two kinds of people. First, a technical proof reader or a technical editor. So a person that is specialized and proof reading, a technical writing document, and second, a subject matter expert. Both groups of people will be the first people you can consult for proofreading. And in this chapter, I promise you can just relax and let me do all the work. Well, you absorb the knowledge. Okay, so let's go. So since our fictional scenario needs to further unfold in order for us to do this. You don't need to do anything and I will just show you how I would do it. Now we will start with our subject matter experts, which in our case is Mark. You remember him, he is a chef and a soup enthusiasts. Now, what you wanna do here is asked Mark to read your document, review it, and leave comments for you, just like this. Here we see that Mark says, for example, well, soup sometimes as also served in a bread bowl. And you eat with a spoon. And Western cultures, but in other parts of the world that might be different. And he also thinks that this one sentence right here is kind of misleading. So once you're a subject matter expert is done, make sure you edit the document accordingly and then pass it on to your proofreader. In our fictional scenario, we asked professional proofreader petty to leave comments and suggestions in our document as well, which pretty much looks like this. Now, make sure to review and accept these suggested changes and to edit the document according to the commons, your proof reader, to your document. So in my case, for example, a professional proofreader, petty, suggests that that we should add transporting soup when warning our reader about situations in which soup. Is easily spilt. So now that we have except that the changes petty suggested and now that we have edited the document according to her comments, we can now move on to the next task, which is design and conduct a user test or a survey. Because, I mean, we can be really proud about the fact that mark and petty Probably like our document now that we have edited it according to their, to their suggestions. However, this is not about making Mark or petty happy. This is about providing value for our target audience. So this is who we need to consult next. Now why is this important? Well, it helps us to do the final step and now a quality assurance procedure. It helps us to make sure our document is actually helpful to our target audience. And it helps us to make sure our document fulfilled its purpose. So enough reasons to do this, but what exactly needs to be done? So we either conduct a user test or a survey. And in case of the user test, we invite people that belong to our target audience and let them test our document. And when conducting a survey, you send out a questionnaire and ask a whole lot of people that belong to your target audience several questions, for example, whether or not they use your document, whether or not they find your document helpful. And some, of course, the best thing you can do is conducting both a user test and a survey. And I especially recommend that if your target audience is, iz, is either very large or very diverse, how is this done? Well in our scenario, the target group consists of only one person, Sarah. So we can conduct a user test with just her. However, to not leave you completely clueless about conducting a survey, you can check out Google forums or Survey Monkey and check out how they work. Because you can easily use these two tools to conduct a survey if you need to do that in your very own case. Now, as I said, for our own scenario, a user test is the most suitable options. So let's take a look. That means we invite Sarah and ask her to eat soup with the help of our document. Of course, when you invite your target audience for USA test, you should probably prepare a menu with questions you wanna ask. And for our scenarios, such a manual could look like this one. Including questions such as, please read the document and tell us, do you feel you're well-prepared for eating your soup? Or which information is helpful, which inflammation is absolutely irrelevant, and so on and so on. And of course, you can pause here to read all of these questions for yourself. Just take your time. And now of course what you wanna do is you invite Sara and he listened to Sara, take your notes. And in our scenario, this is what Sarah says. She says, Hey, we're friends, but the tonality of your document is so formal and rather unfriendly. She also asks us to include an image that shows how to properly hold a spoon. She tells us that some inflammation seems to be irrelevant, providing two examples. And she asks us whether there is a difference between the way we eat cold soup and the way we eat hot soup. Very health information. Thank you, Sarah. And the next thing we do is adjust and improve our document according to what we have learned here. So why is that important? Well, first it helps us to finally adjust the document our target audiences needs. And second, it helps us to further improve the effectiveness of our document. So what do we need to do right now? Quite simple, and collect the feedback from our audience. Order the feedback according to the sections of our document. And finally, make these improvements. So let's see how this is done. This is what it looks like. Well, I transferred the feet back into comments in my document and I left it in the sections that are affected by that piece of feedback. Well, except for the feedback regarding the tonality of the document because this affects the whole document. But for the rest of the feedback, I tried to be as specific as possible and choosing the right spot for the comment. So once you transfer to your feet back into Commons, you can start editing. So first thing I did was deleting these two sentences that Sarah considered irrelevance. And the next thing I did was this. I wrote little introductory sentences for each subsection, which at a little dash of friendliness to the document. Now, of course, this is not something that you would just do for any kind of technical writing document. I just want to point out here that it is important to adjust the style of the document according to your target audience's needs. So there is one common, the left, the one concerning the image of a person properly holding a spoon. No problem, Sarah, Here we go. So this is pretty much how you make sure you adjust your document according to your target audiences feedback. And now my dear friends, it's time for the very last task of the writing process, which is repeating the process on a regular basis. So this is all about making sure to regularly consult your subject matter experts and your target audience in order to keep your document up to date. Why is that important? Well, it helps you to adjust your document according to changes in your target audience, according to changes in technology and according to changes in media. So maybe in the future, our dining tables will have like digital interfaces that we can use to play videos. I don't know. But all of these kinds of changes might affect your document in the future. So what exactly do we need to do? Repeat the process after a reasonable amount of time or after changes in your target audience, our technology became a parent, or a new and more appropriate media can be used. And now this is very easy. What needs to be done? Simply repeat the process when it seems right. Do your research, talk to your SMEs and your target audience and keep your document up to date. Now we're done with the writing process. Ladies and gentlemen, congrats for sticking around and learning how to do it step-by-step. Great job. And now in the last chapter of this course, I will reward you with some very cool best-practice examples of technical writing. And if you're ready for that, I'll see you in the next lesson. 8. Best Practice Examples : So welcome back to the last part of this course and we finished this class Nice and easy with some amazing best practice examples and further resources you can consult to get even better a technical writing or learn more about the field. So best practice examples for great technical writing. You can consult these documents to learn or to get inspired. And it will also help you to understand what great technical writing looks like in practice. So we will start with a company that is actually famous for providing best practice examples and which is slack. Slack is basically a business messenger that is mostly used in the workplace. Or slack has a great interactive user manual that I would like to share with you. So I consulted this document to find out how to add custom image East to my workspace. And I consulted the document via its search feature. So here you can see the result. This document has clear and very easy to understand language. The clear headline naming and the clear hierarchy of the document help us to navigate through it. We got nice brand driven visuals and tonality. So very easy, very friendly, slightly informal language. We got many great interactive elements, such as links that take us to other relevant sections. And we got this search bar, which allows us to find exactly what we need within just a few seconds. So when we scroll down here, we find very clear instructions on how to add custom emojis. And again, the headline style gives us a very clear idea about the information hierarchy. And select uses images for a better understanding, which is nice. We find consistency in the way the user is addressed. So the user is addressed directly very efficiently. It just says click on, click at emoji and so on. And the numbers you see right here that mark the single steps of the process. They give us a very efficient overview of the single steps we need to take. And another thing that is great here is that there are visual highlights that allow us to scan the interface really quickly so we know where to click on. So very nice, good job. Slack. Slack definitely respects that. It is mostly used in the work context so people don't really have too much time to read a long text about what to do. So next up is Mailchimp. Mailchimp is an email marketing tool and it is also well-known for its great copywriting and for its brand that you X writing. And so there is another product from them that I would consider a best practice example for technical writing, which is their content style guide. Here we find a very clear naming of headlines, which makes it especially easy to navigate within the sidebar on the left-hand side and gets to the right section within just a few seconds, we have a very clear structure of chapters. And if we dive a little deeper into the text here, you get a clear description of the target group. So Mailchimp explain who the study guide is for. And they also describe the purpose of the document. So this is great because it is actually managing expectations right in the beginning. And this dye guy also has a search bar on the upper right, which helps us to navigate through the document if we have a very detailed question. Now, let's take a closer look at one of the sections. Once we enter a certain chapter, we see very clear instructions, a very clear visual structure. The use of bullet points makes this super efficient form of communicating information. And we see that this style guide might be super extensive, but that is, but that is also structured in a very smart and logical way that allows us to intuitively locate certain pieces of information. Next up is an example of that is not as popular as the two previous ones. It's the cookbook of German fitness influenza, Pamela hive called you deserve this. So this is again something that we can learn here. Cookbooks are actually a form of technical writing and where Pamela does an excellent job is she has a great way to structure the different forms of knowledge because on the one hand, she includes extensive background knowledge about different kinds of food and ingredients and spices. And on the other hand, she includes instructional knowledge in her recipes. And with that, she addresses quite a large targets group because she addresses the people who are really interested in a healthy lifestyle and who are willing to learn more about healthy food. And she also addresses the people who just want to cook a tasty meal. And with its clear structure, the book allows its readers to navigate confidently and efficiently between the two forms of knowledge and the single pages. We also have a very clear information hierarchy. We've got a great form of visual guidance, as you can see on the right-hand side of the image, the single sections are clearly divided and we got a consistent layout and intense use of illustrations that support the instructions, which is very important for a cookbook. And we got a very efficient way of explaining technical terms. So another great example for technical writing. Now, if you want to dive even deeper into technical writing, I got some further resources for you that you can check out on a regular basis to learn more, to stay up to date and to network with people coming from the field. The first one is of course, the Society for Technical Communication. They publish articles on a regular basis and you'll also find the webinars here and much more so check out their website. And we have, I'd rather be writing, which is a block about technical writing, very popular ones. So you'll find a lot of knowledge here. Then there is also this medium blog about technical writing called technical writing is easy, very clever title. And here you can find a lot of great articles from different authors about several also very detailed topics within the field of technical writing. I also highly recommend the YouTube channel of IM route or Renato. She is an experienced technical writer. And on her YouTube channel, she also talks about how to build a career in the field of technical writing. And she gives personal book recommendations. She talks salary expectations in the industry and so on and so forth. There is also a LinkedIn group for technical writing called documentation and technical writing management. And this group discusses interesting questions about technical writing, which is super-helpful if you are a technical writing practitioner, I think. So now everything I got left is one last exercise for you, for which I would like you to reflect again on your own knowledge and skills. Remember when we were working through the different steps of the writing process and when you were doing the exercises of this course, think about it. Which parts where most difficult to you? So when doing the exercises of this course, which parts are most difficult for you? Or in other words, where would you like to deepen your knowledge? I would really like to encourage you to end this lesson with creating a short list of topics that you would like to learn more about and technical writing or that you want to do research about in order to improve your overall skill set as a technical writer. This will help you to move on from here and keep working with the field of technical writing. So in before you pause right here and do exactly that, I would like to thank you for sharing this class with me. And if you'd like to, you can join me in some concluding remarks in the altro. And if not, I wish you all the best with your technical writing. Remember to enjoy the process of learning and creating and see you soon. 9. FInal Thoughts: So that's it. Congratulations for completing this course. I hope you enjoyed it and I hope that you have learned something that you can actually use for your everyday technical writing practice. Now if you want to, you can leave me a review. Just tell me what you liked about this course and what could be improved. Because I think that we're all here to learn and I would really appreciate it. So that's it. Thank you so much for sharing this class with me and I wish you all the best and hope to see you soon in one of my other classes.