Basic Principles of Design in Technical Writing

Writing is a skill that takes time and patience to master, especially when it comes to professional and technical writing. The basics of design for technical writing are essential to ensuring that your documentation is legible and easy to understand for the people who read it. There are many design choices that you should make to ensure that your technical writing meets the needs of your audience.


For a page to be read effectively, you must use contrast effectively. Poor contrast makes the text difficult to read and even more challenging to understand. Color choices are going to have a significant role to play in the contrast of your documents. It is vital to ensure a high amount of contrast between background and text colors so that all text is easy to read.


In your technical writing design, it is also essential to consider each element’s weight. Some items will seem heavy to the eye, which will help them pop out on the screen. Other features will be lighter and pull less attention. You must choose the correct elements to make it heavy or light. You should also make sure you use a good balance of heavy and light elements so the result is enjoyable to read. When you hire someone to perform technical writing services, they will take action to achieve balance on every document they produce.


Near the concept of balance is the concept of emphasis. You should focus on how you emphasize information and choose to make particular elements stand out. The parts you emphasize should match the most critical aspects of your technical writing piece. Emphasis can be created with color, the thickness of lines, and even italicizing the text. If you are not sure how or what you need to emphasize, talk to a technical writing consultant who can give you their professional input.


Every element of a technical writing piece will have a specific size. Comparing these sizes to one another is the proportion of the piece you are working on. More prominent elements seem more critical to your audience, while more minor things are generally seen as less significant. You can see this in the headings levels used in many technical writing pieces. If you are thinking about technical writing outsourcing, choose an agency that understands how proportions work.


Having hierarchy in your design shows your audience that they are reading high-quality technical writing. Having hierarchy in technical writing makes it easier for your readers to understand what they are reading and how various elements work together in the piece of equipment they are trying to use. Hierarchy is generally shown through various headings, body text, and lists that work together to make the whole. Make sure you are consistent in your hierarchy so that the piece of technical writing is easy to follow and understand.


Many people worry about using repetition in their technical writing because they think it is redundant. However, repetition can help your readers understand the concepts and processes you present in your technical writing. You want to repeat the terminology you use, the formatting you implement, and the consistency you execute throughout your writing. Expert technical documentation service providers will know how to use the tool of repetition best to create high-quality technical writing.


If you are new to the idea of rhythm in technical writing and design, it is okay if it feels a little difficult to understand. Essentially, rhythm refers to the way the various elements of your documents fit together. The rhythm can be consistent, random, or even build up throughout the piece. Depending on the rhythm you choose to implement, you will create different feelings in your audience.


Every piece of design is going to have patterns of some kind, especially in technical writing. Some patterns will be consistent only in your technical writing pieces. Other patterns will be similar across all types of technical writing, no matter who produces them. Understanding how to use patterns effectively will help you to create high-quality technical writing, whether you work on your own or with one of the many technical authoring companies on the market.

White Space

Many people think of technical writing design as what is on the page. And while this is true, it also has much to do with what is not included. Having empty white space on a page can make it easier for an audience to process the information. White space also helps to make bulky text less intimidating to readers and more legible. When you use white space effectively, the graphics in technical writing become more meaningful.


When people read any piece of writing, their eyes will naturally scan the piece. This process is called movement, and when creating technical writing, you can guide the eye rather than letting your reader choose for themselves. You want to create movement that draws your audience’s eye to the essential parts of each page.


For many technical writing designers, variety is one of the trickiest principles they must master. This is because there is a fine line between enough variety and too much. You want to aim for enough variety in your design to keep people interested in the work you are creating without having so much that it becomes a distraction. Companies that provide technical authoring services tend to have the concept of variety nailed down.


Finally, good technical writing design needs to use the principle of unity. Unity requires you to think about how the elements look and fit together. When components are haphazardly combined on the page, making the writing and design appealing to your readers is difficult. Every element in technical writing should serve a purpose, creating better unity.

Whenever you are participating in work that requires technical writing for engineers, everything needs to be clear and legible. Having the help of a professional technical writing service, like GGS, can ensure that your technical writing will meet the needs of your business. With a team of professional writers in charge of all your technical writing needs, you will have the security of knowing that the job will be done correctly, every time.

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