Bringing Text To Life

Technical writing in the digital age is the combination of using today's technology-based media to enhance and facilitate our way of communicating complex information into easily accessible and understandable text. In a digital medium, there are a great deal more elements that are vital to consider as compared to traditional technical writing.

From the readings, the points that align most with my interests involve the overall design, the user experience, and the level of interactivity involved in the text. Giving attention to overall design and the user experience I feel can transform a writer's work all together. If you compare a newer website to an older website that has not been updated in 15 years, the user may not even bother to read the content on the older website even if it's the information they were seeking strictly because of the outdated design and layout. Additionally, if there are hyperlinks or images included in the text, it is of importance that they are placed appropriately and that they function properly or else the user may get frustrated or possibly doubt the validity of the text completely.
In combination, hum drum, strictly practical technical writing can be brought to life with consideration to colour scheme, font, and format. Colours and design can help shape perspective and in a way there is a psychology to all of it. Colour by itself can set the tone of an article, along with iconography, clip art, and graphs.
Interactive design is also a vital part of technical writing in today's age. It is a way to keep the audience engaged in an extremely fast-paced world while still informing and teaching them about the subject at hand.  

Perhaps the most important aspect of writing in the digital age though are the positive benefits it provides towards accessibility. Providing an audio version of writing or a website that is compatible with apps that can translate text to speech allows for a much wider audience to use and appreciate technical writing. It is therefore imperative for technical writers to always be mindful of accommodations for those with disabilities as they are composing their work.

In addition to the elements that can be incorporated into technical design, there is also the matter of how digital writing is presented to readers. In today's age, instead of finding information from physical books, many audiences will search for information via Google or in video format on YouTube or even TikTok. The writer must consider this when composing their work. For instance if a user on TikTok decides they want to post a cooking video, they will have to plan on how to engage their audience quickly with something like a quick clip of the finished product or a funny anecdote on how cooking went while preparing the dish. Then they will have to provide the step-by-step information they want to share in a very condensed and to the point format. The creator will then have to consider that there will be audience members who will want more detailed instructions that the creator may choose to provide on their on website. On top of all of this, if the creator has turned on public comments, they may want to consider audience feedback in how they compose the information they want to convey in their video. In this example, it is clear that instances such as searching for a recipe for dinner have become much more complex than flipping through a physical cook to find an interesting recipe to try. However, this is what many people of this age want to see. This audience prefers to have high quality images or clips showing the end product for the information they were seeking. They want practical instructions to be brought to life.

Digital media has forever changed the face of technical writing. There are so many more levels to consider than just words on a page. But at its core, technical writing will always be needed and will continue to evolve through the ages to provide information to the masses.

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