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The skill of technical authoring is the categorising and structuring of information for delivery to an end user in a format that can be easily accessed and used and in such a way that they can navigate quickly to information that they require.
For this to be successful the quality of the information must be well written and appropriate to the level of the end user.
AST core skills cover both of the above key elements:
The task of preparing source information involves splitting existing paragraphs of source information in to distinct “packets” of information. A verbose and poorly written paragraph of text may mix different types of information, such as procedures interspersed within a description of a product. The writing or editing of packets into clear English is a key requirement for an end user to understand a concept or carry out a task successfully.
A key task is to identify the category types that are required for a specific project.
Information describing the functions and use of a software application may include category types such as:
Source information needs to be split and edited or written to these specific category types, so that information within a packet contains information only of one specific packet type.
Projects which require outputs in different formats, different documents and to different end users from the same information require each “packet” of information to be categorised in such a way that information may be compiled as a deliverable document using a defined structure.
Technical authoring is needed to document information about:
Technical authoring delivers significant value by: