Designing complex products takes immense effort. However, customers and clients won’t use these items to their maximum potential unless they have access to precise, easy-to-read technical documents that explain how it functions.
The position of technical writer helps address these concerns. By specialising in content production, ranging from instructional guides to software manuals, you’ll help people fully understand technical topics that require explicit explanations.
If you consider yourself a competent communicator with a deep appreciation for difficult subjects, becoming a technical writer in Singapore is a wise decision. Here, we explore this intriguing role in greater detail.
What is technical writing?
Most people know copywriters are crucial for creating content that captures consumer attention, such as feature articles, blogs and magazine ads. However, technical writers have a different purpose. They’re tasked with conveying directions, instructions and explanations about specific and often complicated subjects to ensure end-users know how to use a product or service.
Technical writer responsibilities
Thinking about becoming a technical writer? Below, we consider the primary responsibilities required to succeed in this vital role.
1. Understand the product
Before you can begin crafting technical content, you need to develop a thorough understanding of the product. While some technical writers might be experts on specific products, others must communicate with software developers and engineers to grasp its purpose and significance.
2. Research the target audience
Technical writers must consider the document’s ideal audience. If you’re communicating with highly trained engineers, industry-specific terminology is acceptable. However, some technical documents explain complex products to laypeople, meaning you’ll have to adjust your tone and language to suit their needs.
3. Create technical content
After researching the product and its audience, technical writers will create an appropriate document, such as white papers and user manuals. Supported by exceptional written communication and formatting skills, you can provide users with the best possible experience.
The main technical writing roles
Every industry dealing with complicated digital and physical products can benefit from a technical writer with refined skills. Here are just some technical writing roles you’re bound to encounter.
1. Scientific and medical papers
Extraordinary amounts of scientific and medical research are conducted all the time. However, these organisations require technical writers to easily communicate with the industry’s varied stakeholders, including doctors, patients, regulators and more. For example, a technical writer might describe a new clinical study or publish key research results.
2. User manuals
Purchased a new kitchen appliance or piece of computer hardware? These items – and countless others – come with user manuals created by technical writers. To help people have a seamless experience with their new item, these documents capture how to safely and effectively use the product using plain language, simple visuals and step-by-step instructions.
3. Assembly guides
While some technical documents help explain the complex nature of the product, others are designed to help people have a satisfying interaction. For example, almost everyone who has bought IKEA furniture has seen how their assembly guides help customers quickly piece something together with precise instructions and straightforward diagrams.
4. Other technical documents
We’ve listed some of the key documents created by technical writers, but there are numerous other formats that you might encounter. If you work for a software company, release notes are included with every product update to help users understand changes. Technical writers might also produce troubleshooting documents, how-to tutorials, FAQ pages and more.
The must-have skills for technical writers
As Singapore is one of Asia’s leading technology hubs, it’s the ideal place to start your career as a technical writer. Depending on your specific role, the average technical writer makes a base salary of approximately $4,000 per month in Singapore. Check out these essential skills to take your performance to the next level.
Technical writers must have highly refined communication skills to succeed in the role. Supported by an analytical mindset and appreciation for technical subjects, you’ll require superior writing skills to clearly present even the most complex topic to the end user.
Many technical writers don’t specialise in the product they’re describing. However, they’re expected to collaborate effectively with knowledgeable designers and developers to convey the most precise information possible. Therefore, a cooperative and team-oriented mentality is crucial to your success.
3. Planning and organisation
Considering the detail required to explain certain products, knowing how to plan and organise information effectively is essential for technical writers. Fortunately, several digital tools exist to help technical writers structure their work to achieve their goals.
Are you looking to upskill or reskill as a technical writer? Here’s our guide to upskilling and reskilling for you to achieve your career goals.