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Understand your audience and collect informations

August 11, 2009

Determining purpose and Audience:

All technical communication is done with a particular end in mind. The purpose is usually to facilitate the communication of ideas and concepts to the audience.
The importance of the audience is in the notion that meaning is derived from the audience interpretation of a piece of work. For example, if the worker in a bank were
not properly posting deposits to accounts, someone would write the procedure so these workers might have the correct procedure. The person who is writing the transferring
knowledge from the person who knows to the person who needs to know. This is the basic definition of Technical communication.
The most commonly used form of technical communication is technical writing. Example of technical writing include: project proposals, technical manuals and users guides.
A user guide for an electronic device typically includes diagrams along with detailed textual explanations.
The identification of audience will affect many aspects of communication, from word selection and graphics usage to style and organization. A non-technical audience will not
understand, or worse yet, even read a document that is heavy with jargon. Busy audiences will not have time to read an entire document, so content must be organized for ease of searching,
for example by the frequent inclusion of headers, white space and other cues that guide attention.

Collecting Information:

The next step is to collect information needed for accomplishing the stated purpose. Information may be collected via primary research, where the technical communicator
conducts research first-hand and secondary research, where work published by another person is used as an information source.

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