PD: Laser Printer Technical Writing
Create a crisp, organized document of detailed technical instructions for a general audience.
Interviewed SME, watched many hours of “unboxing” videos on the Glowforge Basic and Pro, visited the official Glowforge website and a user’s Github page to get sufficient information to write in a detailed manner. I had taken an intro to tech writing course through CPCC in Charlotte, NC to better understand the field. I drafted the document in a simple text editor so I wouldn’t be pressured by rich text formatting. I intend to include instructions on loading and cutting a project, but I wanted to get this out here for feedback.
I like how it looks so far. The course emphasized organization and consistency, and I hope I demonstrated both well. It’s simple, organized, no frills, no rich text… There is no law against rich text, but here I wanted to demonstrate an ability, however brief, to write in careful detail with consistency. When I copy and pasted into Word, some of the indentation was off. I hope I corrected all instances of that.
- Consistency is my friend, too. As I was writing, it was nice to be able to look up how I formatted something before. It helps to determine how to organize information later. It helps to see what I thought was important enough to sub-categorize.
- Numbering can get hairy. Everything after _03.3 feels a little strange, because you wouldn’t know you’re under _03.3 from the numbering. But there’s also no reason to number something so short and small _03.3.1. What do you think about the numbering? Should I perhaps get rid of the “_0”?
- I actually do not like the asterisks and should change them to proper bullets.
- I should include images in the final draft.
Overall, I can see how people might like doing this for a living. Most of us think of novelists or journalists when we think of writing for a living, but imagine all of the technical instructional documents, or even just phrases or splurges, we encounter daily and never think about the person who drafted them.
I also appreciated that an SME was involved in this effort. Instructional designers must work with SMEs all through the design process to ensure accuracy in the information, and this is an area I truly need to gain more experience in. Thank you Jennifer L. of Chapel Hill, NC for letting me see your Glowforge in action and answering questions in person and virtually.
Please leave any comments, specifically about mistakes you find!