Irrespective of experience and types of a document you work on, here are three types of knowledge a technical writer needs to have;
- Product Knowledge
- Technical Knowledge
- User Knowledge
Let’s dive deep to understand these three aspects;
Product Knowledge; A product is an outcome of a project initiated. While working on product documentation, as a technical writer, you need to know the application, functions, features, implications, supported versions, support requirements, and working. You can enrich your product-related knowledge during a meeting, referring to the documents previously available, or researching about a similar product available.
Technical Knowledge; Technical knowledge focuses on how a process works and its interaction with other processes. To enrich your technical knowledge ask questions to your product team, stay updated, research about a topic, take an online course if required, review a previously available document, and verify the instructions on your own.
User Knowledge; User also known as "audience" is the most important aspect of all three. User knowledge helps you gain a general idea of who your audience is, the primary need of your audience, how they will use your product, and how easy it is to use it. To enrich your user-related knowledge, you can have a look at web analytics of a webpage.
So, here are the benefits of acquiring knowledge on the aforementioned aspects;
Talk with some intelligence to the product team. You gain confidence and respect for putting effort into understanding a product overall.
Write much faster as you will be well-versed on a product, technical and user aspects.
Confident that the document generated is accurate even though your subject matter experts do not review it.
At last, as a bonus tip, don’t hesitate to ask a question with your product team (even though it does not align with a topic or requirement). This will save time while you can invest in research. In addition, countless things can be learned. It is best to filter the technical knowledge you want to gain before you start working.
Keep writing :)