How a technical writer works – The Four R’s process

People are often curious how a technical writer works. That is, what process a technical writer uses in their day-to-day work.

I use a process that I call “The Four R’s.” It’s a simplified method for complex subject matter.

  1. Research – Learn about a subject/product/feature and audience needs. Try it out. Interview subject matter experts. Get clarity; prioritize needs. (~40% of time)
  2. Reduce – Break down information into manageable parts. Translate subject matter using minimalism techniques to align with audience needs. (~10% of time)
  3. wRite – Document learnings for end-users. (~30% of time)
  4. Refine – Refine written material based on SME reviews, usability testing, and any other new sources of information. (~20% of time)

What about you? What process do you use? Share your experiences here.

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