One of the most significant topics in my opinion that we have covered in the Technical Communication class was design principles. Although many would believe designing documents is arbitrary and not significant in the grand scheme of the effectiveness of the document, this is not the case. A document is greatly influenced by how it is designed. For example, a single document could be designed many different ways to appeal to different audiences. An audience that does not have a high education would not bother reading a document with an abundance of large and complicated words. This audience instead would be subject to a more topic and answer based document which may be easier to read. This type of document is concise while a Technical Memo for your boss may be longer and use more technical terms. Design elements such as proximity, alignment, repetition, and contrast allow documents to be better organized and therefore more effective to their specific audience.
In the Mechanical Engineering field document design is of the utmost importance. Technical documents are commonly created by Engineers to present new technology to the public and the company the Engineer is working for. Due to the broad audience of Engineering documents I must be able to not only write, but also design each and every document specific to the audience and their culture. In doing so many confusions such as language and cultural ethics can be avoided while also providing the needed information clearly and concisely to all consumers.
By Troy Giberson