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
One thing I learned in class that I think I will help me in my future is how to identify your audience and gear your product/presentation/etc. to fit their profile. When it comes down to it the customer is the one you’ll have to please, so if you don’t know what pleases them you won’t know how to go about pleasing them. This will help me in my later work experience because my knowing my audience I will be able to help create and think of new ideas that will attract the right kind of audience that will benefit the business I will be working for. It will also help me become a better employee and help me, look like a hard working and good part of the business.
I feel as though one of the topics that we’ve covered in class that has changed the way I approach my work is Inforgraphics. Graphics are the pictures in technical communication: drawings, maps, photographs, diagrams, and tables. An infograph can be considered as a visual representation of information. Infographics help explain information in an easier way. Instead of having to write out every part of a machine, a picture of the machine with parts labeled will help the audience better understand the information. If the writer just writes out the information of parts, the audience will have to use their imagination to see where the part would lie on the machine. Whereas if there was a diagram of the machine that is labeled, the audience could understand what the writing is saying, and be able to see the part in the diagram. This will clarify information to the audience. Lastly, infographcis help with the idea of how to express information. Sometimes creating a table with information is better than writing out a list, or a diagram would help express information better than a photograph. This topic will help me in the future to understand how, as an engineer, to express information to a certain audience. It all depends on who the audience is, to determine how to express the infograph. You don’t need every equation shown to a customer to describe how the product works. Instead, a picture or diagram of the product with step-by-step instructions will explain the information to a customer must easier than the equations used to determine the product.
One of the topics that we covered in class that is most likely to stick with me through my college career was the topic of infographics. I found out not only what infographics can be used for and how to use them, but to actually create them myself. I tried various infographic templates to produce the ideal infographic, that still I could not come up with. I learned how things can work in your mind, but not in reality, exactly like mechanical engineering technology. Things can work perfectly in your mind but when you try and manufacture that part or mechanism, it might not work. And just like the infographic you have to just take a step back and approach it from a different angle until it is satisfactory. I plan on using infographics for future presentations and to show group members data I’ve found or collected as well. I think that learning how to produce infographics was one of the most beneficial topics we covered in this class.
Throughout this semester in Technical Effective Communications we have covered many topics relating to how to form and write a professional document or piece. One topic that has stood out to me is the use and importance of infographics. Infographics are used to help explain or show an idea without the use of lots of words but instead uses graphics and images to get a point across. Which can be more eye appealing to the audience and keep them engaged. Learning about infographics has changed the way i approach my work because it teaches me that writing a proposal or having an writing presentation is not the only way to display a set of information. Instead you can use a group of pictures, graphs or charts designed in an organized and easy to read layout. The graphics are able to tell a story of its own for a minimum amount of words.
Being a mechanical engineering technology student , I will use what i have learned for future experiences at work, by helping me with giving presentations, or proposals that i may have to give at work, either to a boss of mine or just to other coworkers. Since mechanical engineers design products and mechanisms that can be manufactured and produced. So by being able to know how to display the information that i have proposed in an professional manner in a work area, will help me get a better job and succeed in the business world.