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Catering to the Audience

One of the most important things we do as technical writers is cater to our audience.  A good example of what I’m talking about is the online textbook I’m working on.  I’m part of a group assigned to cover Adobe Captivate.  Since the textbook is going to be written for college students (who we know are much more inclined to skim rather than do in-depth reading), my group thought we should have less text and more interactivity.  So far it’s been a success.

Your project won’t accomplish much of anything if you forget your audience.  For the vast majority, less text and more interactivity is a winner.  But if you have an academic who’d rather read ten straight pages of text, give it to him or her.  The job of a technical writer is to produce what you’re asked to produce in the most effective, specific-to-the-audience way.  That, of course, begs the question: how do I make my content productive?  I’ll address that in my next post.

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