Causes of Inefficient Writing

Causes of Inefficient Writing

Sometimes even when the content of the technical documentation is correct (from the technical side) and the grammar is excellent, the writing can be still inefficient. This happens because the writer doesn’t follow some common rules. Here we are going to discuss several factors that usually cause inappropriate technical writing.

Uninviting Look

The idea is that the look of the document is no less important than the information it contains.

To make this factor clear let’s take an example of visiting a restaurant. You’ll hardly go to the restaurant where the food is great, but the dishes and table-cloth are dirty and the waiter talks to you as if he’s hated you all his life, for the second time. The same will happen if the situation is opposite: everything beams with cleanness, but the food is awful. And only if the restaurant has both perfect look and content you have a wish to visit it again and again.

The same with writing. So when a technical writer creates some document he needs to think not only about what he writes, but as well about how to make it look nice to attract the reader. Many specialists don’t use tools for technical writing which can help them.

 Too Much/Little Information

This is perhaps the main reason of inefficient writing. The problem is that too much information makes the document rather complicated for understanding as well as the absence of enough information. And it’s not the writers fault only.

Engineers and other SMEs add lots of information in the documents. On the contrary, people from higher management provide the writer with little information. Thus the writer fails the purpose of writing an efficient document in both cases.

Confusing Structure

Creating a document with the help of some confusing structures is another reason of inefficient help authoring. The readers in the end don’t get informed, but get confused.

Unnecessary Information

Wishing to provide the reader with more information, writers often add irrelevant information to their writing and don’t think of its necessity to their readers. The use of the jargon in technical documentation can confuse the readers even more, because they can simply fail to understand its meaning or understand it differently.

Absence of Visual Aids

There is a good saying “A picture is worth 1000 words”, but writers mostly forget about it. Perhaps they don’t understand that a long paragraph full of numerical data is much more difficult to understand than a pie chart with the same information.

Of course it’s not so easy for writers to control these factors, but following the rules makes the documentation clear and acceptable for the audience indeed.


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