Illustrations are beneficial in explaining things more lucidly and have been in use since the earliest days of written technical communication. That illustration is integral to technical writing becomes clear from what AEC Inc offers Technical documentation writing services. Besides helping you to organize your technical write-up, illustrations allow for more effective and engaging content. This article will help understand illustrations’ role in technical writing while highlighting the best practices.
The Benefits of illustrations
The report helps employees understand and execute their jobs flawlessly, and customers can use the information to get the most from the products and services. Since the brain can instantly identify images and takes only 13 milliseconds, using illustrations and special symbols dramatically enhances the quality of the information provided in technical documents. Illustrations also help to engage the audience more intently by doing away with the monotony of text while breaking it into small chunks. Illustrations give a breather to the audience and renew their interest in the document. In the process, the audience can retain the information better and remember it longer.
When are illustrations a must?
There are no fixed rules for using illustrations in technical documents. The use of illustrations depends on the industry, subject, and the target audience. An audience with minimum technical expertise finds illustrations help them grasp a complex concept quickly and faster than text alone. Moreover, illustrations draw the audience’s attention and keep them engaged in the content while cutting through the clamor of various distractions.
Illustrations are the glue that keeps the audience hooked to the content. Lengthy content might sometimes test the audience’s patience, and they might even miss some important points. To prevent this from happening, illustrations play a critical role in ensuring audience engagement and meaningful consumption of the content.
Are illustrations necessary for all documents?
Most technical writing aims to inform and educate the audience on some subject by providing exciting information, which is engaging too. Therefore, ensuring that the audience consumes the entire content and feels satisfied is essential. To achieve the goal, technical writers must consider using illustrations based on the subject expertise, target audience, and of course, the type of document.
Usually, technical documents meant for a manufacturing or engineering environment may require more illustrations to explain technicalities using visuals. For example, illustrations are mandatory to depict the parts of machinery or some complicated system schematics. To illustrate how something works, illustrations are a must, and they might include cutaway drawings, exploded view drawings, or photos of the process diagrams or equipment.
Use illustrations judiciously
Maintaining a balance between the number of illustrations and the text is essential to retain the audience’s interest and help them understand the content thoroughly. The type of content determines the optimal number of illustrations. While the text should explain most things, illustrations help fill gaps and ensure better understanding.
The type of audience is also a consideration in deciding the number of illustrations to use in any technical content. When you keep all these factors in mind, it becomes easy to achieve the desired goal.