The Art Called Technical Communication


The way we view technical communication have dramatically changed in the past few years. Thanks to the convergence of social media, advances in video technology and the ongoing transformation of print media which have changed the manner by which we create, transmit, receive and comprehend media communication.

Technical communication has helped us be able to identify the story or program purpose, design the message and use the appropriate communication medium for large, small-scale or individual audiences. It has enabled us to take advantage of aesthetics as we learn to communicate whether by learning how to create concise, informative messages for traditional and online print, video, audio, interactive or combinations of media formats.

Technical communication is a multimedia form of art in which we work with everything from linear text to hypertext, from static images to video, and we mix and match the form to make a creation. To me art is an experience we can get through one or more media. We see the beauty of technical communication from manuals included with products; the cover page of books written by our favorite authors, an instruction, to an explanation of a “how to do” video. What all of these have in common ranges from graphics, video, colors, and even fonts which come together to form unique ways to communicate to an audience.

A technical communicator may benefit from a good grasp of aesthetics to ensure the product is both usable and attractive. In various markets where the aesthetic is shaped by the technology, such as engineering, the technical communicator must be aware and able to adjust their presentation appropriately. We need to be aware of the audience and know what our audience responds to in terms of presentation and structure. How well we can speak to that audience depends on whether we have the skill in the appropriate domain and medium (Renteria). 

If there’s one thing we can all agree upon, it is the fact that art is about communication!

Renteria, Roger. “Resolved: Technical Communication IS Art | TechWhirl.” TechWhirl. 22 Oct. 2012. Web. 6 Dec. 2014.

3 thoughts on “The Art Called Technical Communication”

  1. What a beautiful, human perspective on technical communication! Too often, I think, it is regarded as a singular form of communication – just a technological platform of communication – rather than a comprehensive, layered form of art. It is refreshing to see someone recognize all of the hard work, effort, and different components that go into technical communication.

  2. I really liked how you related the idea of aesthetic value to the emerging/dominating field of social media. You also include a list of practical aesthetic design choices that people use daily (links, video embeds, hypertext etc), which helps to ground your post in reality, which is difficult to do when discussing aesthetic value. While aesthetics is a highly subjective issue, I think you do a good job of grounding this in reality by giving concrete, understandable examples.

  3. I love how your post addresses different facets of technology as art! It’s true. A great post with a proper caption, an accompanying video and witty writing truly is art! Especially if it is written with rhetorical concepts in mind!

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