Elements of Technical Writing

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Elements of Technical Writing


3 min read

In the last 12+ months as a technical writer, I've worked on several projects highlighting three technical writing elements. This article will introduce you to:

  • Information Architecture

  • Docs-as-code

  • Content strategy

Information Architecture (IA)

What is information architecture?

Information architecture means organizing and presenting information in a logical and easy-to-find way for users. It is essential because it allows users to find what they need quickly.

It might sound simple, but IA is more than simply presenting content in a clear and concise way—it’s about creating a logical navigation structure that helps users find what they’re looking for without getting confused or frustrated.[UX Design Institute]

When you review documentation looking for information, you may notice that it has two components: organization and naming. Organization means that content is structured into categories. Naming means using words to represent each category.

Why is IA important?

Information architecture is important for the user and the business.

Nowadays, people want to find what they need as soon as possible. Users don't want to spend too much time finding information. They'll click off your site and potentially go to a competitor who may give them what they want sooner. Good IA has a significant impact on user experience.

The faster the users get to their final destination, even if that destination includes multiple options, the greater their satisfaction.[CareerFoundry]

For a company, unstructured IA may result in:

  • Lost customers.

  • Bad reputation.

  • Lost sales.

  • Reduced SEO ranking.

  • Increased cost of customer support.


Documentation-as-code (Docs-as-code) is the process of writing and maintaining documentation the same you write and maintain code.

This means:

  • Using version control.

  • Performing code reviews.

  • Using issue trackers (such as JIRA).

  • Using markdown (or other text mark up).

Docs-as-code allows technical writers and software engineers to collaborate and contribute to the documentation. Docs-as-code empowers technical writers to ensure that documentation meets its highest standards.

As part of my job, I sometimes block pull requests from being merged until they are rewritten to comply with the style guide.

Content strategy

A content strategy is the planning, creation, publication, management, and governance of content.[HubSpot Blog]

In technical writing, content strategy means ensuring the documentation caters to the target audience.

Why do you need a content strategy?

The purpose of content strategy is to create meaningful, cohesive, engaging, and sustainable content that attracts the company’s target customers.[7 Powerful Reasons Why Everything Begins with Content Strategy]


A content strategy gives the documentation consistency. Consistency means that users know where to find information easily, which helps improve the overall user experience of the documentation.

Search Engine Optimization

The company ranks higher on search engines when documentation follows a structured content strategy.

Conclusion and Next Steps

By mastering these key elements, you can create documentation that engages readers and allows them to comprehend even the most intricate concepts.

Mastering the art of technical writing is a continuous learning process.

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