Technical communication is the process of relaying important and usable information through speech or writing about a specific domain to a certain target audience. Information is said to be usable if the audience it is intended for can make a decision or perform an action based on the contents of the information. Technical communication is considered a professional task with some organizations outsourcing their needs to communication firms or hiring specialized employees. Technical communication works to create products for various media which include video, paper, and the internet. Deliverables or products in technical communication include technical manuals, process, and procedural manuals, reports and business papers as well as training.
In technical communication, the process of developing information products starts by ensuring that the nature and the need for information regarding the audience are identified. Afterward the technical communicator structures and researches the content to come up with a framework that may guide detailed development. The vital goal is ensuring that the content can be clearly understood by the audience it was intended for and that the information provided addresses the needs of the audience in the most appropriate format.
Purpose of equipment evaluation
Equipment evaluation avails an opportunity to improve professions, improve the level of communication in an organization, and motivates as well as lifts the spirits of technical communicators. Equipment evaluators review the attitudes and the qualifications of the technical communicators and also reviews the equipment used in classrooms such as computers and software to ensure that the time allocated for every project is utilized effectively. To effectively evaluate equipment an equipment evaluation form is filled out. The form is designed such that all the details about the equipment are outlined.
The first information in the form is regarding the item for evaluation which may be a computer, software, or any other equipment. In the same section, the name of the person as well as the station where the evaluation is being undertaken is given. Other items include, the supplier, identified need, specification, an item intended to replace, applicable legislation, proposed used, and instructions enclosed.
The results of an evaluation are indicated under various subheadings. The first is the specification section where equipment is rated as either poor, below average, satisfactory, good, or excellent. The second subheading of evaluation designs. An equipment design is rated the same as above.
The third subheading of evaluation is the overall ability to meet an identified need. The equipment’s overall ability to meet the identified need is rated as either poor, below average, satisfactory, good, or excellent. The fourth item of evaluation regards the compatibility of the equipment under evaluation with associated equipment. The equipment is rated using the criteria above. The fifth item looked into during the equipment evaluation process is the efficiency of operation where similar criteria are used as mentioned above. The sixth equipment evaluation item is the durability and robustness of the equipment where the equipment is rated as either poor, below average, satisfactory, good, or excellent.
Other items used in equipment evaluation include, ease of operation, weight/manual handling, visibility/field of vision, flame and heat resistance, water resistance, maintenance and cleaning, stowage, training requirements, general comments, identified faults, suggested modifications, summary disadvantages, summary advantages and lastly any comments that the evaluator may have concerning the equipment. The form is closed by the name of the evaluator, his/her signature, station of evaluation, and the date of evaluation.
Gerson, S. (2007). Technical Writing: Process and Product, New York: New York Press, pp 123-145.
April, R. (2006). Technical Communication Today, New York: Longman publishers, pp 34-56.