The primary focus of my career is to provide information others need to do their jobs competently and confidently. As a Technical Writer and Illustrator in industrial settings for decades, I have developed instructional materials covering mechanical and electromechanical products, systems, controls, and user interfaces. More recently, I expanded my career into the education field, and I have been teaching a variety of courses at the college level. The knowledge, skills, and judgment developed in technical communication transfer advantageously to teaching.

I put myself in the place of the end user. If I were the end user, what information would I need to have volunteered, what concepts explained, and what terms defined? This approach enables me to provide the information end users are most likely to need, and to present it in a logical sequence -- from the end-user's point of view.

I think verbally and visually in unison. I develop instructional materials in an integrated manner. I can visualize the kind of graphics that will most effectively support the text, or I can structure text around the graphics. I write concise and lucid text, and I adhere to strict rules of composition and usage. An accomplished illustrator as well, I can execute illustrations, diagrams, and other graphics precisely.

My emphasis is on technical subject matter. I am conversant in a broad range of technical subject matter. The imperatives of communicating technical information are different from those of communicating in general. In marketing communication, for example, objectives may include capturing end users' attention or persuading end users to consider the company's products or services. In technical communication, however, one typically already has the end users' attention, and the end users are already persuaded. What end users need is to be guided through a decision-making process. In other words, the audience is at least partially "captive." This observation has implications for how information is most effectively presented.

© 2012 - Joseph A. Spitzig. All rights reserved.