Effective Use of Visuals in Technical Documentation: Best Practices for Clear Communication

When writing technical documentation, we must communicate complex technical information clearly and simply to the target audience. Sometimes, text is not the best option and we can use a visual such as a diagram, flowchart, image, or infographic to convey the information.

The following are some high-level best practices when using visuals:

• Keep the visual simple.
– Use simple images.
– Use clear labels.
• Use the appropriate visual. For example, use a flowchart to visualize a process, an infographic to illustrate data, or a screenshot to show a computer screen.
• Make images accessible. For example, use alternative text descriptions and consider those with visual impairments.
• Highlight key information, but don’t overdo it. You can use color, labels, or shapes for emphasis. 
• Be consistent. When implementing accessibility and highlights, use the same format.
• Provide context. Introduce and describe each visual so that the audience understands the information presented.
• Name the original file clearly and save it so you can edit it as needed.

As with your writing, ask for feedback to ensure that the visual communicates the message clearly.

See the post on LinkedIn.

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