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The Future of Technical Writing: 2024 Trends and Predictions

Updated: Feb 16

As technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, the demand for skilled technical writers is also on the rise. So far, we’ve gotten by fairly well by being talented writers with basic technical knowledge, and skills in content management systems and user experience. To really thrive in 2024, technical writers will need to possess an expanded set of skills to stand out in the competition. Here is our take on trends in technical writing for 2024, based on our experiences and tentacles into the next year. 

Written by: Karin Askeroth

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Data literacy

The ability to read, understand, create and communicate data as information.

Data has become an integral part of our digital language, and the ability to effectively integrate it into your technical document is non-negotiable. Being data literate will give technical writers a competitive edge in a data-driven world.

  • Learn the fundamentals of some data analysis tools

  • Be able to work with large datasets

  • Have a basic understanding of statistical concepts

  • Be able to interpret data visualizations

AI literacy

Basic understanding of AI technologies and their implications.

With the rise of AI technologies, understanding AI and machine learning basics will be invaluable for technical writers. They can automate the documentation process, making it faster and more efficient. They can also improve the quality of technical documentation by eliminating human errors, improving language and clarity.

If you don’t already have a fundamental understanding of AI and machine learning, this is the time. 

Basics of SEO in technical writing

If your technical content is online and public, it’s necessary to consider Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This allows your content to be discovered via a search engine's organic search results.

Considering the amount of content on the internet, and the billions of daily searches, SEO is necessary to help your technical content stand out.

Make sure you understand concepts like keywords, metadata, and search algorithms, as well as how to use them practically.

An abstract image with a women's head covered with colors and illustrations

Visual communication

The use of visual elements to convey ideas and information.  

In an age of shrinking attention spans, effective visuals can augment your text and make your content more engaging. Different people like to be able to interact with the documentation, not just read it - and in different ways. They may want videos, images, and graphics, not just text. For instance, a video demonstration can be more effective than a lengthy text explanation. Skills such as graphic design, video editing, and creating animations will be highly valued.

Familiarize yourself with tools like Adobe Creative Suite, Canva, and Snagit. Stay updated on trends in visual communication.

Enhancing Accessibility and Inclusivity

Accessibility and inclusivity are important considerations in software documentation. 

Documentation should be accessible to everyone, including those with disabilities. Trends like voice-activated documentation, screen reader-friendly documentation, and inclusive language are making documentation more accessible. 

Staying updated with these trends allows you to create documentation that everyone can use, regardless of their abilities or background.

A finger pointing on a screen with different icons

Self-promotion and social media engagement

Actively engaging with online communities to build a personal brand and network.

Online engagement isn't just for influencers; it's for technical writers, too. Self-promotion and community involvement will be necessary for career growth, especially in building a personal brand and networking.

  • Start building a professional reputation

  • Optimize your social media profiles

  • Share your knowledge

  • Engage in industry discussions

Our advice to you: Do an inventory of your current skills, and investigate how you would like your career to look in a few years. Based on that, decide which areas will be most important for you to learn more about. 

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