The importance of technical writing can be seen in a variety of applications, both in consumer products as well as the industrial environment. Without clear, precise writing that outlines the specifications and directions for use, products can become meaningless at best and dangerous at worst. Technical writing provides a context to products and processes, and allows them to be used safely and as intended. While it may not be impossible to construct and use equipment and processes without reading the technical documents, technical writing provides some assurances that the product is being used as intended.
In the industrial field, the importance of technical writing can be seen in a number of different applications, which includes in the pitching of new products or ideas. Not only is it important to be able to write technical documents clearly for investors and management, if introducing a new product or piece of equipment, it is a requirement if the company or individual is to apply for a patent. Technical writing must clearly demonstrate the purpose of the machine or product, as well as specifications such as its dimensions, individual parts, and power source, if applicable.
In addition to the unveiling of new products, the importance of technical writing is also seen in the use of more traditional products and processes. While trainers may help employees learn various pieces of equipment in an industrial setting, technical manuals can help when unusual situations occur, or serve as a comprehensive reference in other situations. This information is readily available, even if someone with more expertise or experience is not. Technical writing documents can reduce downtime or help to prevent it altogether.
For end users, or home consumers, the importance of technical writing can be seen in the documents that come with various products. For example, putting together a bicycle, pieces of furniture, or installing appliances may take some level of expertise without proper directions; this might even result in irreparably damaging the product. Technical writing helps by explaining the process in detail in simple steps, and provides an easy-to-understand list of tools and alternatives. The documents also provide safety information related to the product.
Technical writing can help individuals save time and money, while at the same same time stimulating the economy. Without good technical writing, individuals and businesses could be discouraged from investing in new products and processes. Patents may not be granted because of undocumented similarities to other known products. Thus, the importance of technical writing is not only seen in the money it helps to generate, but also by the convenience and safety it creates for readers.