The Secret to Phenomenal Tech Writing

Ah, the iPod. As the most pivotal tech toy of the 21st century, the pocket-sized plaything transformed how we consume music and technology.

But the iPod wasn’t just a triumph of engineering and design—Apple also achieved a breakthrough in marketing and copywriting. Check out the product page for the new iPod Shuffle—the writing exudes Apple’s hallmark simplicity, clarity, and playful joie de vivre.

There’s an art to tech writing. Whether you’re writing descriptions of the latest gadgetry, drafting content for your web-based tech solution, or crafting your profile as a technology professional, you run the risk of slipping into technobabble. Follow these steps to keep your text light, relatable, and inviting.

1. Never Neglect the Human Side

Slow down, robo-kid. Before you start buzzing about Hadoop clusters, petaflops, and flux capacitors, remember the human beings using your tech. Translate those geektastic specs into real human values.

Those 10 megapixels mean better photos of cherished memories. Integrated workflows mean more time to focus on what really matters. Agile development methodologies mean faster deliverables and more creative control for the client. Don’t fixate on the features, showcase the value and benefit that those features bring.

2. Always Capture the Wonder

For most people, the iPod might as well be magic. I don’t understand how microprocessors, wires, and an endless string of 0s and 1s combine to produce the string symphony unfolding in my ears—and I don’t need to.

There’s something magical, fantastical, and awe-inspiring about technology. Evoke that childlike wonder in your text by honing on the results, not the process. Technology gets things done, who cares how? Abracadabra!

3. Keep it Short and Simple

Fewer words make your point more powerful. See?

No matter what format your tech writing takes, always keep your sights set squarely on the human user and his sense of wonder. Then craft a concise message anyone can understand.

A winsome wordsmith, Gregory M. Lewis loves nothing better than absorbing new information and crystallizing it into clear, captivating copy. Greg brings his incisive insight and easy-going approach to every project. In his free time, the Chicago native can be spotted at Nets games, art galleries, and local concerts in Brooklyn.

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