iFixIt CEO Kyle Wiens says:
I kicked up a bit of a dust last year when I announced that I only hire applicants who practice good grammar. Grammar may seem like a small consideration, but it signals an applicants attention to detail and ability to communicate professionally. After the story broke in HBR, WSJ, and Huffington Post, a lot of people wrote iFixit asking for resources to improve their own writing skills.
If you know anything about iFixit, then you know we like solutions. Its not in our nature to complain about something and not do anything about it. We teach real people how to do real-world thingshow to repair computers, how to fix iPods, and, through Dozuki, how to assemble machinery. I thought we should do something similar for writing: Give people a free resource that helps them write clearly, concisely, and purposefully.
So, we decided to write a book: the Tech Writing Handbook.
After a year in the making, its finally done. The book is available immediately. And it’s free.
Tech Writing Handbook is a culmination of iFixit and Dozuki’s quest to write a more effective manual. When we opened our doors in 2003, we knew that the majority of existing repair and service manuals were horribly written. Weve been crafting better manuals ever since.
iFixit teaches people how to perform complex electronics repairs, so our manuals have to be great. Otherwise, people break their stuff! Weve learned this the hard way – we’ve made many mistakes, and had to admit to customers, I’m sorry. I overused the passive voice and now your computer doesnt work. My bad.
Good writing, in our experience, is often the difference between cant-do and done. Writing well is essential to iFixit’s mission.
We’re technical writers, so the Handbook is geared toward writing of the hands-on and technical variety. But we’ve found that the rules of writing tend to apply evenly across the board, so the book should be a useful resource for anyone looking to improve basic writing skills.
Through Dozuki, we’ve also found out that the manufacturing sector is just as eager to improve the state of manuals as we are. In the Handbook, weve included tips for writing effective work instructions. We also cover how to photograph procedures and create cutting-edge mobile manuals.
CEO, iFixit and Dozuki
You can check it out at: