The Wiring Diagram

Technical writers are often presented with challenges from external teams attempting to submit documentation that makes little sense to anyone but the author.

In this example, an engineer submitted this drawing for an external alarm that would alert personnel of equipment working inside an oil pipeline as it passed.

20191029 tech
Bordering on unusable, I handed the drawing  to the CAD designer. While better, the drawing was to be in a printed manual for field technicians. The image itself could be no larger the 2 X 3-inches.

Looking at this image, there was no contrast between the circuit board, the text, and the wires. The yellow switch leg was also too bright for a field manual that would likely be read by a person standing outside under the midday sun. Even worse, the terminations were incorrect.

20191029 CAD
In place of the submitted and the CAD drawing, I created an alternative diagram in Adobe Illustrator that was approved. While it was not exactly what they were used to seeing, the borderless drawing provided an excellent use of white space with a design that was easily understandable while still providing information necessary to the task at hand. 20191029 Illustrator


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