User manuals are written guidebook to comprehend the uniqueness and efficiency of a specific device or software. The manual can be the hard copy or an electric document in the form of (XPS or PDF) format. Quality user manuals will instruct its visitors about the product’s features while teaching them how to use those features effectively and are laid out to be easily read and described.
Following are the guidelines to be considered for technical article writer while documenting an individual manual or developing the layout of the user manual. Most of the users never trouble to read an individual guides. Generally, it is kept aside and considered difficult to cope with. The consequences of the are, both product and an individual suffers.
Keeping this at heart, the user manuals must make a strong and positive first impression. Avoid a text-book look (landscape formatting can be less threatening). Make effective and purposeful use of color. The user manual should not be too lengthy. Keep up with the consistency of the manual by using common font for the documentation.
Generally, user gets frustrated when they have to visit a specific topic in an individual manual. Often this is due to the fact that the key words the writer has used aren’t the key words that users may seek out. Below are a few recommendations that will help users will find what they want for easily.
Divide the manual into appropriate parts. Give a key word index using the terminology of an individual. Provide a glossary of technical terms. Make the quick start guide accessible readily. When you refer to another area of the manual, it will always be advised to add a link to the related article for the capability of the users.
Writer should always include step numbers or bullets to make the understanding of the user more clear as it gets easier for the users to follow the context written in the manual. Writer can also take advantage of sub-steps to make the documentation easier to follow. This helps it be really easy for user to respond to questions with links to the documents.
With a distinctive URL, consumer may also respond in email, in the grouped communities, etc. sending its customers to the precise answer they are looking for. Don’t write unnecessary information in an individual manual and treat the manual like the kitchen sink. Concentrate on a particular Domain, , nor specify multiple goals in one manual.
Don’t use jargon, slang or ambiguous sentences phrases or sentences. Don’t be vague and become as much precise as you can. Don’t use those abbreviations those are not accepted broadly. Usually do not give excuses like “This is done because…..”. If the technical writer establishes a workflow which ensures that the paperwork is clear and unambiguous. Manual is easily sent to the customer. After the user gets its documentation from the bench and comes into act the customer will be amazed that how it can help in business. Naman Kharbanda is a expert in Systems Plus Pvt. Ltd. Within Systems Plus, he contributes to the areas of Technology and Information Security positively.
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