Time to start
Businesses should start planning these documents as early as possible in order to note down each and every step and minor problems that can cause a problem in the future. Almost all products, whether physical, hardware or software, are aided with an instruction manual to help users get up to speed with their product quickly.
What to include
Instruction manuals are not novels. Customers don’t read them for pleasure or to pass time! They read them to get actionable advice on how to navigate your product or to overcome an issue when they encounter one. Below are some tips on writing user manuals that will help you write an awesome instruction manual that your customers are bound to find useful!
The first step in creating an effective manual is to have a clear objective in mind. Answers to questions like “What’s is the purpose of creating the instruction manual?” and “What activities should be included in the instruction manual?” should be thought of well before you begin writing.
What to include
Compile all the information, knowledge, process, checklists, etc. that need to be included. Make sure you are thorough with every point and have everything you need to write the instructions. Never, ever, rely on your memory!
Keep Your Readers in Mind
When writing a manual, you need to think like a user. We know that you know everything about your product, but guess what, your customers don’t. Gather your peers around and start working on the document collaboratively. One person could be in charge of writing it while others review it, help organize the information, and create visual assets for the manual.
Once you have an idea of all the information you want to include in the instruction manual, it’s time to organize that information. Outline the flow of the manual into different sections, or parts.
Write Clear Instructions
Giving clear, to the point instructions help your customers get up to speed with your product or solve their issues with it quickly. Always using numbered lists for instructions and keep the content concise are some great practices for writing a good manual. When one takes these rules into account, the quality of any instruction manual will improve greatly. Also, being familiar with the rules, will speed up the process of setting up a manual. This is also a very important factor. It would be great when an instruction manual is not only high-quality, but also cost effective.