It is best for technical communicators to write a user guide the instructions while performing the actual task that is being explained to ensure that each step matches the process users will undergo Robinson, 5.
As you can see, a user guide brings together many of the topics covered in this online textbook. It uses by-chapter pagination, with new chapters and sections beginning on a righthand page.
Here are some guidelines to help make instructions easy on the user. Using the If-Then Approach When users are allowed to make decisions, use an If-Then approach to show the different result for each decision they make.
Will they install the software by themselves or do so over the internet? On the back of the title page is the edition notice. Graphics—Numerous screen captures are used through the book; they are all centered. For example, if there are numerous commands, a separate book for commands is necessary.
Establish standards When creating documentation, there will be areas where there may be more than one way to spell a word, refer to an object, caption graphics, punctuate sentences, lay out a page, and organize information.
Use colour-coding to aid navigation. He has over twenty years of experience as a researcher, consultant, and trainer in usability, user experience, human factors and experimental psychology. B—1, B—2, and so on. Make the quick start guide readily accessible.
Concise content makes it easier to understand concepts and tasks. Demonstrating skill and proper execution in each of these areas is sure to yield exceptional results that will leave users, manufacturers and sellers satisfied. A successful user manual provides users with quick answers to the questions that they might have about a particular product.
Chapter title—Large bold Arial letters with the chapter title on the left margin and the chapter number on the right and a double ruled line below. Use parallel construction for each step. Writing and Designing Manuals and Warnings 4e.
Notices—Only notes and hints are used. First-level entries use bold. In active voice, the subject and verb in the sentence are clear. This book uses a light gray box with a white checkmark in it to call attention to special notices.
Keep your copy lean, eliminating extraneous words. Items you will need Microsoft Word or other word processing program Collection of clip art or digital photographs Simple web page authoring software Decide on the format, whether printed documents, web pages, emails or some combination.
Once you think like a user, you can write content that the users need to know. Also included are an address where comments can be sent, a number to request additional copies, and the standard copyright line.
Chapter title—Large bold Arial letters with the chapter title on the left margin and the chapter number on the right and a double ruled line below. For example, what is the average age group and education level of users Hodgson? The table of contents should be structured sequentially, in a well-thought-out manner and separated into several sections Millman.
Here are some suggestions. The submission consisted of a two page safety section from the user manual of an air-conditioning unit. In active voice, the subject and verb in the sentence are clear. On the back of the title page is the edition notice.Write the user manual in synch with the product's development timeline — not under pressure of shipping deadlines.
Make sure the writers have the product, understand the product, and actually use the product as they write. Feb 09, · Write a Table of Contents, if applicable.
Look at the way wikiHow is laid out as an example. The main page offers many section heads. When you access a section, it lists many subcategories, and the subcategories list articles.
The more detailed your manual is, the more categories and subcategories you will need%(9). May 24, · The iPad User Guide for iOS Software, is the perfect example of an exceptional set of instructions. The design of the user manual is clean, well-organized and easy to read. The design of the user manual is clean, well-organized and easy to funkiskoket.coms: 2.
Write the user manual in synch with the product's development timeline — not under pressure of shipping deadlines.
Make sure the writers have the product, understand the product, and actually use the product as they write. To have a decent user guide is a precious commodity and if you know how to write one, this is a talent in great demand.
It is simply a matter of mastering a few key principles. Items you will need. Great end user documentation consists of titles that are specific, and often in the form of performing a task.
This not only makes it easier for your end users to find what they are looking for, but it helps you write better articles.Download