The Ultimate Guide to User-Friendly Manuals

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Ferry Vermeulen, Instrktiv

Do you write user manuals or technical documentation? Do you often hear people emphasizing the importance of their user-friendliness?

But you hear it so often, that you actually do not know where to start looking for information about how to write user-friendly manuals yourself?

User-friendliness in technical documentation is becoming more and more important. Also, the user experience of products’ instructions is considered an important part of the customer journey.

Over the next few months, I will provide an overview of the main topics to think of when writing user-friendly documentation. Below we look at how to write a structured manual with clear texts and how to use illustrations in your manual.

How to write a structured manual with clear texts

Once you’ve gathered and selected all your task-oriented information, you can use it to produce your text. While you are doing this, it’s crucial that you keep your target audience in mind the whole time: they have to find what you’re communicating easy to understand. In general, even the product information that is already there has to be edited. Marketing materials mostly are not accurate enough and technical descriptions not easily understood by the target audience. Quite often there is no written information at all. The following links will provide you more insight into writing documentation for your audience.

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 How to use illustrations in your manual

Illustrations help make the steps you’re showing much more clear than with words alone. Instructions for assembly and installation can often be replaced in their entirety by images. What’s more, illustrations make for a visually appealing manual that is more pleasant to read. The following links will provide you more insight into creating clear illustrations for your user manual.

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