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Saturday, November 18, 2023

How To Write a Consumer Handbook

Whether or not you’re compiling a person guide (also called instruction manuals) for a service or product, be it a system, device, system, or instrument, the methodology is identical. It is advisable create a person doc that’s (1) scannable and (2) accessible.

Here is the right way to create efficient step directions for a person guide. 


1. Outline your target market and function 

Like every doc, step one is to outline your viewers to create an efficient person guide and enhance the person expertise. Who’s going to be studying your doc? It would be best to collaborate with Advertising on this one. Listed here are a number of examples of precise customers:

  • Clients
  • Inner workers (for onboarding and coaching)
  • Salespeople

Legos is a good instance of an organization creating person manuals focused at clearly outlined customers. They discuss with their person guides as “constructing directions.” These characterize the very best within the portrayal of easy-to-understand person manuals. Legos additionally present the complexities that come into play if you go about defining your goal. Lego merchandise are geared towards kids ages 1-15. Nonetheless, their person guides additionally embrace a second viewers set, i.e., a father or mother or different grownup.

Each product is completely different. Each service is exclusive. Simply have in mind the common person of your doc to enhance the top buyer expertise. Additionally, decide the true function of your person guide. Put it into writing. Why are you truly scripting this doc? 

2. Select the correct format 

These days, a number of mediums are on the market to succeed in your viewers. You need to use the standard exhausting copy information in your person guide. You’ll be able to submit a comfortable copy in your web site. You’ll be able to even create video directions and submit to YouTube.

The channel you select ought to be 100% dependent in your reader’s wants, however you need it to be scannable. You’ll be able to accomplish “scannable” in a number of methods. The correct presentation could make all of the distinction:

  • Illustrated information: Because the title suggests, this information is chock stuffed with drawings.
  • Video information: These embrace “how-to movies” or video tutorials. It is a switch of information via the medium of video. Some choices embrace Loom, Snagit, or Camtasia.
  • Picture: Directions that include illustrations or photos.
  • Digital textual content: Refers to something that comes within the type of digital or digital.
  • Blended media: Commonplace available in the market immediately, this class consists of any mixture of the above.

The very best half about making a person guide on this age of instruments and apps is that there are lots of paths to decide on. You are able to do numerous cool issues formatting-wise with free templates. There are even some corporations that embrace the legalese as a part of their guide template. Should you choose to include a video, this wevideo weblog gives nice perception on the right way to carry that out.

Whether or not you select the paper route or digital, concentrate on your viewers’s consolation stage, which implies be aware of their stage of techno-savvy and do not forget that not everyone seems to be an skilled person. 


3. Plan and write the content material

Now that you’ve outlined your viewers and chosen your format, you may concentrate on planning and writing content material. Observe the steps beneath:

  • Step #1: Map out what content material and steps ought to go into the guide. If wanted, interview stakeholders (e.g., Gross sales). A collaborative idea map, similar to via MindMeister, can be sure that everyone seems to be on the identical web page with the content material. 
  • Step #2: Inside your map or define, create headings to categorize steps in several sections. Additionally, use a numerical sequence to record steps in order that the steps are simple to comply with. Guarantee you’ve gotten easy steps. Be simple and concise in your supply.
  • Step #3: Observe your content material plan and write your content material. Adhere to a technical type of writing. Should you want further assist, get top-tier coaching in technical documentation.
  • Step #4: Insert graphics and visuals alongside the way in which. Listed here are some good recommendations on creating efficient visuals in technical writing.
  • Step #5: Write the abstract on the finish. This can guarantee that you’ve the required context to summarize the first factors.
  • Step #6: Get verified. Return to your key gamers and departments and double- and triple-check the content material. Acquire approval that every step is articulated as meant.
  • Step #7: Edit the guide. Begin by reviewing the substance once more. Does it match your goal reader’s wants and the aim you recognized originally? Is it simple to grasp? Replace or revise if wanted. Additionally, use a grammar examine. Grammarly is a useful device.

You may be tempted to edit the doc as you draft, however that is inefficient. Wait till you’ve got fully written the draft earlier than you ever start modifying. Modifying ought to be your final step within the writing course of. 

4. Observe greatest technical documentation practices

Let’s assessment a few of the objects that you’ll undoubtedly wish to embrace in your person guide. And others which can be to be prevented always. Right here goes:

  1. You’ll want to embrace a Desk of Content material (TOC). A part of the benefit of studying via a person guide is having the ability to conduct an upfront scan of what the doc accommodates. You need your reader to have the ability to shortly hone in on their subject of curiosity. Once more, there are a plethora of examples and templates. There are websites that make a Desk of Content material engaging and straightforward to plan.
  2. The inclusion of actual person enter is good to have. It’s not obligatory, however when you can incorporate the experiences of customers in the identical place as your viewers, it could go a good distance in constructing a connection together with your readers.
  3. To solely embrace language that’s clear and concise, it’s crucial to exclude jargon. Typically we’re so entrenched within the lingo that we neglect. Make the most of this jargon grader.
  4. Make it searchable. Many years in the past, absent of the whole lot being posted on the web, there was just one method to search. This was via the index part of the person guide. With the digital transformation, you may search with a click on of a button. Both means, the search perform might be an important function of a person guide. Right here, after all, you may obtain nice assist and built-in instruments for creating an index.
  5. You’ll want to embrace hyperlinks to different sources. These are in your reader base trying to take your person guide to the subsequent stage. It’s a quick and straightforward method to please your high-achieving base.

Lastly, use energetic voice over passive voice. Energetic voice is extra partaking for the reader. Extra on the subject right here


Listed here are three examples of manuals to encourage you as you create your personal:

1. InDesign Consumer Information


2. HRO00153 Mobile Telephone Consumer Handbook Sharp


3. LASS Handbook


Associated: 5 Sturdy Technical Writing Examples

Write Your Consumer Handbook

No matter technical paperwork you are writing, at Tutorial Options, we provide on-line technical writing programs with complete classes, workouts, and individualized suggestions to assist new or skilled technical writers. Regardless of your task, Tutorial Options helps you’re taking a technical writing method to create efficient manuals.



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