Posts Tagged ‘ user manuals ’

Tips on Writing User Manual

Writing user manuals is one of the toughest tasks in the field of technical communication. We all know technical writing is writing about complex technical information in a simple, clear and concise manner, which the targeted audiences can understand. Writing a good user manual requires a good knowledge in the field of technical communication. Following are some of the key points that a technical writer should follow before writing any user manual.

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Understand your Audience

One of the most important phases in documenting user manual is to understand the knowledge level of audiences. Depending on audiences knowledge levels, level of information put in the manual varies. If your audience is a computer technician, then it will be appropriate to add some technical words such as database, Control system, circuit, digital systems, and so on. If your audience is a layman who has less or no knowledge of technology, they might not be interested in how software of service works. They just want to know how to fix the things. In most of the cases, you want to know your audiences for a simple reason of giving the appropriate information.

Know Objective of the Manual

Once you are familiar with your audiences, you must ensure that you are adding appropriate information in the manual. Before jumping into documenting manual, make an outline so that you have a fair amount of idea when and where to place the information. Make sure you do not overload the reader with too many details.

Be Clear and Concise

User manuals should contain brief information about each and every topic. Manuals should not be cluttered with words that confuse the readers. Every user manual should convey information in a crisp, clear and concise manner.

Be Conversational

Try to avoid technical words, unless it is required. Readers often gets confused and overloaded with words that they are unfamiliar. User manual must be written in such a way, the reader should be able to get the required information easily. One of the best methods of being conversational is by including FAQ section. This section helps users to get answers to the most common questions that come in their minds.

Include Table of Contents and Glossary

Section TOC (Table of Content) is one of the key elements in user manual. Most of the user manuals are included with TOC to show the organization of the manuals. Inclusion of glossary section will improve the overall accessibility of the manual.

Add Illustrations and Examples

Include images and screenshots wherever necessary. We all know that a single image can speak 1000 words. Using examples while explaining technical information makes explaining easier and reduces inclusion of redundant contents.

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Why User Manuals Are Important For Any Product ?

All the companies require content that professionally communicate the benefits of their products. Here in Black & White Tech Writing Solutions we develop a comprehensive user manual for your products to help better user adoption and trim down dependency on technical support forum. We line up our services with your products in order to assist users to become more productive.

User Manual is a technical document intended to provide information and instruction on using a particular system. These are mainly related to software, computer hardware and electronic goods.This manual contains written guides and its associated images and also includes instructions and explanation on how to use the product effectively and efficiently.

User-Manuals or user guide tells people how to use the product in an efficient way. User guide includes information about product’s feature and highlights the main features that are used frequently. User guides usually contains step-by-step description about how to use a particular system. Good manuals are limited service, expensive to produce, the territory of experts, and difficult to maintain. The guide comes with template with perfect word–to–word link, which allows writer to produce professional looking manuals.

User-Manuals provide information on how to use a particular product. This should reach end users with intent to provide proper usage advice and reduce the risk of bringing the product inoperable condition. Sometimes improper usage of product such as heat and fire generating devices; lasers and high voltage devices can cause serious injuries or death. Placing appropriate labels within the manual warns end-users and protects the manufacturer from serious lawful consequences.

Usually manuals are used by engineers or sales persons for explaining the customer on how to use a particular feature on the device. A good comprehensive manual consumes less time in explaining about the feature. This of course requires good technical knowledge about the product and the skills of a technical writer.

User-Manual serves as a sales literature for your product. None of your product brochures or case study will provide enough information for a sales person or an engineer, who is looking for a particular feature. Only user-manual/guide will provide everything in one place that is requested by a client before raising quotation.

Any technical document including user-manual represents how you treat your customers. You really don’t want your customer to be angry or confused and think that your product is useless and wasting his time. So, we recommend each and every product should have a user-manual or operational guide.

Black and White tech writing solutions is an end-to-end documentation company. We believe that a writer is a voice that promotes the company’s products, success, commitment, and achievements. Black and white tech writing solution is based in Bangalore, India. We possess a well versed team of creative writers and technical writers. We provide end to end documentation service, which include marketing collaterals, user manuals, White papers, installation guides, and spec sheets. Black and White offers technical writing training for aspiring writers.

For more information on technical documentation visit www.bwtechwriting.com

If you have any queries on technical documentation, drop an e-mail to info@bwtechwriting.com or Contact us on +91 9845236875.