11 User Guide Writing Tips
How to write a user manual
You will need
- - 100% knowledge of the device or software for which the manual is written;
- - knowledge in the field of linguistics;
- - writing skills.
Manualuseror, in other words, the operating manual is a document designed to provide assistance in using some system of itsuserm. For guidanceuseryou need to know the system described one hundred percent, but look at it with the eyes of a senseless student. Suppose leadershipuserwritten for some software utility, which has no analogues. Imagine having encountered this program for the first time. How to start? What you need to know first? Systematize this knowledge, breaking them into categories of importance.
By breaking all the information concerning your creation into groups, you made a plan for writing a manual.user. Begin to describe the work in your program from the beginning, leaving, finally, the most complex details regarding, say, reprogramming capabilities or working with critical errors. At this point you should have the content of the guide ready.user- one of the mandatory parts of this document.
If the leadership you are creating is intended for use in a large company, then you should pay attention to the corporate standards adopted there. For example, in many Russian companies, user manuals are not accepted without illustrative accompaniment, in other words, pictures explaining what is written. In the manualuserin addition to the content, there must be other mandatory parts: - Annotation, that is, an explanation of the general tasks of the management and the product described; - introduction, which describes the management-relateduserdocuments and methods of using the manual; sections explaining the use of the product at different stages of its use, such as first steps, repair or prevention; frequently asked questions and answers section; glossary or index.
Usually creating a manualuserThe technical writer is a person who has all the necessary knowledge in both the language and the product being described. Being engaged in the activities of a technical writer without proper training, you need to remember a few rules. First, it is impossible to abuse special terms that are not understandable for the ordinaryuser. Secondly, each term used should be spelled out in detail and explained. Thirdly, you need to write as clearly and concisely as possible. Finally, a technical writer must be able to look at his own text through the eyes of an ordinaryuserto see the flaws of your own text.
Ready text manualusernot bad to try in business, offering it to a person who did not deal with the product being described. Together, you can eliminate all the shortcomings and pitfalls of the document.
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