creating an online user guideWhy Create an Online User Guide?

Users tend to stay away from guides and manuals because they are usually a source of additional frustration. When users are faced with a problem regarding their device or piece of software, it’s unlikely that they will seek for guidance in a guide. This happens because, instead of being very helpful, guides are usually very confusing.

A problem like this is challenging, but there is a simple solution that can resolve it. If you put in some extra effort and make a user guide which is easy to use, you will be able to minimize the number of calls your customer service will experience. So, all  you really need to do is to adjust your mindset and introduce a couple of changes to the way you’d normally create an online user guide.

Put Yourself in the Shoes of the User

This is the first change you need to introduce. When you build a piece of software or a device, it’s highly imperative to make a user guide, one which even a complete layman could understand. This can be a rather difficult thing from your perspective, because you know everything there is to know about the functionality of the item in front of you.

However, in order to create a helpful online user guide, it is necessary to scratch everything from your mind and start over. You should treat this situation as if it were the first time you’re using a certain piece of software, so that you can actually give instructions to every user, no matter where they are coming from.

Simplify Your Vocabulary

Another thing the creator of user manuals needs to understand is the ability to provide assistance. You need to steer clear from technical terms which are most likely unknown to your users. If not, you will only create additional confusion.

So, when writing a guide, make sure you’re using a talkative, friendly tone. If the material which you hand out to your users is dry and filled with complicated words that only people from your area of expertise can understand, you won’t be able to be of any help.

organizing information

The Organization of Information

In order to create an online user guide which is practical, you need to be very careful about how you organize information. For starters, you should begin with explaining the general functionality of a piece of software and then move on to different options.

Once that’s done, you should deal with potential problems. Make sure to always start by describing a particular issue by going into fine details. After this, you should provide solutions for the problem in question by giving step by step instructions so that it can be resolved with ease.

Diversity of Content

Considering the fact that you’re not at all limited like you would be when creating a physical version of a user guide, you should explore your options. You probably already know that there are different types of learners. You should take a piece of information like this to your advantage and make user guides so that they are suitable for everyone.

Therefore, there are people who prefer reading the instructions and, on the other hand, there are people who can follow videos more easily. So, when creating an online user guide, make sure to incorporate different kinds of content like text, photos, and videos. This way, you will minimize possibilities for misunderstandings.

Have it Translated to Different Languages

If you’re a small but aspiring company, you need to invest in your future and think about every step you make. Although this suggestion may seem like an unnecessary task for you, it’s very important that you work on the reputation of your brand – and translating your user guide to different languages will help you do so.

One of the ways to make sure that you’re addressing to a wider audience is to put in extra effort so that everyone can understand you. However, make sure to consult a translator who’s familiar with technical terms in your business niche. The best way to find the right person for the job is to look for recommendations from the people you trust. Otherwise, you will end up with a poorly translated user manual and that can only create a larger mess and more room for misunderstandings.

user friendly online user guide

Create a User-Friendly Design

As we mentioned before, writing instructions isn’t enough – you also need to implement different types of content into your guide. However, doing so without actually paying attention to how it looks like will end in vain. If you want to have satisfied users who will find your instructions clear and appealing, it’s necessary that you pay special attention to its design.

For this to happen, you will need a high quality tool which will provide you with different options for creating an online user guide. If the quality of your guide doesn’t match the quality of your software in any way, you will be faced with a very confused group of customers who won’t be able to make a decision whether your product is valuable or not.

 

If you have all of these pointers in mind while creating a guide, it will undoubtedly be helpful to your customers. So, make sure that you use a friendly voice while forming transparently clear sentences, have in mind that your guide needs to be simple to browse through, content rich, and also elegantly designed.

 

Author Bio:- Robin is a Technical Support Executive. He is an expert in knowledge management and various Knowledge base tools. Currently, he is a resident knowledge management expert at ProProfs. In his free time, Robin enjoys reading and traveling.

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