In a digital age, what happens to non-digital information?
Most often, it gets ignored! These days, most people will hit Google the first time they encounter a problem – even when it’s their health!
But that’s a good thing if you can take advantage of it. By offering digital manuals online, you extend the promotional reach of your company.
That’s why we’ve put together some points to consider for creating an effective digital manual.
Determine Your User
The single most important step in writing a successful manual is knowing your user is.
First, create a single sentence that defines who your user. This can be something as simple as “Users of Plantronics Headsets“. This short scope will keep you focused on answering your users’ questions.
Without thinking about your user in advance, you risk drifting off-topic. You may find yourself answering questions outside the scope of your intended purpose.
Create a Logical Outline
Knowing your user should help you create your structure.
Without a logical outline, you’ll just be winging the content. Your guide won’t have any rational flow. A good user guide works step-by-step, beginning to end.
Build a general contents page first. Write down all of the topics you want to cover in your manual. Then rearrange these topics into their most logical pattern. You may find yourself having to shift a section as you write the manual, but creating an outline at the start will give you a structure to work from.
Make It Visual
There’s nothing more boring than a manual without images. And what’s more, images will help your users understand the content!
Words without a visual guide can be hard to follow, so consider using the right images to highlight key points and hold your users’ attention. With a digital manual, you can offer full-color images and even links to videos! It’s a lot harder to do this with a traditional manual, and that’s one reason digital downloads are outpacing physical media.
Diagrams, step-by-step images, and tables are all great ways to present your information visually.
Make It Easy to Access
If you’ve gone through all the trouble of creating a manual, you want your users to see it. If users can’t find your manual, you’ve wasted your time creating it.
Especially in an age of short attention spans, where you display something is as important as what it contains. Make your user manual very easy to find. Link it from the product page, or even your main page if appropriate. Make sure the link includes the word “manual” and the name of the product.
This kind of forethought not only helps your users, but it builds their confidence in you. Making this information easy to obtain gives your users a positive attitude toward your company. How many times have you been frustrated by trying to find something on a website? That feeling translates into frustration with your company itself.
Create a Digital Manual Now
As you can see, creating a digital manual doesn’t have to be complicated. By keeping these points in mind, you could create one easily and improve your promotional reach.
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