A customer always looks for answers when they are buying a product. For this purpose, they consult the product’s instruction manual first. Therefore, your product’s manual is a vital part if you want to sell your product and services. Moreover, any business should start planning to write these manuals when they launch the product. Now, let us find out what exactly an instruction manual is and how you can create it.
What is an Instruction Manual?
An instruction manual is an essential resource for users to interact with a wide range of products effectively and safely. However, these documents are typically written in a clear and concise manner to help users understand them properly. Sometimes, these manuals also contain illustrations or diagrams to make the instructions more accessible.
Instruction manuals play a crucial role in ensuring that consumers can maximize the utility of their purchased items while minimizing the risk of misuse. Moreover, businesses invest considerable effort in creating instruction manual templates to enhance the user experience and build trust in their products.
Why Do You Need an Instruction Manual?
Whenever a development company makes an instruction manual, they will encounter complications. There is a craft in creating them so that they are not too lengthy and comprehensive or short and non-structured. Therefore, one solution is to keep it up-to-date as new features are added to them. Now, considering all these things, here are some reasons why you need an instruction manual template.
- Decrease in Workload: An instruction manual helps customers solve their problems without consulting customer service. In addition, this allows the team to work on other products that can have a great impact on their business growth.
- Saves Time: It offers users clear and precise answers to their questions about the product. This way, these instructions save many customers time and energy. Moreover, customers do not have to wait hours for their answers.
- Consistent User Experience: Customers can experience consistency whenever consulting an instruction manual. Also, it helps them navigate the product’s features and facts with proper instructions and settings. Thus, this leads to a smoother customer experience and product growth.
- Increase in Conversion Rates: Companies with a proper instruction manual experience a drastic increase in their product’s conversion rate. Therefore, many customers become brand-conscious and eventually consider buying your product.
- Product Awareness: In a manual, providing a comprehensive list of the product’s features, functions, and benefits can ensure product awareness. Plus, this ensures all the important traits and functions of the product are delivered to the customer.
3 Instruction Manuals Examples
Now that you know about the application of user manuals, let’s see how a perfect manual should look alike. Here are some of the examples of instructions that give you a better idea.
If you want to ensure a valuable manual, Slack is an excellent instruction manual example. They tested different versions of the manual with actual users before they finalized it. This helps identify areas for improvement, which can be updated before going live. Moreover, they included different users from various backgrounds, such as developers, external users, and various individuals, to gather their input.
Slack also advises leaving space for user feedback and making small tweaks based on their responses to enhance satisfaction. Their user guide offers an easy browsing experience, personalized suggestions, language preferences, and a feedback section to understand user sentiment and improve communication. Technically, this demonstrates Slack’s commitment to rigorous testing and continuous improvement.
A company can use humor in its instruction manual to make it easier and more fun to read through it. Zappos is one such example that keeps readers engaged by incorporating fun into your step-by-step instructions. Moreover, humor in communication always grabs the customer’s attention and positively impacts your product.
Zappos is an online retailer known for fashion and lifestyle products, and it excels at using humor in its user guides. They created a quick cheat sheet for parents buying shoes for their kids, addressing common frustrations with humor while providing helpful tips. However, this approach makes the instructions enjoyable and effective in guiding people through the process of a product.
IKEA uses illustrative instruction manuals, and these instructions have taken simplicity to a new level by providing users with effective, step-by-step instructions with images. For instance, in their LED lights manual, IKEA demonstrates how to cut each strip before installation using clear illustrations.
The illustrated walkthroughs and 3D product figures make the process appear effortless that even a child can understand. Therefore, when creating your instruction manuals, strive for simplicity and clarity to ensure that users can easily comprehend and follow the instructions.
How to Write an Instructional Manual?
If you are wondering about how to write instructions, this section will put forward some brilliant ideas. Each of these ideas contributes to a user-friendly and informative document that meets the needs of your audience. We have described the 5 best practices for writing an instructional manual in this section.
1. Think Like a User
When writing an instruction manual template, it’s essential to adopt a user’s perspective. To create a user-friendly manual, you need to understand your audience, their knowledge level, and the information they seek. If you observe users while they interact with the product, you can get valuable insights into their needs, actions, and potential surprises.
Moreover, it gives you a deeper understanding of users’ expectations and behavior by watching them in action. When you incorporate this user-centric approach into the manuals, it is sure that you are going to fulfill users’ requirements.
2. Use Active Voice
Active voice emphasizes the user, making the content more readable and understandable. Instruction manuals, in particular, benefit from an active voice. In active voice, the subject and verb are clear, while passive voice can obscure these elements. This simplicity in the structure of sentences minimizes ambiguity and provides straightforward instructions.
3. Focus on the Reader
An instruction manual template should always prioritize the reader. When providing instructions or information, address the reader directly using “you” and the active voice. This approach reinforces the message’s relevance to the reader, engages them, and avoids passive voice. Focusing on the reader by using “you” creates more reader-centric content.
Moreover, it engages the reader when you make them an active participant and create a personalized guide that speaks directly to them. In this way, you can create an informative user manual that meets the users’ expectations.
4. Write Clear Instructions
The primary goal of instruction manuals is to assist users in completing tasks. You can achieve this goal by using clear and concise instructions in the content. Additionally, you can use numbered lists for instructions and employ parallel construction for each step.
Following this, users can start each step with an imperative word, such as “Enter” or “Click.” Writers need to avoid stating system responses as steps provide just enough information to accomplish tasks and eliminate unnecessary details for clarity.
5. Establish Standards
In documentation, consistency in writing and formatting is the key to achieving required goals. It’s vital to establish and follow standards in writing, spelling, object references, graphics, punctuation, page layout, and information organization. These standards simplify the writing process and maintain uniformity throughout the document.
Create Instruction Manuals with Docuo
If you’re looking for a smart solution to create an instruction manual for your product, Docuo is a powerful tool at your disposal. It utilizes artificial intelligence to assist you in generating content and creating documentation for your product manual efficiently. Additionally, with its AI writing features, it will help you write step-by-step instructions, how-to guides, and blogs for assisting customers.
Docuo even offers the following features to help you create instruction manuals. It can elevate your writing proficiency through the detection and correction of spelling and grammar issues. Moreover, Docuo provides a library of pre-made instruction manual templates and styles, alleviating the need for extra work and effort.