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Types of manuals

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  • Writing an instruction manual

    Writing an instruction manual is a serious business. More often than not, the first experience for a customer is not with the product itself, but with its instruction manual. In order to to make a customer journey as pleasant as possible, the instruction manual should be an integral part of any product experience. This implies that any company selling hardware or software, should plan the production of an instruction manual as early as possible. This is the best guarantee that the manual will be up to standard. What ‘up to standard’ means, should become clear in this article.

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  • How to write a technical manual

    What is technical manual writing? This all boils down to the question: what is a technical manual? ‘Technical manual’ is a term for any manual with a technical character. You could think of a manual (or set of manuals) for a complicated machine like an airplane. You could also think of technical manuals to run a complete industrial installation.

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  • What are good product instructions?

    Good product instructions are worth every penny and more than that. How come? One just has to think of the reduction in costs for any helpdesk if product instructions are both complete and understandable. Although opinions differ, the reduction in costs for a helpdesk could be close to 60%. How to write good product instructions?

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  • Context Help

    Context-sensitive help, or just “context help”, is a type of user documentation, which is smart enough to deliver the right content at the right moment. Often, this type of documentation is embedded into the application itself, rather than being a separate artefact.

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  • Research video instructions

    As with nearly every creation, when making an instruction video one should first ask what the purpose of the video is. Is the goal to motivate people, instruct them or simply to demonstrate something? The goal of the instruction video largely determines the different elements and method of the video.

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  • Instruction videos: a rewarding experience

    An instruction video can be very effective indeed. People consider an instruction video to be an experience rather than an instruction. Such an experience takes away the feeling of ‘being told what to do’. Because an instruction video also is very close (if not, identical) to the actual situation in question, people are certainly inclined to give you their attention.

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  • Reaching out to your readers? Print!

    Despite the fact that laptops, tablets and smartphones are commonplace these days, a lot of users of your product(s) are still not on the World Wide Web. If this is the case with your audience, a printed manual still is a very good option. Looking for a printed manual? Or a series of simular manuals, each in multiple languages? We can help you.

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  • Examples of high-quality quick start guides

    Quick start guides are becoming more popular by the day. This statement somehow suggests that quick start guides are still in their infancy. This, in turn, may imply that there are not that many examples of high-quality quick start guides around. Both assumptions do not do justice to the current situation regarding QSGs. Yes, one can find some fine examples of high-quality quick start guides in the outside world. And yes, this implies that quick start guides already have a proven track record. This article focuses on two distinctive examples of high-quality quick start guides.

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  • Quick start guide

    The word ‘quick start guide’ says it all: with a ‘QSG’ a user should be able to operate his newly acquired product within – say – the blink of an eye. As such, a quick start guide takes away the worries about a steep learning curve. After all, a full-blown manual can scare people off, especially if it consists of tens of pages. Here lies the reason that a quick start guide – quite often not more than a folded card – is becoming more popular by the day.

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  • How to write technical documentation

    When writing technical documentation, please take at least three principles into account. But before applying these principles, it is important to know which legal requirements should be met in your manual.

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