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Create The Best User Manual

best user manual

A user manual or  instruction manual is a set of directives for users to help them learn about the product and features by themselves. They contain detailed information associated with features, operations, standards & guidelines, troubleshooting guides, functionalities & more. 

It’s a self help document that users can seek instead of burdening your CS reps with a drill of questions. It can be technical or non-technical based on the audience you’re targeting. 

An instruction manual is a key to your customer support. It comes as a form of guideline for users to understand what your product is about and how each of the features work. 

Users mostly check the user manual first, before they reach out to your support team. An instruction manual, guidebook that holds all the information and is easy to understand can save a lot of effort and money from the customer support team. 

 

Why do you need a user manual?

8 out of 10 people are leaving a product because of lack of guidance. This is a must have for any product or service out there. It’s a big part of customer success, it ensures that your audience understands the product, service and its operation well. This also confirms they know where to look for if they’re stuck with a process. 

The better the guidebook is, the more loyalty you can get from your users. A good user manual saves mammoth time and effort from your support team because it hosts most of the trivial questions a customer may seek.

With a successful instruction manual you can – 

Help customers achieve the goal

A great user manual ensures that your customers get the right answer they’re looking for. Remember, people are using your product because they want to solve a problem and acquire success through your product. Your product manual should be carving the pathway for the same. It should contain all the necessary info a person can need.

Save time and cost spent on CS team

When you’ve got all aspects of your product covered through the user manual or guidebook you’ve created, there’s less likely users will ask questions to your support team. One thing to keep in mind, people value time, they don’t like to wait for answers. But keeping a 24*7 customer support teams can be costly. Instead a perfect guideline could reduce the hassle at both ends. 

Gain customer longevity and loyalty

Once users rely on your user guidebook, they will keep coming back to learn more about product stuff. Make them utilise the most of it. Once they get a hang of it, they’re likely to stay longer and refer your product to others. 

Upsell your features and conveying values

User manuals are a great way to upsell your product’s premium features. Since you’ve got the readers’ attention already, it’s the right platform for you to showcase more features that might not have instant visibility to users at the beginning. 

Increase user engagement

Engaging user manuals help users feel connected to your product more. This has a proven record of increased user engagement over time. Users follow through the connected documents often to learn what more they can achieve with the product. Make it fun for them!

 

Type of manuals you can create for your product

Instruction Manual

A step-by-step guidebook for users with detailed instructions. These are more precise and formal in tone. It focuses only on the processes without much elaboration. Ex- installation manual, SOP (standard operating procedure), troubleshooting manual etc.

User Manual

A user manual is easy-to-understand instructions or guidebooks for mass users of a product focusing on different parts of the product. This can be both technical and non-technical based on the audience you’re intending to serve. The tone of voice mostly stays semi-casual so that users can connect to the product without complexity. Ex- user guides, release notes, product glossaries, support handbook etc.

Training Manual

An instruction manual for people to help them perform a task, operation or process using your product. This gives an overview of the task or process, step-by-step guideline, dos and don’ts, deliverables, best practices etc.

Service Manual

Service manual is about a service or operations guide for a product. It focuses on details about how to operate a product rather than overviews and how the product is to be run at different stages of its lifetime.

 

How to write the best user manual!

Identify the right fit

Select the type of manual that suits your product and audience. It depends on the type of product or service you’re offering. Remember, you  need to choose it carefully to ensure 100% success and satisfaction of the target audience. 

Set the goal first!

Decide what the manual is intended for. This is the very first step of the process. Begin with a plan – what to include, what would be the outline, what to highlight etc. When you’ve a clear understanding of what you want to achieve with the manual, it will be easier to execute. 

Know your product

If you’re about to write an instruction manual for a product or service, learn about the product first. You should be knowing all the ins and outs first, the edge cases and restrictions before conveying it to your audience.

Decide how you arrange the feature depending on what users may seek at the beginning of their journey. So the guidebook coincides with the order of your product features, 

In short, keep the most important and simple ones first, leading to the most complex ones.

Create checklists and flows

Never rely on memories, create a checklist of what you’re going to include in the guideline. Or create a simple flow chart of steps so you don’t miss out on any. Remember, this is going to be for a user who never used your product or service before. So missing out on a step might lead them to confusion and thus leaving the product.

Know your audience

Customers are your primary focus because instruction manuals are made only for them. Keeping in mind your target customers and creating a solution guide for the ease of their understanding have to be your first target. It can be short or long but precise and easy to understand.

A complex user guidebook is a failed attempt to make users understand the product. Because the majority of people won’t be as tech savvy as you are. So keep your vast audience in mind while creating a manual. 

Step-by-step instructions

It’s a best practice for instruction manuals. Writing the guidelines step-by-step helps users to adopt products faster. This has less words and focused points. Nothing fancy but extremely effective. Writing skill and tone

User manuals should be written by someone who understands the tone of voice and is good at writing. It should avoid subtle mistakes made by most writers, missing the whole point of guiding users through vague tone and inappropriate references.

Writing a proper user manual requires both technical skills to understand the product as well as the art of holding the reader’s attention throughout the content. The tone has to be semi-casual so users can connect to the product well making it their own.

Be brief

Although you need to keep readers hooked to your content, don’t adorn it with unnecessary details. Keep the content short and on-point. Try delivering maximum information with a minimum set of words. Keep in mind that important stuff is focused and arranged properly. Do not overload your readers, make sure they achieve the goal as fast as possible. 

Use visual content

There’s nothing more easier than guiding through images, videos and walkthroughs. It’s been working accurately since pre-historic age!! People tend to learn better through visual content rather than reading through, because it’s boring and you know it. Study shows that the human brain adopts visuals 60,000 times faster than texts.

So keeping a decent amount of visual feeding to readers may help them enjoy the read. Visuals can be images, gifs, short videos, walkthroughs, 

This will increase the user’s reliability on the manuals rather than ramming your support team with simple questions. 

Table of contents

A good user manual must contain some form of table of contents. It gives the user an overview and confidence when they’re first visiting the manual. From the list they can get an idea of what they can expect to achieve from the manual. 

 

How to create a perfect user guidebook with Tixio

Create a perfect user manual using Tixio Wiki and share with your users. Tixio wiki is built in a way that gives you utmost convenience and powerful features driving success. With public shareability, it has become more scalable than other wikis in the market. Let us show you how to create the best user manual using Tixio wiki.

Create unlimited wikis

You can create unlimited wikis in Tixio workspace. There’s no storage limit, so take the chance of creating hundreds of support documents. No need of putting a lot of stuff together, keep separate documentation for every feature. Take a look at Tixio’s own handbook for example.

user manual

Separate them in folders

Segregate your documents into folders so users can understand which folder to go to for a particular set of instructions. Make the journey more comfortable and targeted to bring customer success.

Share publicly

Share your wikis and folders with mass people/ unlimited users with unique public sharing links. Anyone with the link will be able to view the document. Use the links in different parts of your application or blogs,websites,socials & other parts of help guides. 

Add graphic content

Add images and embed videos to your wiki to make your documents more fun and interactive for readers. Allow them to learn through graphical steps so they can get a hang of your product faster.  

Collaborate with team

Why create something alone when you have a team? Share your wiki with team members, create user guides together with the team through real-time collaboration and sync. Build it to perfection with contributions from everyone. 

Comment and discuss

Allow people to comment in your wiki and thus discuss and approve through topics. They can raise questions, concerns and disagreements via comments. You can reply or mark resolved, thus bringing necessary changes to the user manual through constructive discussions and impactful decisions. 

Bring in your branding 

Add a cover image for your user guide to make it look amazing and personalised to your business. Bring your company branding through all wiki pages and get your brand hooked into your users mind. Checkout our own Tixio user guide for reference.

user manual

Table of content

Tixio wiki can build its own table of content when you define text formats. The table of content is shown on the left for reader’s convenience and is also clickable so users get redirected to the required section.

Sketch

Skip using difficult flowchart makers. Use Tixio sketch for quick scribbling to diagramming. Sketch is here to give your user manual another edge. Using sketches you can guide / instruct users through SOPs (standard operating procedures), step-by-step instructions, decision flows and more. 

Tables 

Tables provide a structure for complex and detailed information. You can arrange your data in a manner that’s easy to read for users. Use them for glossaries, table of contents, FAQs, point of contacts etc. 

Wiki Mentions

Mention another wiki page, board or even people within your user guide with mention features. It’s like hyper-linking but in a more convenient way. You can interlink your user manual pages with wiki mention. So your users can jump from one page to another with clickable buttons rather than clickable texts.

We hope whatever we covered in this article will be helpful for you. Stay tuned for more helpful guides in the coming days. Enjoy Tixio while you work on them! 

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