You Need to Produce Great User Documents
Your Product needs Great User Documents (Instruction Manuals, User Guides, Reference Manuals, Instruction Sheets, etc. ):
- Undocumented features become expensive flaws (click to read article)
- All products have shortcomings; Great User Documents help your Users around these problems
- Providing information beyond the minimum helps reduce technical support costs
Your Users deserve Great User Documents:
- To eliminate jumps in the documentation that the User cannot follow
- To understand what the product will do and how it performs
- To provide tips and knowledge to provide the best possible User experience (click to read article)
Great User Documentation will reduce support costs, increase User satisfaction, and increase your profit (fewer returns and more positive recommendations).
Most User Documents fail to meet the needs of the Users.
What Are Great User Documents?
Great User Documents help your User to be effective and comfortable with your product. Here are some characteristics of Great User Documents:
- Contains the content that the User may need
- Uses clear, simple writing
- Avoids information blunders, where information is left out because: "The reader can figure it out" or "Everyone knows that."
- Makes the content very accessible to the reader.
Regardless of how important your product is to you, to your Users it is only a means to an end. Don't force your Users to figure things out on their own; if they wanted to do that, they would read a novel.
These Resources Are Relevant for All Types of Products
If the product is a piece of computer software, or a physical product such as a barbecue, radio, or clock, you have to create great content and make that content accessible to your Reader. Content and Accessibility are the focal points of these Resources.
These Resources will help you with both electronic and printed User Documents.
Resources to Help You Create Great User Documents
On this website I will provide the Resources that you can use to create Great User Documents. I will present this information in two ways:
- For the do-it-yourself'er who wants to learn this skill on his/her own: I present the overall structure of how to create Great User Documents, some information about each topic, and links to find more information. Click HERE for the Do It Yourself Page.
- For someone who is being paid to produce a User Document: I offer a computer-based Course that guides you through the creation of the great User Document that you need to create for your work. It's FREE!
You will find a lot of useful information to help you in your documentation project, in our Reading Room.