Style guide for writing technical user manuals:-
Writing about technical user’s manual is one of the hardest jobs that a writer can do. This is because every single step of the process has to be painfully detailed so as to ensure that the reader who is finally reading the manual can make sense of the writing and can help utilize the tech device as per their requirement. A user’s manual is equally important if one needs to know about all the features of a product that they will be using. It is almost like pay for homework system that is going on here.
However, here we have compiled a list for the best style guide to help you write a technical user’s manual.
- Make sure that the user manual that you provide for your customers or clients is a real and tangible book that has illustrations on it, especially if it is about a complicated tech product. A lot of people who buy the product might not be very technologically sound, so it is always better to make the manual as simple and easy as possible. Also, do not give them a PDF to read without a physical copy for assistance.
- Try to make sure that the instructions provided on the manual are actually a step by step process of getting the actual product set up. Missing a point or two in the middle might end up causing real problems to the user.
- A single page right at the beginning of the manual where you explain the main few points of how to use your product for your user is a great idea. It helps them to be able to quickly start the brought they invested in and got it up and running. We all know that additional features can be learnt about later.
- No one likes to just know only the features of the product. I mean that is like being a novice when it comes to cars and knowing that a certain car has some sort of fancy features. You have the knowledge, but you don’t know where to apply it. Let your customers know what are the actual uses of the product they just bought. It makes them relate to your brand more, and isn’t that what you really want?
- On the part of the organization itself, they can ensure that the writer of the technical manual is always kept in the loop during the stage when the company is first developing the product. That way, the technical manual writer will know exactly what to write about. Also, in a setting like that, there is absolutely very less chance of him missing out on important details while he is writing the document.
- Do not be in a hurry. That tends to create more chaos than it could ever solve. Try to start working on the technical manual the moment the product is being made. Try to remain in sync with the production process of the product, and that will do you as a writer of the technical user manual much good as you don’t have to overexert yourself just a few days before the launch of the product.
- Most importantly, although this is often overlooked by companies and writers of technical manuals alike, it is important to provide some sort of alternative other than just a simple physical copy of the technical manual to people who are alternatively gifted. There should be alternatives for the color blind, the blind and many other such users. Alternatives could include braille, hearing aids or anything else that these users can use to understand and appreciate the product.
- Make sure that as a writer of the user’s technical manual, you yourself are well aware and well versed in the process of how to use the product, inside and out. Without real and first-hand knowledge, it is extremely difficult for the writer of a technical manual to actually end up writing exactly how to use and handle the product so as to utilize it to its maximum possible potential.
Being the writer of the user’s technical manual is a hard job to do, no doubt about it. Moreover, the job itself is quite thankless. However, if you have the good and sound technical knowledge and you are obsessed with the latest of technologies, this is the job for you. You can also have many written papers in your name especially if you are interested in furthering your career in the field of the technology. A technical manual can be written by a professional with an experience of many years. However, with a little study, it can also be written by engineering students who are highly interested in the field and knows the nitty-gritty of the industry.