Maybe you read the complete instruction manual before using a new product. Perhaps you keep it in your drawer never to look at it again. Either way, there is always a time and place when instruction manuals come in handy. While most people may think that instruction manuals are a dense paper booklet, they are much more.
These booklets are not a modern invention, and they exist for several reasons. More than a how-to list, instruction manuals can show you much about the society and times in which they were written. The evolution of instruction manuals can also reveal how we have changed. Here are five things you may not know about instruction manuals for products.
Instructions manuals make it easy for people to find the information they need about a particular product. Users often find it frustrating when they do know how to operate a product. A user manual uses keywords to help you find what you want. When writing an instruction manual, companies use a set of guidelines to enhance findability. For instance, they can organize the information in a hierarchy order, code the hierarchy with tabs, or divide the manual into sections.
Simplicity and directness are critical in every instruction manual. The information in every manual has to be easy to read and follow. Companies have to make sure that users know what to do next after their particular needs have been met. Companies do assume that the user has prior experience or knowledge of the product. In fact, companies use naïve users to test the usability of their instruction manuals. Additionally, they use simple language and the present tense to enhance the clarity of their instructions.
Currently, manufacturers try to be as elegant as possible when writing their user manuals. Companies try to integrate the instructions into the product itself. For instance, a generator company can have a help file that pops out in the generator’s control panel. A good example is an old manual for the Kodak Box Brownie camera. Apart from showing you how to load the film, the manual also advice on how to take excellent pictures. Companies such as Harry, have adopted the same idea. Currently, manufacturers talk to their customers about how to operate their products and also how to get the most out of them.
Instructions manual are a way to create a working relationship with your customers. The way you instruct the client creates a personal connection. User manuals make the customer feel good about the product they have bought. As such, it makes them think favorably towards that brand in the future.
Instruction manuals are like a travel guide to a foreign country. Manuals can provide quality advice in ways that are easy to understand and practical to use. For instance, https://manuals.co/ makes the unfamiliar manageable. Some companies, such as Ikea, do not use words in their manuals. Instead, they use drawings or pictures to instruct their customers.