Writing a handbook may appear to be a difficult task, but it is simpler than you think!
The techniques in this article may be used in any manual, whether it’s a basic digital work instruction or a complex one.
Make the subject your own.
It may seem obvious, but making the subject your own is one of the most important things you need to do. For example, if you’re writing the manual for television, it helps to know everything about the hardware’s specifications. That way it will be a lot easier for you to describe each feature.
You can do several things to make the subject your own. For example, talk to experts on the subject, have them look at your work, and listen to the feedback. After all, they know better than you.
Also, dive into practice. Suppose you have to write about bicycles, then actually go cycling, because then you will get a complete idea of what the user wants to know.
To write an instruction, read read read.
Besides practice, there is also theory. Read up on the subject for which you are writing a manual. What is the jargon?
If you need to write a manual on a similar product, first look at how others have done it. Don’t plagiarize, but look at different points that may be important to your topic. What are the similarities? By asking that question, you’ll learn about the same functionalities and the ways the product description is handled.
But also what are the differences? What stands out? What standout features are there? You can highlight the standout features and thus increase the value of the product. Even if you have to write the manual, if the reader notices the value of the product, it’s a good way to motivate them to read on.
How will you format your instruction manual?
Divide your tutorial to be written into pieces. It doesn’t matter if your tutorial is short or if you have to write a very long tutorial. Dividing the information into several parts has its advantages. After all, you can concentrate on the individual parts of the whole. The reader needs to understand how the process works of the product.
Think about your sequence. For example, it’s not exactly smart to describe how the navigation of television works if the reader doesn’t even work out how to turn it on yet.
Starting to write your manual.
Start at the beginning: the introduction. How you begin will determine the tone of your piece. It immediately gives the reader an idea of where they stand. For example, is it easy to read, or is it the right deep stuff for experts? This depends on the target audience for your manual. Know in advance what the tone of your piece is going to be and use that tone throughout the manual.
Testing your manual.
Okay, so your manual is finished. But of course, your manual has to work. So what’s smart? Right, you imagine yourself in the reader’s world and you go try out the manual. So step by step you follow what the manual says and pay attention to whether there is some information missing in certain places.
You have to keep repeating the above step until you are sure that your manual is complete. But also have acquaintances or colleagues of yours read the manual. Behold how they use the manual, what mistakes do they notice? Based on the feedback, rewrite the manual to achieve a complete product. (SwipeGuide).