Best Practices for Designing a Digital Product Guide
by Rob Till | Last Updated: Sep 6, 2023
by Rob Till | Last Updated: Sep 6, 2023
A well-crafted product guide showcases a manufacturer's product line and highlights new product offerings to their customers.
No matter what your goals are for your product guide, let’s discuss some best practices for designing a digital product guide that your customers will love.
The purpose of a product guide is to help customers find products that meet their needs. A product guide does not provide specific information about how to use a single product or model; a product guide aims to inform the customer about what a product can do and inspire them to make a purchase.
Product Descriptions and Features
Product Comparison Charts
Before getting started, you and your team need to determine clear goals and designate a specific target audience for your digital product guide.
Some questions you should ask yourself before designing a digital product guide include:
What do you hope to accomplish with your product guide?
What content needs to be included in the product guide to help guide customers?
What device will your customers primarily access the digital product guide?
What action do you want customers to take after reading this guide?
Asking yourself these questions will help set you up for success in the design process of your digital product guide.
Now that we’ve covered what should go into a product guide, let's dive into some best practices for designing this helpful resource for your customers.
Have you ever visited a new place for the first time, got lost, and vowed never to return because of this negative experience? Well, the same thing can happen to your digital product guide if your user experience and format isn’t well thought-out.
When designing a product guide, users need to be able to find the information and products they’re interested in easily and quickly. That means customers need to be able to scroll, click on a product they’re interested in, then be able to easily navigate back to the main list of products.
We typically recommend having a home page for your product guide with cards organized by product type or use case that customers can click into to look at those specific products.
Including a search bar within the home page is another good option to enable customers to quickly find the products they’re interested in.
Product Detail Page
Secondly, we recommend each product have a detailed product page so customers can learn about the products.
A product detailed page contains content like an image gallery of the product, product descriptions, features, specifications, etc. It might also include things like a product manual or a CTA for customers to request more information from sales.
Each product detailed page should give the user the option to easily return back to a home screen through something we call a hamburger menu with links to the segmented products, or a simple back arrow.
Product guides are by nature content-heavy. Customers need access to all of the product information necessary in order to make a purchasing decision.
But just because a product guide is content-heavy, shouldn’t mean there’s not a right and a wrong way to organize your content.
Use Headings and Subheadings
Use headings and subheadings within your product guide to establish organized sections for customers to find the content they’re interested in.
Just like how we included varying headings and subheadings in this blog post to make it easier for you as the reader to consume the content, you’ll want to do the same in your product guide by including varying degrees of H1s, H2s, H3s, and so on.
Don’t Be Afraid of Space
Use space in an intelligent way in your product guide. What we mean by that is not everything has to be crammed together at the top or be formatted in one long list.
This creates the dreaded eye fatigue.
Space makes it easy for the reader to digest important information and gives your content some breathing room and gives your content an overall more organized look.
Get Creative with Font Style
An easy way to create sections in your product guide and make it more visually appealing is to play with the font style.
That doesn’t mean you should go crazy with using bold font, underlining it, and italicizing it. Stick to one to two differentiators that help create sections.
For example, if you had a bulleted list of product ingredients, you could name the title for the section“Product Ingredients” and bold the text so customers know they’re moving on to a new section.
Your product guide should include images that help sell the product. Let’s go over a few ways you can make your product guide more visually appealing with the use of imagery and iconography.
You need to highlight several product images in your product guide that help customers view the product better.
We typically see our customers do this in a gallery format that includes a variety of different photos, including standard product images, branded product information images, supplemental award pictures, and more.
The most important thing when it comes to imagery is to keep the primary product photo in the image gallery clean and legible. This means putting the product against a clean background so customers can clearly see the product.
Another part of creating an engaging digital product guide is being creative with how you can display the product information.
Sure you can create a bulleted list of features or a chart of specifications, but you can also use iconography to call out specific product features. This helps break up long sections of text and can help emphasize your product’s main call-outs.
Supplemental content and call-to-actions are the pièce de résistance to a well-designed product guide. It can make your resource go from good to great by providing extra information customers will find valuable and a specific place where they take the next steps in the buying journey.
If your customer is the end-user, they might appreciate a collapsible list of related parts and accessories within the product guide. They might also think a product manual is useful information to see how easy putting together a product can be.
If your target audience is a dealer network, reconsider including a list of related parts and accessories. This group may not find that content helpful and may actually do more harm than good by clogging up the product guide with irrelevant information.
Buttons and Hyperlinks
Use buttons that take customers to these CTAs so they can download a product manual, view related products, or even request information from your sales team. Just make sure your CTAs are large enough for adult-sized fingers to click them if they’re viewing on a tablet or smartphone. For other clickable content like hyperlinks use a color to make them stand out.
With Lumavate, you can create a digital product guide in just a few hours. Schedule a demo with one of our product experts to see how easy designing a digital product guide can be.