How Do You Write a User Guide?

Angela Shaffield Picture

by Angela Shaffield | Last Updated: Apr 18, 2023

What Is the Purpose of a User Guide Document?

A user guide document is created to present the instructions or directions that help end-users understand the usage of a product. User guides are also referred to as user manuals and are often created for a specific product that requires installation or step-by-step instructions. User guides can be created to help the end users accomplish different tasks. There are various types of user guides your brand could create:

What Are the Components of a User Guide?

Depending on your product, users may need different types of content in order to have a successful onboarding process. Consider what the customer needs in order to have a positive customer experience with your brand. Let’s take a look at some user guide examples, like a lawn mower user guide to see what a brand might include for content. A lawn mower user guide might include content such as assembly instructions, how-to instructions, troubleshooting information, maintenance recommendations, FAQs, support contact information, and more.  Another consideration you’ll need to think about regarding your user guide is the format. Will it be printed, available in a PDF, or an interactive user guide that is available digitally How your user guide is delivered to customers can impact the type of content you provide. For example, if your product requires a lot of safety information and different types of instructions, not everyone is going to take the time to read a user guide the size of an encyclopedia. The consequences of this can be anywhere from a lessened user experience to someone getting hurt using a product. That's why it's important to create a digital user guide that is accurate and easy to read and navigate.  This is where interactive user guides come in.  Interactive user manuals are more likely to be used because they are more accessible and engaging for your customers. With Lumavate, you can create an interactive user guide that includes all of the following information:

How Do You Write a User Guide?

When you are creating a user guide for a specific product, you need to consider how your customers will use the product. For example, if the product requires installation or assembly, then you'll want to include step-by-step directions in the user guide. You'll also want to include instructions on how to start using the product, recommended maintenance, troubleshooting tips, a documentation guide, and contact information for support. Also, decide how you plan on delivering your user manuals to your customers. When creating a user guide you have three options: print, PDF, or accessible through a digital experience. A printed user manual and a user manual PDF both lead to a less-than-engaging experience and might not reflect the most accurate product information.  By having an interactive user guide, it can be accessed directly on the product packaging using a QR code or through email, text, or even on your brand’s website. Plus, any updates made to your product’s information will be automatically reflected in the user guide if it’s tied to a product information management (PIM) solution. After you determine the content structure, then you'll be able to tackle the actual writing of the content. When writing your user guide, keep your customer in mind. This means not using any technical jargon and providing clear instructions with images to help direct customers through the set-up process. 

How Do You Create an Interactive User Guide?

An interactive user guide usually comes in the form of a digital experience. You could hire a software developer to create one, but thanks to the no-code movement, there are easier and more effective ways to create digital experiences. Using a digital experience platform (DXP) like Lumavate allows marketers to create digital experiences without the use of code. Creating user guides through a DXP allows your user guides to be more accessible, accurate, interactive, and is more cost-effective for your business.  Digital experiences can be activated by using a QR code, near-field communication (NFC) tag, text, or a URL that users to access your brand’s user guide on their devices. By making your user guides digital, not only can you cut costs by removing the need to print these resources, but you can also increase revenue, drive brand loyalty, and help your brand stand out in the aisle. Start creating here or schedule a demo and see the Lumavate platform for yourself.

See Lumavate in Action

Meet with one of our experts to see how easy it is to centralize your product data, manage digital assets, and create digital product experiences. Trust us…you’re going to be wowed.