User Guide Examples
Few people hang on to a printed user manual after the initial setup. People believe that user guides are no longer needed after they start using the product. That is often not true. User guides contain warranty and troubleshooting information that comes in handy when the product breaks or malfunctions.
Yet, consumers are more inclined to search YouTube for how-to instructions when they need to troubleshoot a product issue than they are to pull out a massive, printed user manual. Brands are seeking alternative ways to present user guide content that is engaging and builds brand loyalty.
Enter digital experiences. If an image is worth 1,000 words, a video is worth ten times that. By building a digital user guide brands can bring instructions to life, provide customers with quick access to relevant information, and provide real-time support through features like chatbots.
So people might prefer other alternatives to reading a printed user manual. They can find videos and articles on how to use a product online, but that information may be inaccurate. Your customers must read your user manuals for accurate information.
The information you provide in your user manual is going to be more accurate than most other sources, but if there is not a strong motivation to read your user manual most people are not going to read it. With all the information consumers can find online, why should they hold on to a user manual?
The consequence of not going through proper training is serious for highly complex and expensive products. Manufacturers are now spending more time finding alternative ways to replace the massive user manuals. What if you could create a user manual that people not only read but also hang on to for the life of the product? You can, by creating a digital experience that acts as a digital user manual.
Creating a digital user guide is one of the best ways to ensure that your customers receive the important information that you have included inside. A digital user guide can include more information that can help your customers have a better customer experience. Choosing to deliver your user guides digitally allows customers to easily access your user guide because your user guide is less likely to be lost if it can be accessed via your website, app, or directly on the product using a QR code. Digital user manuals are more accurate than printed user manuals because they can be updated as information changes. This ensures that your customers always have the most up-to-date information.
What Is a User Guide?
User guides are created to present the instructions or directions that help end-users understand the features of a product. Also referred to as user manuals, owner’s manuals, or instruction manuals, user guides are often created for a specific product that requires step-by-step instructions to install or use.
User manuals are technical documents that communicate the proper use or operation of a product. User guides can be created to help the end users do different tasks. There are different types of user guides that your brand could use:
- Instruction Manual - A type of user guide that provides basic instructions for how to operate a product.
- Training Manual - This type of user manual provides a set of instructions related to the completion of a specific task, project, or job.
- Service Manual - This resource outlines how to care for and maintain a piece of equipment or machinery at various points in its life.
- Operator’s or Owner’s Manual - Referred to with interchangeable terms, this type of manual is designed to be a product owner’s guide. It provides product specifications, troubleshooting information, installation instructions, and much more.
User manuals don't have to be hard to manage. In recent years brands have started using interactive product guides that are tied to a product information management (PIM) solution. The benefit of doing this is that you can utilize all the functionalities that come with a PIM like storing, editing, and managing all your product information in one place. When your user guide is tied to a PIM, the product information that is used in your user guide is also updated whenever you update your product information within the PIM.
The best way to make your product guide interactive is by building it as a digital experience. Instead of using a user manual PDF or a printed user manual, you could have your customer access your product guide online and experience how-to videos, tips, pricing, and much more.
What Should a User Guide Include?
The information provided in a user guide needs to be relevant to your customer and the product they are using.
Some of the best user guide examples are the simplest. Imagine a kitchen appliance brand launches a new air fryer. To appeal to a new market segment the brand could include healthy recipes and instructional videos in a digital user guide. Whereas a lawn mower brand should probably focus on troubleshooting tips and maintenance videos in their user guides. Depending on your product and audience needs, the information provided in your user guide will vary.
When creating a user guide you have two options: print, which is often created and saved as a PDF, or interactive. Interactive user manuals are more likely to be used because they are more accessible and engaging for your customer. With Lumavate you can create a user guide that includes all the following information:
- Installation Guide - Pairs step-by-step installation instructions with easy-to-follow instructions with images or GIFs.
- FAQs - Answers to the most commonly asked questions by your customers.
- Resources - List of related resources, documents, and articles to provide your customers with relevant information about using their new product.
- Warranty Information - Share your product’s warranty terms with customers.
- How-to Videos - Curated library of videos showing how to best use and troubleshoot customer issues.
- Product Overview - Highlights key product information, specifications, and features.
- Customer Support - Easy access to contact your customer support team via phone, email, chat, etc.
- Save to Home Screen - Prompt your customers to save the digital experience to their mobile devices for easy reference at any time.
What Should a User Guide Look Like?
When it comes to what your user guide should look like, your product guide should be easy to navigate, be full of helpful information, and make the customer feel successful. User guides are often provided to customers in three key ways: printed version located within the product packaging; or a digital version available across all devices. A digital product guide can be activated by scanning a QR code on the product, clicking a link in an email, or texting a keyword to a phone number.
Printed product guides often come in the same packaging as the product, yet, most people never read them. People usually refer to a user guide when they need troubleshooting instructions; when they want to contact support; or when they want to look up warranty information.
When a user guide is provided to a customer by placing a QR code on the product, it can never be lost and because it’s digital, it can be maintained to always contain the most up-to-date information. This QR code will connect your consumers to an interactive product guide digital experience. Here you can provide multimedia content, such as pricing, onboarding videos, support chatbots, and much more.
The reason brands are moving away from printed product guides is because they can never be updated. If they are printed with inaccurate information or typos, those can’t be corrected. If the brand realizes consumers need different onboarding information or troubleshooting instructions, supplemental materials need to be created and distributed.
Having a product guide that is tied to a product information management (PIM) system allows you to automatically update your user guides anytime the information is edited in the PIM solution.
How Do You Write a User Guide?
Creating a user guide can be frustrating when you don't know how to create a user manual in Word. Creating user manuals in Word works, but there is a better way. When you create a user guide in Word, it is often with the intent to print the user guide or save it as a user guide PDF. The most effective way to create a user guide is by creating a digital experience.
Yet, it is a better idea to create a digital experience using Lumavate because, unlike this PDF, the interactive user guide will always be up to date. So when creating a digital experience, here are the steps you should follow:
- Determine the structure of your user guide.
- Gather all the product information need to create the user guide.
- Enter the product information into a product information management system (PIM).
- Create a user guide using Lumavate easy-to-use platform.
- Update your user guide at any time by connecting it to the PIM solution in step 3.
What Is a User Guide Template?
A user guide template, also referred to as a user manual template, is a preset format for a user guide. It helps users easily create user guides by using a pre-made structure to guide them when creating their user manuals. Lumavate offers templates for creating digital experiences. Our product onboarding template helps users create user guides. It includes six pages that you can add to or take away from.
The most important page in your interactive user guide will be the home page. This page is very important because it is the first page that your customers will see when exploring your user guide. Your home page will likely include your welcome message, a photo of your product, and navigation functionality to allow your users to easily find the information they need.
If your product requires installation instructions there is a page already set up for that, all you would need to do is add the steps. When creating this page, you can also include more resources related to this topic like user instructions and how-to images and videos.
Most products offer a manufacturer’s warranty so it's only natural that we included a place for you to include your product's warranty information. Customers can see when their warranty ends and may accept an offer to extend it. You can also include related parts and accessories if the customer wants to add functionality or repair your product.
The FAQ and contact support pages are very useful for customers because they can easily get their questions answered and issues resolved. This makes for a great customer experience. Customers can also use the tips and tricks page to learn more about how to best use the product to its fullest extent.
What Is the Purpose of User Manual?
The purpose of a user guide is to ensure customers feel successful in using a product. The best way to do this is to create an interactive product guide that is tied to a PIM solution.
Having a product guide that is easily accessible, customers can access solutions at the moment and reduce the necessity to reach out for specific support from customer service. Ensuring the customer has an excellent customer experience increases brand loyalty, improves a brand’s reputation, and increases repeat purchases.
Using a user guide that is tied to a PIM solution saves time for your team and your customers. This allows your customers to always access the latest information for your product. Lumavate allows you to store all your product data and related digital assets and create digital experiences tied to the product data that is stored in Lumavate’s PIM software. This can help you and your team save time when creating and updating user guides.
Lumavate also allows you to list out replacement parts and direct customers to buy them directly from your brand or channel partners. Impending this can increase sales and brand loyalty.
Want to see our product onboarding template in action? Start creating here or take a tour and see for yourself.
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