How To Create the Perfect User-Manual For an App in 4 Steps

Mobile applications and user-friendly software have become a necessity for modern-day consumers. From lifestyle and health to academics, digital applications aid in the management of every field.

You will be surprised to know that in 2020, as much as 218 billion apps were downloaded. And this number will climb to 352 billion in 2021. Due to this overwhelming favourability towards mobile applications, most successful companies have started investing in developers and low-code solutions that allow them to produce brand-specific and customer-driven apps.

However, creating the perfect app is not enough. The responsibility for guiding your customers on making the best use of your product also falls on your shoulders. The best way to do so is by providing them with a comprehensive but simplified user manual.

How To Create the Perfect User-Manual For an App

To write a user manual, you need to create an appealing and easy to read format, ensure readability and give clear instructions. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you with the same.

1. Create an appealing first look

According to a study back in 2015, it was found that the average human attention span has shrunk to just 8.25 seconds. Hence, it is important for writers to create a manual that holds the reader’s attention for a significant amount of time.

To make the readers flip the page, it is important to give the manual an appealing, easy-to-deal-with look. The manual shouldn’t be crammed with text and must have ample white space with purposeful use of colours. For better readability, use a clean, serifed font (TNR, Georgia, Garamond, etc.) that easily guides the eye.

2. Enhance findability

Users should be able to find what they are looking for in the user manual without having to flip through pages for hours. To ensure that, you can divide the content topics based on chronology, expertise level, frequency of use, and key functionalities.

Colour-coding the different headings and highlighting important keywords can also aid in simplifying navigation. You can also add an index section and a glossary for difficult terms to increase findability.

3. Define your audience

While writing a manual, you should always keep in mind who the reader is. Keeping a written profile of the target reader with you is a smart idea while writing the manual.

Knowing what the target reader is like is easy when company employees write the manual. They already know what kind of customers they work with. If you are using the Planet Crust’s CRM software, you can get a clear 360-degree overview of client history and deduce your average client’s knowledge level.

4. Give clear instructions

The instructions in your manual should be clear, concise, unambiguous, and, most importantly, complete. You can adopt a ‘how-to’ form of instructions and provide a step-by-step sequence of any process.

Make sure you explain all the codes or symbols you use for instructions in the glossary or postscript. Use as many flowcharts as needed to deliver the desired level of clarity. It is advisable to write in the present tense and active voice without assuming that the user has prior knowledge.

An example: Corteza documentation

Planet Crust, the company behind the Corteza Project, created the extensive Corteza manual, with chapters aimed at different audiences. The Corteza documentation is updated frequently by the Corteza developers and power-users and will help you to get the most out of this powerful Salesforce alternative.

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