Instruction Manual Template
Tools & Efficiency
There are many reasons why someone would want to write an instruction manual. People invest in instruction manuals for a variety of different reasons. In a lot of ways, a cookbook is an instruction manual. Self-help books, technical manuals, research on how to become a better player, and so many others. In their own special way, these are all instruction manuals.
Knowing that the purpose for an instruction manual is to instruct people on how to do something, then it’s easier to understand the type of information that should go inside of one. Most people who write instruction manuals are most interested in giving their take your opinion on how to do something based upon their own experience.
If you are a physical therapist, maybe you would write an instruction manual on the best way to recover after an injury. Maybe a Baker would write instruction manual on how to back the best cake. There’s probably 100 different ways to bake a cake, but this one guy thinks he’s the best and must show you how to do it.
Definition of an Instruction Manual
Instruction manuals are booklets designed to give useful information (like instructions on how to perform a specific task) about a product, machinery, software or service. Instruction manuals can contain pictures and/or written words in a workflow function so that the reader can get basic tips and strategies on how to do something.
Purpose of an Instruction Manual
Instruction manuals give users directions on how to accomplish task. It’s almost like following a recipe. It will show you with words or pictures step-by-step instructions, tools you need, the time it will take, and what to expect from the project. As you go through each procedure, you accomplish each step to get closer to your goal.
Instruction manuals will also contain helpful information, such as safety tips and what to do in an emergency if you were to become injured by following the steps outlined in the instruction manual. For example, you might read that if you get something in your eyes to call a Poison Control Center for whether to wash the chemical out.
Often an instruction manual is required by product safety regulation. They contain all information on how to work safely and correctly with a product.
Relevance of an Instruction Manual Template
Instruction manuals can be highly technical documents written to offer instructions on how to complete a task. The instruction manual template is designed to help the writer understand the step that goes in the process by already having most of it worked out. Instead of writing the entire manual from scratch, the instruction manual template will allow you to work more structured.
When you use a template rather than writing from scratch, it works almost like an outline so you can see every specific point and detail you need to make. It then becomes easier to research each individual step so that the consumer can accomplish their task with relative ease. They are not professionals, so the tasks must be simple and the language easy to understand (so don't use jargon).
Contents of the Instruction Manual Template
Amongst others, the instruction manual template contains the following topics:
- Use and reasonably foreseeable misuse.
- Explanation of safety terms and symbols used in the instruction manual.
- Product description
- Technical Info Related to Product
- Elements of the Product
- Visual Cues
- Safe Use of the Product
- Safety Warning
- Necessary tools
- Preparing Product for Use
- How to Use the Product
- Troubleshooting information
- Product Disposal
- Product Warranty
Using the Instruction Manual Template
- Your first step will be to brainstorm about your audience. Think about who you’re writing this instruction manual for and why.
- After the audience is determined, do the necessary research to find out what you will plug into the template.
- Once you’ve gathered all the information, it’s time to break it up into sections in an outline that allows you to organize your content.
- Download the template and customize it so it reflects your company. Add pictures as necessary.
- Plug in all the information you researched, filling in the template.
- Use the outline you created to put together a Table of Contents so your audience will know exactly where to find each section.
- Take a second glance over everything to ensure the quality is up to your standards.
- Publish the manual!