User Guide Template
Tool & Efficiency
A user guide is a book-sized document that allows a consumer to install, put together, troubleshoot, or use a product by giving basic, yet informative, instructions. Depending on how complex the product is, a user guide can be a short user guide that’s only a few pages long, or it can be a several hundred pages long tutorial full of pictures, information, and instructions for getting started and using the hardware/software correctly.
Nearly every electronic object or device we buy comes with a user guide. Whether it’s a dishwasher, microwave, TV set, or even a lamp, there will be a set of instructions included that will tell you how to use the product correctly and safely, from plugging it in and turning it on, to how each feature works. A user guide will most likely contain pictures and diagrams along with text in various languages to accommodate the needs of the consumer.
Definition of User Guide
A user guide is created to assist the consumer in completing a certain set of tasks designed to help assemble, troubleshoot, or operate a product. In a user guide, you will find a set of written and/or visual tasks that must be completed before the consumer can use the product or before his problem has been solved. Information typically inside of a user guide is often displayed in a list format, giving step-by-step instructions for how to complete a task.
User guides do not just contain instructions, as they also offer precautionary information, warnings about how misuse of the product can cause harm, tools you need to gather, any notes from the manufacturer, the weight and dimensions of the product, any reference information, and general information about the product the consumer must know about.
Purpose of the User Guide Template
The user guide template is a tool designed to help you create a user guide for your product. User guides are essential to a company’s bottom line. There can be a certain amount of liability involved when it comes to a product or service. Without detailed instructions on how to use, operate, put together, organize, and build your product safely, you risk taking on a certain amount of liability. The user guide template includes most mandatory elements as required by product safety legislation.
The user guide template is essentially a user guide for how to create a user guide. By following the template, you’ll be able to see each section you need to cover in a clear way to ensure not only does the consumer know how to use your product, but so they can do so safely while becoming familiar with it.
Relevance of a User Guide Template
The user guide template is designed to help you create a document that will allow your customers to complete the tasks required to operate your product. They are generally written into a workflow-based approach that makes it easy to follow instructions. Whether they need to work with a set of tools to assemble various parts or download software that needs to be installed properly, the user guide template will allow you to design and document all necessary processes the consumer must be aware of.
Contents of the User Guide Template
The user guide template itself contains the following table of contents. Each topic from the table of contents comes with instructions on how to write the content for that specific topic and contains a default text which can be edited.
1.1 Intended use and reasonably foreseeable misuse
1.2 Safety symbols used in this user guide
2 Description of the product
2.1 Technical data
2.2 Identification plate
2.3 Product elements
2.4 Visual signals
3 Safety Information
3.1 Important safety warnings
3.2 Explanation of safety warnings used on the product
3.3 Required tools
4 Installing the speaker
4.1 Transportation of the speaker
4.2 Unpack and check the contents
4.3 How to install the BSOUND 125 speaker
5 How to get the product ready for use
5.1 How to ….
5.2 How to ...
6 Using the product
6.1 How to ...
6.2 How to ...
6.3 How to ...
6.4 How to ...
7 Maintenance and cleaning
10 Disposal of the product
Appendix I Declaration of conformity
Appendix II Spare parts
Using the User Guide Template
- Before writing your user guide, you need to take the time to plan and assess the situation. Can you identify your audience and what their needs might be? You must keep in mind that age and ability of the typical user she can properly guide them in using your product. Read this case study: User Manual Template Case Study.
- Take some time to look at the different types of materials you have at your disposal. Make yourself an expert on how to put together the product and understand user goals before embarking on creating your manual by using the user guide template.
- When writing your guide, you want to use the exact descriptions of each part. It will be helpful to you to write out each product and its description so you know exactly how to describe it in the guide.
- As you plan out your descriptions ahead of time, you’ll want to sketch out workflow diagrams and design an outline of how you want the user guide to flow. Once you have an outline for what you’re looking for, it will be easier to just plug the terms into the user guide template.
- Once you’ve downloaded your user guide template, you then copy and paste terms and information relating to your product, including headlines, titles, pictures, and terms.
- Start filling in your user guide template with all the research (mostly information from the Subject Matter Experts) you have that’s relevant to the user guide. Please note that you do not have to put in every type of information possible. You only have to add and what is useful to consumer.
- With your outline, take the time to create the table of contents, glossary, and index to make it much easier for a consumer to find the necessary information they need to put your product together. Might also help to list the tools they need to get the job done.
- Once all the necessary information has been added, go over the user guide to ensure every bit of information you want included is added into the document.
- Make sure to add all safety information related to your product and double check that your user guide meets all mandatory requirements.
- 1If you user guide template is complete, publish it.
Creating Compliant User Manuals for CE Products
Most EU directives require a user manual. Depending on the product group, there are different requirements on the content of the user manual. Therefore, we have created these User Manual Templates:
DO YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW YOU CAN CREATE A COMPLIANT USER MANUAL FOR THE EU?
A step-by-step approach to developing compliant user instructions and avoid legal pitfalls.