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1 Parts of a User Manual Criteria for writing a user manual User manual components.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Parts of a User Manual Criteria for writing a user manual User manual components."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Parts of a User Manual Criteria for writing a user manual User manual components

2 Gerson & Gerson: Technical Writing, 5th Edition© 2006 Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All Rights Reserved. 2 Criteria for Writing a User Manual Requires more detail than you can fit into one instruction Focus may vary: installation, operation, maintenance, software use, etc. Size may vary depending on topic Includes instructions plus additional components

3 Gerson & Gerson: Technical Writing, 5th Edition© 2006 Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All Rights Reserved. 3 Criteria for Writing a User Manual Long Users Manuals include all of the topics already discussed: Graphics Hazards Required tools Detailed information geared toward the audience An appropriate style (numbered steps, articles, verbs, personalization, etc.)

4 Gerson & Gerson: Technical Writing, 5th Edition© 2006 Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All Rights Reserved. 4 User Manual Components Cover page Topic – names product or service Function (purpose) Graphic Table of contents List of Figures List of Tables

5 Gerson & Gerson: Technical Writing, 5th Edition© 2006 Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All Rights Reserved. 5 User Manual Components Introduction / Overview / About this Manual What do you need to know to make the best use of this manual? Personalized, positive tone Emphasizes the value and importance of the manual How this manual is organized How to use this manual Special icons or symbols used in manual

6 Gerson & Gerson: Technical Writing, 5th Edition© 2006 Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All Rights Reserved. 6 User Manual Components Glossarydefine acronyms, abbreviations, and high-tech terms May be separate section or part of overview Alerts and special considerations Warnings, hazards, dangers Technical description (hardware) Parts lists/accessories

7 Gerson & Gerson: Technical Writing, 5th Edition© 2006 Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All Rights Reserved. 7 User Manual Components Instructions listed as tasks Other possible sections: Warranties/guarantees FAQs Troubleshooting Corporate Contact information Index

8 Gerson & Gerson: Technical Writing, 5th Edition© 2006 Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All Rights Reserved. 8 Components – Index Might be in addition to the general end matter Helps readers locate specific information within a manual Generally lists words and concepts alphabetically Identifies where readers can reference information in the manual

9 Gerson & Gerson: Technical Writing, 5th Edition© 2006 Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All Rights Reserved. 9 Usability Testing Usability Testinganother approach to Revision: Choose a test audience. Ask the audience to test the instructions. Monitor the audience. What challenges do the instructions seem to present? Time the team members as they attempt to perform the tasks. Quantify the audiences responses. What problems did they encountered. Revise the instruction to improve its usability.


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