User Guides that Get Used!

“I should have taken this course years ago. The techniques
taught will make my user guides 100% better!”
– Gisele Chatelain McBride, Social Development Canada

We’ve all seen them: so-called “user” manuals that people hate to read. These are documents whose information is difficult to locate, whose procedures are hard to follow, and whose language is often bewildering.

Avoid these dilemmas with a three-day course that gives you the conventions and the techniques to write user guides that are a pleasure to read, and that achieve the desired result of letting the reader get on with the job of using the software, assembling the hardware, or simply enjoying the product, rather than studying the manual endlessly.

Who Should Attend
Anyone involved in the writing of user guides, including

  • technology professionals who document their hardware or software products for a large and varied user community
  • managers and editors who routinely review documentation written for end users

Course Topics
In this three-day workshop, you will learn to

  • apply the user guide writing process to improve quality and reduce writing time
  • distinguish the reader’s perspective from the system designer’s
  • plan user guides according to their use in the field
  • conduct a task analysis to determine what the user will actually do with the document
  • design and format the contents of the user guide for the reader’s quick reference
  • apply current conventions for page and document design
  • employ five fail-safe methods for structuring procedures
  • save time while drafting your document
  • troubleshoot your manual to ensure that it is readable, accurate, complete, and usable

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