8 Golden Rules to help you create a great user manual


How-to articles are often used when you need to talk in detail about a product, provide a comprehensive guide to solve a problem, or demonstrate your own expertise. Good instructions are saved, re-read, and actively shared with friends.

However, the standard selling article and instructions are different texts, although they perform the same task: to help the potential client as much as possible.

Why do you need to take writing guide articles as seriously as any other text? How to create a guide properly? Check the article below. However, those who doubt their writing abilities can turn to getfinanceessay.com service.

What are the instructions useful for?

Before you start writing a user manual, think about your target audience. Such guides are read to perform clear actions and get the expected result.

A good guide has two key characteristics:
  1. The Algorithm of user actions is described step by step. How much detail each item will be described depends on the level of knowledge of readers. For an expert, short instruction is suitable. For an inexperienced user, the manual is made as detailed as possible.
  2. Its specific result. The user follows the recommendations and achieves the desired goal.
If the result is not described in the instructions, there is no practical benefit from it.

What to consider when creating a guide

To make the step-by-step guide as accurate and useful as possible, you need to take into account the level of knowledge of the reader.

Reader's level of knowledge

Depending on the audience's knowledge, you need to write different guides that differ in a larger volume and more thorough elaboration. These instructions should be accompanied by examples and pictures.

Otherwise, an inexperienced person will not be able to navigate in complex terms. Don't start working on the guide without defining a portrait of your target audience.

Keep in mind that for beginners and advanced readers, you need different texts. Evaluate the degree of training of readers, then choose the best style of presentation.

Write to the point, not abstractly

It is a bad idea to write on abstract topics or add epithets to the text profusely. The reader wants to see a clear plan of action for getting results. Verbosity will not make any text better, get rid of it.

Learn to find a compromise between a detailed description and conciseness. There is no optimal size of the guide. It all depends on your audience. Ideally, the shorter and more concise the guide, the better. The main thing is that the content is sufficient to solve the user's problem.

Text style

You have already specified the portrait of the target audience; so you need to think about the style of presenting information for these people.

Write clearly, explaining difficult moments in human language, but do not go into long descriptions of obvious things. Humor in the text is welcome.

You can't do without illustrations

You can't imagine a useful guide that doesn't have explanatory pictures. It is much clearer to add a screenshot instead of a long description of where and what you need to click. Many processes simply cannot be described without an illustration.

Using the image, you can easily show the step-by-step algorithm, the result, and possible errors. Examples, images, and diagrams will help users see the process, learn the information more easily, and understand where they made a mistake.

Be sure to add themed videos, this is much better than overloading the material with an abundance of images. Your main task is to make everything very clear to the reader. Always take into account the reader's level of knowledge, otherwise, you risk wasting time explaining the obvious things that they already know.

In some cases, it is difficult to explain something with the help of images. The solution to this problem is Gif animation. Do not add images to the instruction without a reason. Images with cats or memes are inappropriate in the guide, leave it for simple articles. Don't overdo it with pictures!

Expertise is vital

Content requirements:

  1. Useful - it solves the problems of the target audience.
  2. Detailed - reveals the nuances and describes the stages.
  3. Visual - it has enough infographics, checklists, and images.
  4. Structured and easy to understand.
  5. Expert - the author must have a good understanding of what is being discussed or write based on their experience.
Expertise is essential, otherwise, the guide will be inaccurate. You can get the necessary experience yourself, for example, by installing the program. Or use the experience of another expert, who will later make edits to the finished instructions or Supplement it with examples from practice.

Series of steps

When working, follow the sequence of steps. Prepare a thesis plan with step-by-step instructions in advance, where the first step is to describe the problem, and the last step is to solve it. The intermediate stages will be a detailed algorithm of actions. Do not break the logic, otherwise, the instructions will be useless and inapplicable in practice.

The structure of the guide

Do not write a manual with paragraphs longer than 6 lines. Divide it into several parts for ease of perception. The use of lists greatly facilitates the readability of texts. If you plan to list something, do it using a bulleted or numbered list.

Instructions are almost always nicely formatted using a list. An exception is when each step is followed by an explanatory screenshot. If you need to make a comparison, do it using the table.

Self-checking the guide

The easiest way to check a ready-made step-by-step guide is when you yourself are trying to achieve results using the ready-made text. Ideally, you can attract friends or people who belong to the target audience. If they easily solve the problem using your manual, you have achieved your goal.

Then view the instructions through the eyes of an ordinary user. Be sure to check the article for typos, errors, and tautologies.


There is no single standard that can help you write really cool and useful instructions. The main thing in the process of working through such material is to create a detailed, clear, step-by-step guide that will solve the reader's problem. If after reading it, they managed to understand the settings, prepare a dish, or repair something, your instructions are written correctly.

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