Alyssa Gregory reports with seven tips:
"In your day-to-day work, you might find that there are times when you need to provide a client with documentation that walks them through a process or teaches them how to do something they may be unfamiliar with...Start at square one by assuming the audience will have zero knowledge of the subject matter...Make sure you know exactly what your manual needs to cover in order to avoid information overload or confusion that can come from too many details. This is especially important when the process is complex or has a lot of different parts...[C]reate a high-level outline of what the document will cover, including main and subsections. This will help you make sure your process makes sense and that each section of the manual is consistently structured...Lists are a great way to outline steps for doing something because they can help people move item by item in the way you intend. It’s also a good idea to use a table of contents and make your document searchable, if possible, to further support your step-by-step approach...[S]tick with only what the recipient needs to know. Focus on using only as many words as necessary to get your point across...Screenshots, diagrams and even videos are a great way to beef up your manual and make it easier to understand...Give it a test drive: Or better yet, have someone else who has never seen the material before run through the instructions. Take their feedback and use it to fine tune your manual...[Y]ou may need to review and update the manual periodically, especially if it’s something that focuses on a third-party application or other system you do not control. Plus, with some material, it may also make sense to offer the client a hands-on [walk-through] to ensure your instructions accomplish what they need to accomplish...Being flexible in your format and delivery can help make sure the instructions work for the recipient."
Writing and editing can be pretty rigorous processes if you want to do them well, but that's what this page is here for. Check out the latest tips here.