15 May

How to write a “How to…” user manual

  • The easiest way to write a “How to…” manual is to break it into steps.
  • Each step has to be a simple operation with clear input and results.
  • It’s a good idea to illustrate each step with a photo or a screenshot and annotate them to show clearly what a user has to do on this step.
  • Write short step instructions, 2-3 sentences long and leave descriptive part to the image attached to this step.
  • Keep steps number under 10, more than 10 steps will scare your users 🙂

Helpinator has a feature called “Step-by-step Guides”. It allows you to create, well, step-by-step guides and embed them into topics. They are ideal for “How to…” sections of your help files. In fact, you can write a help file for a simple app, consisting only of “how to…” manuals, one for each problem your app solves. And the best part is that Helpinator will export them to all supported formats, you do not need to care about creating different versions of your “how to…” manuals for each output format. Another benefit is that you can post your “How to…” manuals to a WordPress site right from Helpinator. And finally, you can use “how to…” manuals as a replacement for video tutorials for formats that do not support video.

Take a look at this small screencast to know how to write “How to…” user manuals for your project using Helpinator: