Instruction manuals: should the end-user be addressed directly (passive vs imperative)?

Asked by: Scott Sirgio

What tense should a user guide be written in?

Users read documentation to perform tasks or gather information. For users, these activities take place in their present, so the present tense is appropriate in most cases. Additionally, the present tense is easier to read than the past or future tense.

How do you write end user instructions?

Here are some tips to write user documentation that’s easy to read and understand:

  1. Use short sentences. …
  2. Avoid passive voice. …
  3. Avoid technical words your readers may not understand. …
  4. Use annotated screenshots and GIFs for tutorials and how-tos.
  5. Use headings, line breaks, and paragraphs to break up large blocks of text.


How a user manual should be?

How to Write a Great User Manual in 12 Steps

  1. Define Your Audience. Know your reader—what is their experience level? …
  2. Describe the Problem. …
  3. Break it Down. …
  4. Be Descriptive. …
  5. Stick to the Topic at Hand. …
  6. Take Awesome Photos (or Better Yet, Videos) …
  7. Don’t Use Passive Voice. …
  8. Avoid Using the First Person.

How do you write a instruction manual?

What to Include in Your Instruction Manual?

  1. Objective Of Your Instruction Manual. …
  2. Think About What You Want to Include. …
  3. Keep Your Readers in Mind. …
  4. Collaboration is Key. …
  5. Get Organized. …
  6. Write Clear Instructions. …
  7. Add Structure with Table of Contents. …
  8. Add Visual Aid to Your Instruction Manual.

What should a user manual contain?

Contents of a user manual

  1. A cover page.
  2. A title page and copyright page.
  3. A preface, containing details of related documents and information on how to navigate the user guide.
  4. A contents page.
  5. A Purpose section. …
  6. An Audience section to explicitly state who is the intended audience who is required to read, including optionals.
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What means instruction manual?

(ɪnˈstrʌkʃən ˈmænjʊəl ) a booklet or book, usually accompanying an appliance, device, computer game or vehicle, which contains written guidelines informing how to use it. Collins English Dictionary.

What is an end user guide?

User documentation (also called end user manuals, end user guides, instruction manuals, etc.) is the content you provide end users with to help them be more successful with your product or service.

What does end user documentation include?

End User Documentation means any end user installation and user guides, manuals, and other technical information in printed and machine-readable form that are normally provided by the licensor Party to end users of software.

How do you create a user manual example?

How to create a user manual

  1. Identify the users. …
  2. Focus on the problem. …
  3. Use sequential steps in order. …
  4. Map user journey. …
  5. Choose a Template. …
  6. Write simple and easy to follow content. …
  7. Treat all users as laymen. …
  8. Test instructions alongside the product using naive users.

What are the types of manual?

Different types of manuals include:

  • Policy manuals.
  • Procedure manuals.
  • Operations manuals.
  • Users and operators manuals.
  • Servicing and maintenance manuals.
  • Training manuals.
  • Field manuals.


What are the examples of manual?

Examples Manuals

  • Content. Installation manual. …
  • Installation manual. An installation manual is not as much an example of a manual as it is of a checklist. …
  • Instruction video. In this day and age videos are the main source of information. …
  • Assembly manual. …
  • User manual. …
  • 3D animation. …
  • Augmented reality manual. …
  • Quick start guide.
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What is the difference between manual and manual?

And a manual vehicle. So what i'm going to do now is the same circuit as we did earlier moving off doing those two left turns and then stopping. So you guys can see the difference.

Why do we use manuals?

A good manual will reduce human error and inform everyone precisely what they need to do, who they are responsible to and who they are responsible for.

What is the importance of manual?

The office manuals purpose is to save time, create standard guidelines for everyone, and provide a solid foundation of knowledge. Manuals can be used for policies, organizational means, departments, procedures, or any combination of the above.

Why is it important to read the user manual?

The manual has troubleshooting steps for some of the most common issues. Hence it’s always a good idea to read a user manual even before you operate a product. So even if you hit a problem, you know how to fix it. Safety Guidelines: One of the most important part in the user manual are the safety guidelines.

Which is the most important use of office manuals?

Importance of Office Manual



Hence it is very difficult to control the employees by the management. If instructions or guidelines are given in writing to the employees, the management can control the employees very easily and avoid misunderstanding of employees. Besides, frictions among employees are also eliminated.