User Guides
Manuals
Online Help
Learning Videos
User Guides

technical documentation types

User Guide

A technical document intended to give assistance to people using a particular system or device. It can be in a printed or electronic format.

In-device Guide

An interactive user guide embedded in the GUI of the product.

Learning Videos

A video tutorial explaining a certain process, or feature of a device or system.

GUI Online Help

A description of a feature or process embedded in the GUI of the product. It can contain links to external sources, videos or graphics.

Safety Instructions

A short caution or warning message placed on a device in the form of a sticker, alerting the user to possible hazards.

E-learning

The use of various kinds of information and communication technologies and electronic media in education, particularly through the Internet.

FAQ

Frequently asked questions regarding a service, device or system, aimed at the better understanding of these.

Tutorials

A set of instructions to complete a task to an interactive problem solving session.

Seeing the User Guide as a hair-splitter is the recipe for disaster.
Should have kept the User Guide at hand.
Ignoring the User Guide puts you in the hot seat, instead of a comfy one.
No User Guide gets your wires crossed.
The User Guide helps you blend the right things together.
Arm yourself with the proper User Guide.
The User Guide gives a leg to stand on.
The User Guide helps you get immersed in the experience, not the nuisances.

printed → digital

There is an on-going shift from printed guides to electronic media.

This change has several benefits:
  • Added hidden features
  • Increased ease of access
  • Increased update speed
  • Document modularity
  • Faster search
  • Use of narration and animated media
  • Contextualized and more interactive information, thereby immersing the user more and making the document more effective
The future of technical information lies in its ability to reach more people and to promote usability and interactivity.
So, guides are essential for everyone...
the User
has a dream
the Information Designer
makes technology usable
the Developer
designs and implements
the solution
Users
Users provide the requirements – directly or indirectly – for the product to be planned and implemented.
Developers
Based on user requirements specified during planning process, Developers design the product or the system.

They create blueprints or process descriptions that serve as the basis for implementation.
Information Designers
Information Designers start planning the format and content of the information that will accompany the product.

To this end, they gather information throughout the planning phase.
Developers
Developers select which prototype to develop further based on preliminary testing and calculations.

Usually, prototypes are only simulated, and not manufactured.
Developers
Developers realize the product through programming and manufacturing, using the blueprints and process descriptions created beforehand.
Information Designers
Information Designers write the documentation based on information gathered through continuous communication with the Developers.
Developers
Developers provide feedback to Information Designers regarding the documentation, while having a chance to look at the whole product and all its elements for the first time with the help of the documentation.
Information Designers
Information Designers have a chance to review the documentation by testing if the product works properly with the help of the manual.

Information Designers receive feedback from Developers regarding the necessary modifications to the documentation.
Developers
Developers test the product to see that all features are working properly and safely.

Any faulty operation can still be corrected at this phase.
Information Designers
Information Designers finalize the documentation, including update information gathered during testing.
Users
Users are represented here by test subjects, such as test dummies or tester teams.
Information Designers
Information Designers deliver the finalized documentation in the release package.
Developers
Developers deliver the finalized product to the User.
Users
Users receive the released package, including the product and its documentation, and are now free to use them.

product tracking and maintenance

A product’s life cycle does not end with the delivery, but neither does the work of the developers and the information designers concerning the product. Based on feedback from users, the development team provides maintenance for the product; correcting errors and tweaking features. In the event of severe errors of physical products, recalls are considered and often issued. Virtual products are updated and fixed.
Naturally, technical information continues throughout the extended product life-cycle. Error reports themselves must be documented, so that backtracking and a full history of the development is readily available, and existing information must also be changed according to developer response to the errors – in the form of updates, redesigns, corrections, and so on – to represent the actual state of the product.
Users
Users get to know the product with the help of the technical information created by the Information Designer.
So, now you know what
means, right?

It is what we have done together here:
The Crew
1,024,579 clicks
238 mugs of coffee
440 liters of water consumed
only 1 quarrel
57 meetings
14 missed beer nights
17 scrapped design ideas
24 colors used
0 harmed pixels
1,024,579 clicks
during development
This presentation was created by the graphic design team,
with the help of the information design and software development
teams, at Sigma Technology Hungary.
We are experts in information logistics.
We make technology usable. Do not hesitate to contact us.
sigmatechnology.com
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