Web-Based User Manual

Web-Based User Manual

Web-Based User Manuals

Shawn Craig

ENG221

November 2, 2011
Dr. Yvette Irizarry

Web-Based User Manuals

    Web-based user manuals are becoming more popular as manufacturers find it more cost effective to put their products manuals on the Internet.   Printed manuals will still be available with the products but only provide essential information.   Web-based user manuals provide in-depth information and include better visuals of the product.   Many of the web-based manuals also offer interactivity, allowing the consumer to understand the product better.
    According to (Gerson & Gerson, n.d.) the techniques used for developing an effective, interactive, and web-based user manual are similar to writing a paper manual.   Audience recognition, development, conciseness, consistency, ease of use, and document design are part of the process.   The differences interactive web-based manuals must include are better visuals, interactivity, and more information.   Adding product pictures in place of drawings gives the manual an improved look.   Adding clickable tabs and links helps the user navigate the manual more efficiently.   Online user manuals can also provide the consumer with more information about the product than a paper manual.   Many products are too small, and the packaging may not provide enough room for an effective user manual.   By providing a user manual online, all important information can be addressed without the constraint of space.   These differences add to the benefit of providing a web-based manual.
    Challenges involved with developing a web-based user manual are the same as any website.   Creating effective navigation, usability, and the ability to be viewed on different web browsers is essential.   If the products user manual is only available online, the consumer may not have easy access to the Internet to view the manual.   This creates the challenge of producing a paper manual, to be packaged with the product and a web-based manual....

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