We have many years of experience working with the special discipline of designing technical documentation.
User manuals, user guides, instruction books, etc. It sounds like the same thing, but in practice there is often a big difference.
Some manuals are based on illustrations only, while others include both text and illustration. Some need to be designed to contain 10-20 language versions and others to be published in parallel for both mobile and print. Some are printed in A4 as books and others in offset A6 on one sheet of super-thin paper and with many languages.
Introduction to technical documentation concepts
- User Guides are typically material intended for "users". Equipment and software may have different user profiles. There may be users with rights to set up and repair, and there may be users who simply need access to a small selection of the equipment's capabilities. Therefore, different User Guides are created depending on which information is relevant.
- User Instructions are typically instructions targeted at one type of user and providing practical and exhaustive instructions on the use of a physical product.
- Assembly Instructions are typically illustrated instructions for the assembly and commissioning of, for example, a machine or piece of furniture.