Nobody Reads My User Manuals


2020-03-06 20:40 clickhelp


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According to a poll we set up, technical writers' biggest concern is that people don't read documentation. Imagine how frustrating this is - all the work you put in just to learn it was pointless. This sounds demotivating. Let's try to understand what is stopping people from reading the manuals and how the industry needs to change to attract readers. Fairytale Gone Bad It is not like people don't ever try reading technical documentation. Checking out a help topic is actually a very straightforward and logical option for a lot of users. They know that a user manual exists somewhere and that it supposedly holds the answers they seek. Since contacting support is a no go for many, they rather open a user manual hoping to quickly solve their problem. Sadly, in most cases, technical documentation doesn't look anything like a magical book that opens on the right page. Solving a problem starts taking longer than expected. Irritation grows, red herrings lead readers astray and they finally give up. They close the manual to, perhaps, never open it again. The first impression is ruined, end of story. Are People Just Lazy? Are people just lazy and that's the problem? Some are, definitely. Also, nobody likes putting in that extra effort when it can be avoided. For people to actually read your documentation, it should meet certain standards. Readers often inherit these standards elsewhere but start applying them to any content they come across. Websites, apps, and social media are responsible for nurturing certain habits. So, readers now expect things from technical writers, too. We are fed with smooth and well-portioned pieces of data daily. Marketing and UX teams have truly mastered their skills of how to serve information so that people would actually read it. We are talking about landing pages, commercials, sneak peeks, previews, infographics, etc. It seems like just having value is not enough anymore. People need to be interested in your user manuals. Adoption is a burning question as well. Facing a single predicament can make users hesitant in whether they want the product. Years of perfecting UX resulted in user expectation soaring. Adoption Matters Technical writers create a lot of content for adoption purposes. And, nobody wants to be a weak link in this UX chain. So, as a techcomm pro, you need to make sure the technical texts you author meet the requirements. This starts with building up processes inside the documentation team and aligning their goals with other teams. Subject-matter experts can help create reliable content, this is one thing. Working closely with UX and Marketing is just as important to make sure that you are on the right track. Choosing the right software for technical writing can take a ton of pressure off. What we offer at ClickHelp is a ready solution that integrates effortlessly into your workflow and gives you the right tools for shaping up the perfect UX for your readers. You won't have to worry about minor stuff - invest your energy into creating great technical documentation while we take care of the rest. Conclusion In this blog, we are giving a lot of practical advice for creating better manuals. But, if we take a step back we might find that we are missing an important piece here - not everyone understands the real reason why they should even bother. For years, technical documentation was nothing more than a set of technical texts full of terminology and long sciency paragraphs. Now, everyone is finally coming to terms with the idea that user manuals need to be something more. You can't make someone read it, it is pointless. What you can do is create a superb experience for your readers. Build an environment where they want to linger - a place that provides guidance and answers without stressing readers out. Good luck with your technical writing! ClickHelp Team Author, host and deliver documentation across platforms and devices
根据我们发起的一项调查,技术作家最关心的是人们不读文档。想像一下,这是多么令人沮丧——你为学习它而投入的所有工作都是毫无意义的。这听起来令人沮丧。 让我们试着理解什么是阻止人们阅读手册,以及行业需要如何改变以吸引读者。 童话已经坏了 这不像人们从来没有尝试过读技术文档。对于许多用户来说,检出帮助主题实际上是一个非常简单的逻辑选项。他们知道一个用户手册存在于某个地方,它应该包含他们所寻求的答案。由于联系支持对许多人来说是不可行的,他们宁愿打开一个用户手册,希望快速解决他们的问题。 不幸的是,在大多数情况下,技术文档并不像一本神奇的书,打开在正确的页面。解决问题的时间比预期的要长。愤怒的增长,红鲱鱼引导读者误入歧途,最终他们放弃了。他们关闭手册,也许,再也不会打开它。第一印象被毁了,故事的结尾。 人们只是懒惰吗? 人们只是懒惰,这就是问题所在?当然,有些是。而且,没有人喜欢在可以避免的时候付出额外的努力。要让人们真正阅读你的文档,它应该符合某些标准。读者通常在其他地方继承这些标准,但开始将它们应用于他们遇到的任何内容。网站、应用程序和社交媒体负责培养某些习惯。 因此,读者现在也期待技术作家的作品。我们每天都会得到平滑的数据。市场营销和 UX 团队已经真正掌握了如何提供信息的技能,这样人们才能真正阅读这些信息。我们正在讨论登陆页面、商业广告、偷窥、预览、信息图表等。 似乎仅仅拥有价值已经不够了。人们需要对你的用户手册感兴趣。领养也是一个迫切的问题。面对单一的困境,用户在是否想要产品上会犹豫不决。多年来完善 UX 导致用户期望飙升。 领养事宜 技术作者创造了许多内容以供采用。而且,没有人想成为这个 UX 链中的薄弱环节。因此,作为一个技术人员,您需要确保您编写的技术文本符合要求。这从在文档团队中建立流程开始,并使他们的目标与其他团队保持一致。主题专家可以帮助创建可靠的内容,这是一回事。与 UX 和 Marketing 密切合作对于确保您走上正确的道路同样重要。 为技术写作选择合适的软件可以减轻很多压力。我们在 ClickHelp 上提供的是一个现成的解决方案,它轻松地集成到您的工作流程中,并为您提供正确的工具来为读者构建完美的 UX 。你不必担心次要的事情——在我们处理其余的事情的同时,把精力投入到创造伟大的文档技术上。 结论 在这篇博客中,我们为创建更好的手册提供了很多实用的建议。但是,如果我们后退一步,我们可能会发现我们在这里遗漏了一个重要的部分——并不是每个人都理解他们为什么还要麻烦的真正原因。多年来,文档技术只是一套充满术语和冗长的科学段落的技术文本。 现在,每个人都终于接受了这样的想法:用户手册需要更多的东西。你不能让别人读它,这是毫无意义的。你所能做的就是为读者创造一种极好的体验。建立一个他们想要逗留的环境-一个提供指导和答案而不让读者感到紧张的地方。 祝你的技术写作好运! 单击帮助团队 跨平台和设备创作、托管和交付文档