Introduction in a Quick Start Guide

15 May 2009 - 7:23am
4 years ago
5 replies
539 reads
Ali Naqvi
2008

Hello guys,
I have been working on a Quick Start Guide for our product and now need to
write an introduction on the front page.

The Quick Start Guide that I have made is supposed to be used by
technicians/users who have received training in configuring and
installing/assembling our products. It is supposed to be used as some form
of reference. The intention is that users of this Quick Start Guide only
need to breifly glance at this when they forget something. So basically
the user of the document will rely on whatever he remembers from the
training session.

Are there any technical writers here or members who have experience with
writing such information? or could you guide me to a website that have
such examples presented?

Kind regards

Ali Amrohvi

Comments

15 May 2009 - 8:36am
rob
2005

Ali,

Do you need to write an introduction, or a quick reference to
installing/assembling the product?
How many tasks/instructions are there?
Are you assuming that technicians and users will have the same level of
knowledge?

Consider using simple diagrams or photos to clearly illustrate each step.
You should number the steps in the correct order and (maybe) add very short
text explanations to each step.

Without more specific details it's hard to come up with a good solution. And
remember; visual is always easier than text, as long as the graphics are
good!

Hope this helps.

Rob Epstein
Freelance UX designer and documentation specialist

On Fri, May 15, 2009 at 3:23 PM, Ali Amrohvi <ali at amroha.dk> wrote:

> Hello guys,
> I have been working on a Quick Start Guide for our product and now need to
> write an introduction on the front page.
>
> The Quick Start Guide that I have made is supposed to be used by
> technicians/users who have received training in configuring and
> installing/assembling our products. It is supposed to be used as some form
> of reference. The intention is that users of this Quick Start Guide only
> need to breifly glance at this when they forget something. So basically
> the user of the document will rely on whatever he remembers from the
> training session.
>
> Are there any technical writers here or members who have experience with
> writing such information? or could you guide me to a website that have
> such examples presented?
>
> Kind regards
>
> Ali Amrohvi
>
>
>
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15 May 2009 - 8:48am
Ali Naqvi
2008

Hello Rob,
I have made the Quick Start Guide already. It's a quick reference to
configuring the products. A reference to other manuals is made with
regards to installation of the products. So the Quick Start Guide is
to help with configuration only.
All actions are shown in screenshots.

Now for the front page of the Quick Start Guide, our team started
talking about adding a disclaimer/introduction. Here we want to
mention that the quick start guide is to be used by technicians who
have received training and that detailed information on configuration
and installation can be found in other manuals.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=42044

15 May 2009 - 9:43am
Harry Brignull
2004

Don't bother writing an introduction. If there are two or three key facts
that need to be known prior to installation present them as large,
conspicuous bullet points.

Harry

--
http://www.90percentofeverything.com

16 May 2009 - 11:22am
DampeS8N
2008

I agree with Harry. The last thing I think of when I hear 'Quick' is
a big 'thank you for buying my thing, and I hope you enjoy it'
speech on the front.

A Quick Start Guide should just be the guide. On as few pages as
possible. Everything should support the goal.

The only reason for a cover I can think of is to make it easier to
pick out of a line up later when your product breaks and needs to be
configured again. But odds are good the user just tossed the guide
out when they were done with it the first time.

Now. If your guide isn't intended for basic users. DON'T call it a
Quick Start Guide. Change the name of it and you've done all of the
things your team wants with the intro page.

Call it a: Training Enhancement Guide.

Or something like that. You can do better.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=42044

16 May 2009 - 11:28am
DampeS8N
2008

Just another note:

Manuals and Guides won't replace a better Interface. If the problem
is that people don't understand what goes where, but they understand
the thing they are doing. They will just hate you for giving them a
manual.

No one wants to learn software for software's sake.

Now, if you are offering something totally new. Something where what
the people are trying to accomplish is alien to them, then perhaps
there is need.

But to me, it sounds like you are trying to show people how to use a
broken interface that they have trouble understanding and using.

Why isn't the quick start baked into the interface itself? Why do
they users/technicians need it?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=42044

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