If yes, chances are you don’t have user documentation, or if you have one, it’s not up to the mark.
It’s not just the design or features that make a product or service successful. Comprehensive user documentation plays a crucial role in realizing your top goal - customer delight.
High-quality product + compelling user documentation = A great customer experience
Excellent customer experiences mean higher customer retention and better business growth.
Can anything be better than that?
But, to reap the benefits and get the best bang for your bucks, you need to have a thorough understanding of user documentation.
This blog brings you ten leading user documentation examples that will inspire and encourage you to create customer-centric user documentation that exudes nothing but excellence. Besides, it will also give you clarity around why you need user documentation, what are its types, and how it is different from technical documentation.
Here you go.
User Documentation is Indispensable for Your Business - Here’s Why
Don’t create user documentation, and it can be an expensive lesson to learn for your business.
Wondering why and how?
User documentation is a critical tool that makes help instantly available to your customers. It is a one-stop portal where customers can receive prompt help, unlike the conventional calls and emails that take hours or even days to respond.
With online user documentation, you give customers the ultimate power to get what they need right when they need it. That makes for a hassle-free issue-resolution experience. This is all your customers need to stick to your brand and become staunch advocates over time.
Now, think of a situation where you don’t have proper user documentation.
Despite having the product or service, your customers cannot make the most of it, thanks to poor documentation or, even worse, no documentation at all.
The result? Customers raise tickets even for getting basic information. Delayed or inaccurate responses further build up frustration, leading to customer dissatisfaction, tarnished brand image, and shrinking customer base.
One simple thing can save you from these consequences, and that is carefully-crafted, customer-centric user documentation.
In a nutshell, you can glean the following benefits from user documentation:
- Decreases support ticket volume
- Enables your support team in resolving customer issues on time
- Improves customer experience
- Boosts business growth as customer retention increases
Therefore, user documentation is indispensable for your business, regardless of your size or the space you operate in.
Types of User Documentation
User documentation is a broad term that is as simple as it sounds. It means a document created for your end-users, i.e., customers.
This documentation can be of different types, such as:
1. Installation Guide
This covers details about how to install, set up, and use your product. It comprises step-by-step instructions that guide customers through the process installation and setup process.
2. Product Manual
If you want documentation that demonstrates every step regarding how to use and make the most of your offerings, the product manual is the right choice. It comprises examples, video tutorials, and how-to articles that explain how your product works.
3. Introductory Document
This document gives an overview of what your product is about, what are its functions, use cases, and what customers can expect from it. It’s like a short, sweet, and quick guide to acquaint customers with your product.
User Documentation & Technical Documentation: What is the Difference?
As the name suggests, technical documentation consists of technical information related to your offerings, all of which might not be necessary for your end-users, i.e., customers.
It provides readers enough information, helping them grasp both the inner and outer aspects of your product. This documentation can consist of research papers, reports, case studies, and the like. It can be for your external audience - customers or internal users - development and product team.
On the other hand, user documentation is more customer-friendly. It guides customers on how to make the best use of your products and troubleshoot issues on their own. User documentation comprises helpful content in the form of FAQs, video tutorials, instructional, step-by-step guides, installation guides, and more.
10 Striking User Documentation Examples: Epitome of Clarity, Design, & Presentation
Till now, it was all theory. It is finally time to see user documentation in action. These stunning user documentation examples will guide, inspire, and propel you to follow suit and create something on similar lines for your customers.
Let’s dig in.
A popular name in the realm of video and voice calls, Skype is used by businesses for online meetings. It has a clean and simple documentation that allows easy navigation.
Quick links for Skype account, FAQs, troubleshooting tips, info for new user onboarding, and additional help resources - the documentation offers all pieces of information on a single platform. You can even sort the articles for different products - Skype for Web, Skype for Android, and many more.
One of the key highlights of this documentation is that it asks customers to share ideas and give suggestions to help Skype improve the support experience.
Slack’s help center can be counted as the best user documentation examples. It is a breeze to browse, thanks to its search bar that can be seen right at the center. Right below the search bar is suggested articles that are frequently searched by its customers.
Next, you will find six different and important sections of Slack’s documentation. Customers can visit these sections to get abreast with Slack’s offerings, enhance their feature knowledge, and get access to a plethora of tips and tricks to make the most of Slack.
LEAP aims to solve the various problems law firms face and help them function smoothly. Designed majorly for small-sized law firms, this legal software can be used for case management, billing, and document automation.
LEAP’s user documentation starts on a welcoming note, with - ‘Hi, how can we help?’. It has a brilliant structure, with separate sections for popular articles, news and announcements, and community discussions. Everything that customers need is right there on the home page.
What’s interesting about this documentation is the color scheme - blue and white that’s used across all pages. Also, when you browse through the pages, you will find most of the how-to content presented in bullet points. That’s what makes the articles much more clear and readable.
Clean design and rich in information, YouTube has set a great example of end-user documentation.
Its simple yet comprehensive documentation offers a seamless support experience. You will find a limited number of broad categories on the home page. Each section has five to six subsections. Click on any section, and you will be directed to the respective article page that offers a complete information about the topic.
It also has a feedback option, where suggestions regarding the overall help center experience or specifically about the help content can be given.
What makes YouTube’s documentation different from others is that it looks less from the outset, but as you dive deeper into it, you realize the breadth and depth of information provided.
A division of Airspan, Mimosa Networks is a market leader in the space of wireless broadband solutions. It helps service providers across the globe to make the internet easily accessible to all urban and rural households.
Understanding Mimosa’s offerings without user documentation will not be possible. That’s why it has a quite comprehensive user document. The first thing you will notice as you enter the documentation is the huge search bar right at the center.
This all-in-one documentation has everything under one roof - FAQs, troubleshooting guide, installation guide, and product specifications. Visually-appealing and information-packed, this documentation doesn’t miss out on a single detail.
Unleashed has been helping companies of all sizes manage their suppliers, inventory, production, and sales for more than ten years. The software is built to turn inventory management woes into wins, giving businesses full control over their products.
Its help center is crystal clear and easy to navigate. You will get a peek into all its sections right on the home page. Looking at the home page itself, customers will instantly know which section they need to go to.
An interesting element of this documentation is the ‘contact support’ and ‘online community’ sections. Customers can click on these links when they need additional help from Unleashed’s support team or discuss an issue publicly.
HighQ offers intelligent solutions to help legal professionals collaborate seamlessly, engage meaningfully, and leverage insights to deliver the best-in-class legal services to their clients.
HighQ’s user documentation for its product - Collaborate - is Goals. A well-structured home page comprising detailed articles with the proper use of images and videos makes it one of the best user documentation examples.
When you click on a section, you can apply a product area filter to get just the information you need. Besides, it also provides access to the client and developer community, which is vital to deliver holistic customer support.
Apple offers one of the best end-user documentation examples. It has a prominent search bar at the top of the home page where articles can be searched.
Apple provides a vast range of products from iPhone and iPad to watches and television. Therefore, in its user documentation, you will find separate categories for each of the offerings.
The home page offers general information regarding billing, subscriptions, and gift cards. As you click a category, you will be directed to the respective support site that comprises complete details about the product.
If not satisfied with the information, the documentation also offers the option to reach out to Apple’s support community or support team to get instant assistance.
ManageEngine has got an answer for even the most challenging IT management issues. Whether it is the network or device management, security, or servers, its powerful bunch of tools can simplify IT and make it more manageable.
ManageEngine's user documentation for its product EventLog Analyzer comes with crystal clear options for FAQs, how-to videos, troubleshooting tips, and best practices, making navigation effortless for its customers.
It's a fuss-free document that starts directly with an introductory video and a couple of commonly asked questions, helping customers instantly get familiar with the product.
Gmail’s online user guide is simple and straightforward. Search anything you want in the search bar that’s placed in the middle of the home page. You can also go through the popular articles or other essential topics and instantly get directed to the page you want.
Don’t miss out on the ‘News’ section at the bottom of the page, where recent developments in Gmail are brought to you. If you don’t get what you are looking for, there is a feedback option at the bottom. Click on it to give suggestions or share your experience with Gmail’s support team.
The documentation also provides access to Gmail’s help community. It is another way to get issues addressed. Customers can directly ask questions to fellow Gmail users and get instant responses.
Astounding Tips to Improve Your User Documentation
Do you already have user documentation, but it’s not as rewarding as you thought it would be, or are you looking to build one for your customers?
Whichever stage you are in, these tips will prove immensely helpful in creating user documentation that will win your customers’ hearts.
1️⃣ Customers want something that’s simple, seamless, and at the same time, powerful. Add limited but meaningful and detailed content that really helps customers solve their problems. If you beat around the bush and add unnecessary stuff at places where it’s not needed, it will confuse your customers, making them feel overwhelmed.
2️⃣ User documentation cannot meet your intended goal if its search system is inadequate and slow. Customers want instant answers, which makes it all the more crucial for you to offer a lightning-fast search experience. Ensure that the documentation you create is highly searchable, allowing customers to get content suggestions as soon as they type a question or keyword in the search box.
3️⃣ Optimizing your documentation for search engines is essential if you want to elevate its online visibility. To improve its SEO, it’s essential to add popular and relevant keywords to your content. You can use a tool like Google Adwords to identify trending keywords and their search volume. This will help you add the right keywords to knowledge base content.
4️⃣ Customers would prefer an engaging document to a boring, black, and white document on any given day. Although your documentation might comprise all complex information, you can still make it interesting by doing little things right such as adding relevant media to your content. Visuals can help you level up the value addition of your documentation, as well as make it more appealing.
5️⃣ Your user documentation should work seamlessly on mobile phones if you want customers to access help on the go - whenever and from wherever they are. A mobile-friendly user document is your customers’ best friend, helping them right when they need it.
6️⃣ Customers like to feel involved and heard. What’s the best way to hear them out? By adding surveys to your documentation. Surveys can be as simple as a single question - Did you find this article helpful, with Yes/No as options, or it can be a feedback form that nudges customers at the right spots, asking them the right questions.
7️⃣Assess documentation’s performance and identify the roadblocks customers face while using your content. This is not a one-off activity. You’ve to constantly be on your toes, and be vigilant of every activity in your documentation.
Reports can make this work easier. They offer intelligent insights into the searches made by customers, new articles created in your documentation, keywords that failed to give the right results, and much more. This data can be leveraged to keep your documentation on point and your customers delighted.
User Documentation - Your Ticket to Success
Self-service is slowly becoming customers’ favorite tool to interact with brands and get the support they need.
What can be a better way to bring the world to your customers’ hands than a carefully-crafted, intelligently-designed user documentation. This self-help documentation can bring you a bucketful of benefits - reduced support tickets, excellent customer experience, higher customer retention, and better business growth.
The best user documentation examples presented above will give you a peek into how ideal documentation must look like. Take a cue from these and start creating your user documentation.
A user documentation tool like ProProfs Knowledge Base can get you started right away.
It’s time to take your customer support from mediocre to exceptional.
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