How to Create an Interactive Digital Instruction Manual in 2024

How to Create an Interactive Digital Instruction Manual in 2024

Customer experience ·

In today's fast-changing digital world, the most important thing for your company's future success is making sure your customers can use your products and experience the benefits to the fullest.

The careful balance between your company's new ideas and how well your customers can use your products is really important. It can either make your business super successful or cause it to fall behind. That is why instruction manuals are of fundamental importance, specifically for consumer good companies.

Instruction manuals are a fundamental bridge between your brand and the customers

Instruction manuals stand as a powerful conduit through which your customers navigate the labyrinth of features, functions, and possibilities your products offer. They make complicated technical language easy to understand, helping people see the real benefits of what you're offering.

During the user journey to get to know and learn to use the products, technical documentation is fundamental to makes this process easier for them. Trying to figure out how to use something new, such as a kitchen appliance or a headset, can be frustrating if the instructions aren't easy to follow. This frustration can negatively affect the customer experience and weaken the lasting connection between your brand and its customers.

Instruction manuals are like a key that opens the door to understanding and getting the most out of what you sell.


From paper manuals to digital product assistants

Digital manuals are an integral part of the broader trend known as digital transformation. This trend gained prominence around the middle of the 2010s when new technologies like mobile communication, cloud computing, data analysis, and other advanced digital tools started becoming widely used. These technologies allowed both businesses and consumers to connect and interact through digital means.

In this context, digital manuals play a crucial role. They represent a shift from traditional paper-based instruction guides to online formats that can be accessed and navigated through electronic devices like computers, smartphones, and tablets.

Digital product assistants are utilizing technology to improve how efficiently, conveniently, and engagingly customers interact with consumer products. With digital user guides, there's increased interaction and communication between businesses and their customers.

Digital manuals embrace the convenience and capabilities of these modern technologies. They can incorporate interactive elements, such as videos, animations, and hyperlinks, to provide users with a more engaging and effective learning experience. This aligns with the broader goal of digital transformation, which is to harness technology to improve various aspects of business operations and customer interactions.

While traditional paper manuals demand substantial resources – from paper and ink to printing and distribution logistics, digital manuals can be produced, updated, and disseminated with remarkable ease. The agility with which online manuals adapt to evolving product features and user needs is a testament to their effectiveness.

As you read this article, you'll learn how to create a detailed digital manual. It's not just a technical guide, but a way to show you're dedicated to giving customers a great experience.

What is a digital user manual?

A digital user manual is a series of digital content that walks customers through the steps needed to operate your product.

A digital user manual can come in many forms, including videos, ebooks, podcasts, and much more! It's all about finding out what works best for your audience based on the type of products or services that you offer.

Why should you move to digital user manuals?

There are several reasons why you should abandon paper instruction manuals. Although both digital and paper manuals cover the same purpose, online manuals provide a unique experience.

1. Improved customer experience

First of all, instructions on paper manuals can be frustratingly long-winded and hard to follow especially when the product is complex to set up and operate.

With digital user manuals, you can make the user experience a thousand times better by using images, video tutorials, and all these different types of content that can facilitate the consumer’s understanding of the product and its operation.

Check the virtual assistant by Layerise to get an idea of how digital user guide look like.


2. Increased readability

In addition to that, paper manuals usually contain different sections in different languages to make them readable by more customers. This means that there is a physical limit to the number of languages that the manual can contain and therefore there is the possibility that some customers will not be able to read the instructions.

3. Automatic translation in different languages

With digital instruction manuals, text can be quickly translated in any language. With Layerise, the language changes based on the localization of the customer. You can just select additional languages you want to support, at any time.

4. Increased accessibility

Paper instruction manuals are not that easy to access if we consider that to get the instructions on how to use the product we need to physically find the paper manual.

After having set up the product, most people store the instruction manuals somewhere in their houses but it is not rare that when they need the instructions they cannot find the manual.

Digital instruction manuals are easily accessible on mobile phones, making it possible for customers to consult them from anywhere at any time. For this reason, digital manuals are an efficient way for people to get instructions on using your product. This can be incredibly useful if you want to improve your customer experience while saving resources.

5. Save costs and the planet at the same time

Digital instruction manuals are not only the right choice to improve customer experience but they are also economically and environmentally convenient for your company.

Transitioning to digital instructions manuals allows you to reduce ink and paper consumption which leads to a decrease in both costs and environmental impact.

6. Easy to update

Finally, updating content is easier and faster with a digital solution: all it takes is pushing out a new version of the document with any recent updates (or removing obsolete content).

How to create a digital instruction manual

Before you start creating your digital instructions manual, there are some things to take into consideration. Building a digital manual is not just about putting a bunch of information online, it is more about designing a guide that is both comprehensive and easy to follow for the customers.

These days, creating a digital manual requires a team of experts in various fields: an expert writer, a subject matter expert (SME), and a web page designer for FAQ pages and support team pages.

If you want to create a digital instructions manual for your product, it is important to follow a step-by-step process, from the definition of goals to the publication of your new awesome digital instruction manuals. Keep reading to learn more about these steps.

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1. Define your goals and what you want users to learn from the manual

First, you need to define your goals. What do you want your instructional manual to achieving? What is the problem that you want to solve? What do you want users to learn from the manual?

To answer these questions it could be helpful to gather more data about the user experience of your customers. Are they having specific problems with the setup of the product? Do they struggle with the maintenance of specific components? Make sure you gather this information before creating your digital instructions manual.

Once you have identified your goals, define what kind of information your instructions manual should contain to make sure you are meeting customers’ needs.

2. Decide how to make your customers access the digital manual

The first step in deciding which channels will be the best fit for your digital user manual is to consider who you want to reach and the type of content.

For example, if you create a video training course, it makes sense to distribute it on YouTube. Whereas if you are just using text and images to show customers how to set up the product, this content could be accessed through your website.

With Layerise customers access the instruction manual through a QR code. This means that your customers can always easily access the support resources just by scanning the QR code they can find on the product.

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3. Write a script to help outline your digital manual

The next step is to write your script. This is where you outline the steps of what you want to teach in your digital manual. You can use bullet points and numbered lists or a more traditional script format.

We recommend choosing one that flows well for easy reading and understanding. Once you have written your script in its entirety, it's time to start organizing all of this information into an easily digestible format for users of your digital instruction manual (DIY).

4. Plan out your visuals

With the right visual format, you can make your content more engaging and enjoyable for your audience. At the same time, visual content also allows for a faster understanding of the information by the customers.

Your goal is to get them through the information quickly and easily, and you achieve that by choosing a visual format that supports this goal and clarifies what they should do next. There are lots of different ways to use visuals in an instructional manual:

  • Diagrams or flowcharts can help readers understand concepts from start to finish by mapping out relationships between pieces of information and showing how things work together.

  • table or graph might be most appropriate if you have a lot of data points that need to be quickly digested at once (like when comparing two sets of results). You might also use graphics if there is too much text on one page; this will keep people engaged without overloading them with information!

  • Infographics are an excellent way to visually illustrate abstract ideas, so they're easier for readers to comprehend. Infographics send the message better than a wall of text could ever convey!

5. Create the best instructional video

Did you know that 83% of people prefer watching videos to accessing instructional or informational content via text or audio?

That is why you should create a video tutorial for your customers to understand how to use your product.One important thing to consider when creating video content is the length.

Try to keep the video tutorial as short as possible while, at the same time, communicating all the important information needed by customers to use the product. A good length for an instructional video could be around 5 minutes.

When recording the video, it is not necessary to have professional tools and equipment. If you do have a professional video maker, excellent! But if you do not, you can still record successful videos. 

Audio is usually more important than visual content, so make sure you have a good microphone to record the voice. People can look away if the video is not good quality, but they cannot close their ears if the audio is low quality.

Make sure your videos are engaging, the instructions are clear and the content is not too long for the customer to get to the end. Prioritize audio quality over video quality, if needed. In the end, you do not need to be a pro video maker to create amazing video tutorials!

6. Publish your user manual

Once you have completed your user guide, it is time to publish it. Before doing that, it could be useful to share it with colleagues and friends for feedback. If anyone has any suggestions on making the manual better or more helpful, incorporate those changes into your draft.

Once the final version is complete, you can finally publish your digital user manual! This could be done with an announcement on social media or your website.

With Layerise, once you create the digital instruction manual, all the new customers will receive the product with a QR code that will allow them to access the virtual assistant. On the other hand, the existing ones could access the digital instructions manual through your website in the support section.

7. Learn from feedback

You can use feedback to improve your guide. Feedback is a great way to make sure that your digital user manual is helping people, and it is the best way to improve the guide in the future.

By getting feedback from surveys, comments, and other analytics tools, you will find out exactly how many people are using your digital instruction manual and what they are looking for in it.

Use the information you gather to make changes if necessary—and even better: create updated versions of the guide with new content or an improved format!

With Layerise you can collect critical data about the performance of your digital instructions manual in terms of the satisfaction of the customers using it. The Editor feature helps you see the big picture by informing you about content performance and consumption. Improve your content over time with the help of performance insights and customer satisfaction.

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What information does a digital user manual include?

User guides are comprehensive resources that provide a wealth of information to help users effectively engage with and make the most of their products. These guides encompass a wide range of valuable content, including:

  • Product Description Content: Detailed descriptions that introduce the product, highlighting its key attributes, specifications, and overall purpose.

  • Explanation of Product Features: In-depth insights into the various features and functionalities the product offers, giving users a clear understanding of its capabilities.

  • Product Installation and Setup Process: Step-by-step instructions guiding users through the initial installation and setup of the product, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience.

  • Product Use Cases: Real-world scenarios and examples that showcase how the product can be effectively integrated into daily routines or specific situations, sparking creative ideas for utilization.

  • Potential Product Risks and Troubleshooting: Identification of potential challenges users might encounter and practical guidance on how to troubleshoot and resolve these issues effectively.

  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): A compilation of commonly asked questions along with concise answers, addressing users' uncertainties and providing quick solutions to common queries.

  • Product Demos, Video Tutorials, and Walkthroughs: Visual aids in the form of videos or interactive demos that visually illustrate how to perform specific tasks, ensuring clarity and boosting user confidence.

  • Maintenance and Care Guidelines: Recommendations on how to properly maintain, clean, and care for the product, ensuring its longevity and optimal performance.

  • Safety Instructions: Clear and concise guidelines outlining safety precautions and best practices to ensure the well-being of users while operating the product.

  • Warranty and Customer Support Information: Details about product warranties, return policies, and avenues for obtaining additional assistance, enhancing users' peace of mind.

  • Integration and Compatibility Guidance: Insights into how the product can be integrated with other devices, systems, or software, expanding its capabilities and potential applications.


With Layerise you can create your digital user manual today!

There are many benefits to creating a digital user guide, but keep in mind that it will involve a considerable commitment of time and other resources to prepare. 

Layerise makes the creation of digital instructions manual easy and intuitive.

By using the templates, you can easily create a brand-safe product-specific Assistant for your products. With Layerise, you can create simple, advanced, and powerful guides to educate your customers about the product features, and inform them about changes or maintenance activities.

Layerise is the perfect solution for you! Layerise is a state-of-the-art, new-age product assistance tool. By integrating your business on the Layerise platform, you will be able to provide an exceptional post-sales experience that conventional hard copy user manuals cannot provide.

Through product onboarding, assembly guides, or troubleshooting assistance, businesses can educate their customers about product characteristics, update them about modifications and maintenance tasks, and obtain warranties.

Layerise also allows you to communicate successfully with your consumers by utilizing enriched customer data such as client ownership details, product serial information, product service history, customer language preferences, etc.

If you want to learn more about how Layerise can help your business grow, book a demo with us now!

If you want to dive deeper into the legal aspects of creating a unique user guide, read this article.