5 Best Examples of User Documentation & Guides for End Users

Are you wondering what is user documentation? Looking for the best user documentation examples for product documentation, software documentation, technical documentation, system documentation, etc,? Want to create a documentation site using the best sites of examples? We give you everything you need about user documentation in this article.

What is a User Documentation?

User documentation, also known as user manuals or user guides, is a type of technical documentation that assists product or service end users. It informs and guides users on how to use the product’s features, functions, and usage effectively and efficiently.

User documentation can be focused on a specific product or service, or it can encompass an entire project that benefits the end user. It is intended to help users understand the product’s or service’s features, functionalities, and operation.

The goal of user documentation is to close the knowledge and skill gap that exists between a product’s technical complexity and its end users. It covers every stage of the product life cycle, from conception to termination. It is a component of the good that the customer receives.

The primary and most essential criteria of a person who wants to write an IDEAL USER DOCUMENT/ DOCUMENTATION is, the writer has to understand the technology it describes completely.

See the Best User Documentation Tool

If you want to know about user documentation in detail watch the video below:

Key Elements Found in User Documentation:

  • Introduction: This section introduces the product or service, its goal, and its audience. It may also include system requirements, installation steps, and important terms.
  • Getting Started: This section helps users set up and configure the product or service. It covers topics such as installation, account creation, and basic navigation.
  • Features and Functionality: This section explains the product or service’s features and functions in detail. It shows how to access, use, and customize them.
  • Step-by-Step Instructions: User documentation often provides clear, sequential instructions on how to do specific tasks or achieve specific goals. These instructions may have screenshots, diagrams, or examples to help users.
  • Troubleshooting and FAQs: This section solves common issues, error messages, and questions. It gives troubleshooting steps, workarounds, and solutions for known problems.
  • Best Practices and Tips: User documentation may offer suggestions, best practices, and tips to improve the user experience or get the most out of the product or service. This can include shortcuts, optimization techniques, or advanced usage scenarios.
  • Glossary and Index: To make it easy to navigate and understand, user documentation often has a glossary of key terms and an index for quick reference.

5 – Best examples of End-User Documentation:

Here are some of the examples of documentation sites that had the best user documentation.

1. CA Technologies Documentation

CA Technologies is one of the largest software corporations in the world. It provides varieties of software like systems software and applications software that runs in mainframe, virtual machine, cloud computing environments, and mobile devices. Having so many software requires one of the best documentation systems to help the users to best use their software and to help them troubleshoot issues.

This is an example of software documentation site that give you clear options for choosing the exact software and the different software version. It also provides a clear Table of Contents (TOC) in the collapsible accordion form to help navigate the documents. You also download the documents in PDF and EPUB format.

Related Content – How to Create a Beautiful Documentation Website Easily

2. Skype Documentation

Skype is a very popular video chatting tool from Microsoft. Different people use it for various purposes like Business, Educational, and Personal, etc., It is another example of software documentation.

Skype has a feature-loaded support page with good document sorting and navigation options. You can sort documents for different Devices, Topics, and Sub-topics. You can also see how many read the documents and how many found them helpful. It has good navigation using TOC and breadcrumbs. There are FAQs with troubleshooting information attached to each of them. All the documents also link to relevant resources for more details.

3. MetricInsights Documentation

MetricInsights is a push intelligence platform that makes use of your user engagement data and other data to give you actionable insights on your website.

Their documentation site gives separate documents for Administrators and other users.

The documents are well categorized into topics and sub-topics and have good navigation options through Breadcrumbs, TOC,  and view the Previous / Next option. The related documents are linked to each other, and you can generate a manual PDF of the document you want.

Also See: the best open-source knowledge base software

4. WHMCS Documentation

WHMCS is a web host billing automation platform that aims to automate every part of the web hosting business. They help the customers with practical information on the automation process.

They have a simple but practical documentation site. The site has a super-fast document search to help you find the right document. It also has 2 TOC with one TOC on the sidebar for navigating Topics and another inside the document for in-page navigation. There is also a document feedback option.

5. Ionic Docs

Ionic Docs is the documentation site of IonicFramework a web technology to create cross-platform web apps. Their documentation is collaboratively created by their community and has a frontend option to edit the documents. It is continually revised, reviewed, and updated by the community.

It has FAQs, troubleshooting guides, Glossary, Tips, and more. It also has a good search bar and 2 TOC, one for topic navigation and another for in-page navigation on both sides of the document. The documents can also be translated into different languages.

The Best User Documentation Tool

All the User Documentation examples seen above have different designs and features to support the documentation purposes of their product and services. They are created with various tools and platforms. But there is a user documentation tool with which you can create all these types of user documentation sites. It is called Helpie Knowledge Base.

Helpie knowledge base is a WordPress knowledge base, and documentation plugin with you can create many types of documentation sites.

If you choose to give Helpie a chance for your documents you can see how to create a documentation site with WordPress.

You can also create a simple FAQ section to answers some repeated and nagging questions using the Helpie FAQ plugin.

Create a documentation site with a WordPress Documentation Plugin

Also See: Best Document Management Software

Types of User Documentation

There are basically 3 types of user documentation written for different end-users and their purposes.

1. Description Document 

Gives a detailed overview of the product with all the services offered by the product. End-users read this document and decide if this the product he is looking for or not.

2. Installation and Setup 

Has detailed information on installing & setting up the product and how to operate the product.

3. Product / User Manual

It gives the normal functions of the product with illustrated examples. It has all the ‘How-to’ information regarding the regular use of the product. You can easily write a killer Product manual.

Pro Tip: Its best to add information inside tables for users to understand because users can easily understand data inside the tables. In WordPress, you can easily create tables for free with Tablesome.

Difference Between Technical Documentation and User Documentation

There are mainly 2 key differences. Before we push in further into the best examples, let us see these differences.

Usually, a technical writer or a team of technical writers are responsible for compiling the technical documentation. The main agenda of this team is to contribute effectively to the formalized document for the technicians. Technical Documentation is not shared externally.

Whereas user documentation is shared with all users and it emphasizes the fact that all technical detailing may not be productive or necessary for the user. Hence they provide a user-friendly that provides effective knowledge on the product for its beneficial usage.

Usually, a User Documentation Consists of:

  • User manuals
  • FAQ
  • Step by step guides
  • Videos of the product
  • Product Demos
  • Pre-launch publishing
  • Embedded assistance
  • Online chart portals
  • Support Teams with hotlines

The Main Goal of User Documentation is to –

  • Provides the answer to the questions – “ HOW TO.”
  • Step by step procedures
  • Do and Don’ts
  • Tips and Tricks
  • Minimal hardware & software requirements
  • Guide for installation
  • Various ways to perform one action
  • Cautions and Warnings
  • Warranty & Guarantee information.
  • Common errors & Troubleshoot manual
  • Information to contact the developer of the system immediately and directly if an undocumented question arises

Without user documentation, an amateur user may not know how to do any of these above things.

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