Creating Agile User Manual

The challenges with our user manual

User manual is something that is sometimes forgotten. Even though we know that a person's understanding of one system is different from another. We sometime neglect the benefit of user manual for sharing knowledge between the development team with the end-users. The challenges of the current user manual is:

  • Video user manual – visually rich!
    • Slow on update. Making a video for user manual is great, but the effort to create a video for something that 'constantly' changes is huge. (-)
    • There is a lot of effort to design, create, render, and share the video. (-)
    • Hard to find the specific information if you do not split your video or indexing it (-)
  • Document user manual – completed and easy to maintain!
    • the user does not read your document. They only receive as part of your invoice. (-)
    • Some users are too busy to read the user manual. They tend to learn the application through learning by doing (-)
    • The demonstration is though through document, you should do a lot screenshot for your document (-)
  • In app user manual - interactive and integrated with your app!
    • The user manual is not easy to update since it should follow the build rules in the application (-)
    • The user manual is separated in several menus, sometimes it hard to maintain (-)
    • In app user manual needs extra effort in development side. Context based, wizard, tool tips adds the task for development team (-)

The Agile User Manual

Agile user manual is an initiative to make user manual as a live document with several principles

  • Easier to deploy and to update
  • Providing quick problem-solution
  • Rich in content you can put video, document, or even tweet from your company update

The idea of agile user manual is providing the user live document with better usability and access.

How to create Agile User Manual

This is an example how the agile user manual is created

  • Choosing the 'live' platform that can be shared to your users. For example, we are using Microsoft Sway as our 'live' platform https://sway.office.com/
  • Choosing the easy to use video creation platform for your screensharing. For example, we are using Techsmith Snagit 2021

The steps that we can do is

  • Create a Sway document with your company account (not the personal one)
  • Share the sway document with the others development teams
  • Create a layout. Each layout is a slide for certain functionality
  • Create a short video with Snagit. You can create less than three-minute videos for delivering the functionality of your application bases on a layout
  • Put the short video into the sway document
  • Share the Sway document to your customer

You can see the tutorial in the next post. Enjoy!

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