Re: Drop term "user's guide"?

Subject: Re: Drop term "user's guide"?
From: JX <techwrl-list-only -at- doitall -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 16:06:24 -0700

> Recently, one of our clients stated that they didn't want the term "user's
> guide" used for their product.

There are lots of choices. For a full-blown user guide, it could just be...

Productname User Guide

If the product is more complicated...

Productname Installation Guide
Productname Server Guide
Productname Developer Guide
Productname Developer Reference
Productname Getting Started Guide
Productname Troubleshooting Guide

Or depending on the target market (are they ³end users²?)

Productname Guide
Productname Reference
Productname Manual
Productname Handbook
Productname Technical White Paper
Productname Administration Guide
Productname Sacred Book

An extra bonus of the singular non-possessive is that you don't have to fret
about (or argue about) whether it should be typed "Users Guide" or "User's
Guide" or "Users' Guide" With plural OR possessive versions, whichever form
you choose, even people in your own company will mistype the other two! :-)

> Try "Using <product name>" which is my choice for anything
> thaty's a full blown manual. Shorter things (up to 80 pages
> or so)can be "<product name> Handbook".

The brand-first non-gerund approach also has the benefit of:
(1) promoting the brand first, which makes the product marketing
folks happy so they cut you slack in other ways. :-)

(2) defines an obvious short hand for internal folks & customers calling
support & customers talking with their colleagues who KNOW what product
they're talking about and don't wanna keep saying it. Compare:

a) VeryLongProductname? User Guide --> "On page 5 of the User Guide"

b) Using VeryLongProductname? --> "Ummm... On page 5 of the
using guide... you know, the installer thingy, whatever it is."

Please refer to page 25 of the User Guide, the Developer Guide, the Server
Guide, etc. As long as you know what product you¹re talking about, everyone
uses the shorthand and it¹s unambiguous.

-- JX

P.S. If appropriate, you could put the "shortcut" name in bigger text on the
cover to reinforce that approach, but the product/marketing folks might not
like that. Your mileage may vary.

Replies to this account may not be seen. You can email me directly at JX


SEE THE ALL NEW ROBOHELP X5 IN ACTION: RoboHelp X5 is a giant leap forward
in Help authoring technology, featuring Word 2003 support, Content
Management, Multi-Author support, PDF and XML support and much more!

>From a single set of Word documents, create online Help and printed
documentation with ComponentOne Doc-To-Help 7 Professional, a new yearly
subscription service offering free updates and upgrades, support, and more.

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as:
archiver -at- techwr-l -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: Re: Getting a new writer up to speed quickly
Next by Author: Usability: Serif and Sans-Serif font faces?
Previous by Thread: RE: Drop term "user's guide"?
Next by Thread: RE: Drop term "user's guide"?

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads