Creativity in user manuals

I worked as a technical writer full-time for years at a software development company, and I continue to do so on contract for various companies. Yet I kept on thinking manuals need to be one of the following:

  • on paper
  • PDF
  • HTML
  • Windows Help

The following video reminds me that you can make manuals much more effective using a little creativity. (Note: I haven’t researched this to determine whether it’s actually in production or just somebody’s invention, but the idea does stand out.)

Sure, there’s the matter of extra paper usage, but a decent recycling program can take care of that, and it would be worth it (for the manufacturer and service provider) if this setup reduces the volume of calls they field for what many people consider basic features.

What do you think? Would this “manual” work for you, or people you know? Have you seen other ingenious user manuals? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

3 Comments
  1. Great idea and also shows the power of design-led communications. With digital being so prevalent today, print offers a unique “UX” in a tactile sense. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks Valerie! I did like this manual idea, but it takes quite the commitment by a company to invest in something like this. I figure manuals this creative would probably prevent a lot of support calls.

  2. Great interactive piece. Very simple to use manual. Great combination of information and packaging.

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