Whenever you begin a new project, it's always a good idea to ask yourself whether or not your end users would benefit from quick reference cards, or quick reference materials in general. Providing easy access to important information is an effective way to make your end users' experience a great one.
Quick reference cards allow your user to easily find specific information when they need it. This will have them thinking highly of your product and your company, and will make them more eager to return to do more business with you. Below are some scenarios in which it might be helpful to utilize quick reference cards and reference materials.
If your product is something that only requires one setup, and will function normally throughout the rest of its useful life, you should give your customers a “quick-start” guide. This helps them to get up and running smoothly. It’s also a great way to ensure that the product is ready for use immediately. You can include secondary documentation for anything that requires more in-depth explaining or additional walk-throughs if they need more information at some point.
Products with limited functionality do not need exorbitant amounts of documentation and information to explain. A simple double-sided reference card is likely all they need to understand how to use your product.
If there are a variety of uses for your product, but they share a handful of common, core tasks, it is a good idea to create quick reference cards for those core tasks. This minimizes space while maximizing clarity. The secondary, or ancillary, tasks can be included in additional documentation later on.
Your end users' attention spans are limited. The more information you include, the more tedious it becomes to process and utilize it. Consider which pieces of information are necessary and include them in a quick reference section. It's important that the main functionality of your product be the most prominent and the most accessible information you provide your end user.
The Write Direction specializes in taking large amounts of information and filtering out the essentials. Our technical writers are able to take your product, narrow down what the most important features are, and create reference material using a minimal number of words and space. This helps your user understand and use your product with positive results.
If you are rolling out a new product or service and need help carefully conveying the essentials, contact The Write Direction today. We will help you create quick reference material that your customers will find easy to use.
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