Designing Quick Reference Guides
Condensing a manual into an attractive quick reference guide requires a poet’s precision with language, but it also requires you to exercise skill with visual design and page layout. These short guides blend marketing with instruction, allowing you to combine text with images to pull readers into the content.
Long manuals are outdated, ineffective ways to teach people software. The quick reference guide (usually 2 to 6 pages), with strong visuals and a magazine-like layout, is something that end-users, project managers, and just about everyone absolutely loves. Quick reference guides should be a standard deliverable that technical communicators emphasize and prioritize in their work.
Why don't they? Technical communicators often overlook quick reference guides because these guides require skill with layout and design, as well as talent with illustration to make them appealing. Layout, design, and illustration are often beyond the comfort level of most technical communicators.
This session will provide users with principles of design, some sample layouts they can use, and it will explain how to handle other tricky aspects of quick reference guides, such as translation, content reuse, and interactivity. The webinar will also motivate attendees to jump into this appealing format and start producing these guides with enthusiasm.