Why intuitive applications require user guides

As technologies advance, web and mobile applications are becoming more intuitive by the day. Product designers are not only striving to create applications that are seamless and easy to use, they are also seeking to improve user experience. In the midst of all of this is end-user documentation.

From experience, certain development team treat user documentation as an afterthought, rather a part of the development process. In this piece, I write about the benefits of putting together end-user documentation, even for the most intuitive of applications:

1. User onboarding

User onboarding is the process of introducing new users to an application. It’s a user’s first impression of the application. The intent is to help the user make the best use of the application, while also becoming proficient in its use.

For example, if you have an app where users can set up different profiles for different purposes, it’s counter-productive to assume users would know what profile to choose. This would be another use case for an onboarding documentation.

One effective way of achieving this is through an easy to use end-user documentation. By giving users access to an onboarding document, you avoid throwing them into the deep end of your application.

2. Answer their questions with an FAQ

No matter how intuitive an application is, users will have questions. This is where a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page may come in handy.

Depending on the size of the application, the FAQ page may be divided into different categories, with short and straightforward answers.

3. Reduce customer service contacts with a simple, easy-to-use documentation

A user guide can also serve to show users how to perform various tasks, and solve various problems on their own. Without this, the customer support team will be inundated with calls and emails, thus taking up time and using human and material resources.

4. TBC

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