The purpose of a manual is to communicate high-level information about a specific topic to a specific group of people.
The most common manual types are explained below:
- Corporate Manuals contain information relevant to a specific corporate audience. Corporate Manuals should be high-level and short enough that the audience feels motivated to read it.
- Operating Manuals describe the operation or functionality of a specific piece of equipment or an entire operating system. Operating Manuals may contain elements of processes, procedures, and policies to describe how the system components work together, illustrate the process flow, and instruct the user how to interact with the system.
- User Manuals contain information about an item and how to use it, presented in the form of procedures or work instructions.
Other types of manuals include:
- Design Manuals
- Emergency Response Manuals
- Onboarding Manuals
- Software Manuals
- Training Manuals
Manuals may include information in the form of lists and short paragraphs, as seen in the following example:
Gadget Project Manual
Care and Handling of Your Gadget
To verify the continuous functioning of your gadget, adhere to the following instructions:
- Avoid exposure to water, and never submerse the gadget in liquid of any kind.
- Clean the gadget at least once every 6 months to remove dust or other particles from the outside of the gadget.
- Apply protective coating to the gadget at least once each calendar year.