Upcoming Webinar: Designing Quick Reference Guides
Designing Quick Reference Guides
Date: Wednesday, 25 January | 1:00–2:00 PM EST (GMT-5)
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 Long manuals are outdated, ineffective ways to teach people software.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.
By the way, if you can't make the webinar but you're still interested in the topic of quick reference guides, see this page of quick reference guide resources on my blog.
Feb 19, 2012 update: You can access a recording of the webinar here.
About Tom Johnson
I'm a technical writer based in the Seattle area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.