Electronic User Manuals - Why Less is Much More
Technology-packed and network-connected electronic products are designed to make our lives more productive and more comfortable. But sometimes the installation, start-up and simple operation of these products can become a real challenge. The increasing use of electronic user manuals is helping consumers spend less time dealing with installations and maintenance and more time enjoying their electronic products. E-manuals are now becoming a solution for a wider range of electronic products.
Unpack, turn on, go
Nowadays more and more buyers of computers, monitors, TV sets, printers or mobile phones find that the significantly reduced packaging of their newly acquired product includes only a few sheets of paper with simple instructions on how to turn on the device. Traditional user guide booklets in various languages, warranty forms and other printed technical documentation are missing as manufacturers move towards electronic user manuals. All that information is often still present inside the package in the form of a CD, memory card or USB key, but it also might not be included with the product at all.
Moving away from paper-based documentation to E-manuals has made the user’s first experience with a new electronic device more simple and the time required to learn how to operate it much shorter. Whatever the medium on which the E-manual is provided, be it a CD, memory card or a web page the usability has increased considerably. This is because E-manuals provide users with simple, logic interfaces that present the relevant information in a hierarchical sequence while still allowing them to directly access details on specific functionalities through menus and search functions.
The advent of network connected products and mobile technologies has lead to the emergence of embedded manuals. Alongside with computing devices, manufacturers of monitors, printers and TV sets are now increasingly implementing embedded manuals that take the user experience to another level, offering an interactive installation and maintenance experience that enables consumers to customize products based on their specific needs. Regardless of the platform, E-manuals make consumers’ life easier through the use of a more “human” language, supported by interactive media such as images, videos or flash animations that establish real-time communication with the user.
Wide range of manufacturer advantages
Regardless of the type of electrical or electronic product manufactured, most companies can now move towards a form of E-manual thanks to the increased role web-based technologies play in the average consumers’ lives.
Beside the more obvious financial benefit E-manuals bring by eliminating paper and printing costs, the cost advantage also extends to the reduced packaging size that does not require additional space to hold paper manuals. Furthermore, various types of electronic products undergo changes and require updates throughout their lifetime, also triggers the need to update user manuals. This is easily achievable through the use of web based or embedded E-manuals that can be often updated “under the hood” without the need of any input from consumers. The seamless E-manual update process further reduces costs related to E-manuals.
When it comes to the operation of electronic products, users should be able to quickly find the relevant instructions. This is much more easily achievable through E-manuals, thanks to visual menus, troubleshooting functions and series of frequently asked questions, all accessible at a glance. Providing simple walkthroughs and various ways of finding the right answers, including access to customer forums, enables E-manuals to relieve some of the pressure off customer service centers. This leads in turn to further financial and operational benefits for manufacturers and also retailers of electrical & electronic products.
SGS Korea is fully equipped to support manufacturers of electrical & electronic products with the move from paperbased manuals to any type of E-manual.
Content Production Division
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The SGS Group is the global leader and innovator in inspection, verification, testing and certification services. Founded in 1878, SGS is recognized as the global benchmark in quality and integrity. With more than 64,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,250 offices and laboratories around the world.