What are Requirements to User Manuals of Successful Applications?

Software development, software testing, and successful distribution of applications are impossible without numerous documents.

Unfortunately, not all software producers duly prepare the documentation. There are programmers, who think that working on the documents is a waste of time because nobody needs them.

As a matter of fact, all the successful software products have carefully written and well thought out documentation.

Though it is believed that if a product is intuitive and clear, there is no need to read the manual, well-written user manuals considerably increase the chances of a program to be successful.

Manuals may be rarely utilized by the end-users, but they are important for marketing purposes, as customers usually judge an application based on its descriptions in the documents such as user manuals.

For example, Microsoft Corporation always carefully prepares the user manual for every version of their products, even for well-known ones.

User Manuals Should:

  • give exhaustive information about the product, its functions, and feature;
  • give clear and understandable instructions on how to use the product both for technical and non-technical people;
  • be written in an expressive language;
  • demonstrate the advantages of the product.

Performing web site testing, desktop testing, or mobile testing one should carry out documentation testing as well. If the documentation is absent or poorly written, this issue must be reported as a defect.

Some project members may not like it, but experts in manual and automated testing know that software quality includes many aspects, well-prepared documents is one of them.