Interactive video makes user guides a waste of paper

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Kirsten Ronda

Kirsten Ronda

5 February, 2020

A manual may seem intimidating at times. Often you find yourself struggling to read a big leaflet or what may feel like an entire book in which you have to find what you need to know. Many people don’t even bother anymore and try it themselves first, at the risk of screwing everything up.

So I’ve got a question for everyone who makes us read manuals: why not make it easier for your customer?

When you’re selling something that needs an instruction, instead of wasting all that paper, just send your customer a URL to a video that shows how it’s done.

People are visual

Imagine you’ve just bought a drawer from IKEA. You’ve probably already done that at some point in your life and wondered which screw is supposed to go with what shelf. Are you looking at the right illustration or does it mean something else? And why don’t the parts fit the way you want? Grr!

OK, maybe you’re great at building drawers and you’ve never needed a manual, but hey, I need you to go along with this thought experiment for a second.

So imagine you suck at building drawers and have a hard time understanding the illustrations; wouldn’t it then be great if you had a video where somebody shows you exactly how it’s done?

In the video you can see precisely what the parts look like, which screws you’ll need and how everything is supposed to fit. Whether you’re building a drawer, installing your TV for the first time, or repairing the headlights of your car, a video is much easier to understand than a written manual.

Make it easy to navigate

Once you’ve started sharing videos with your customers, making it an interactive video would be a great addition. That way, you can insert chapters and make it possible for the user to navigate throughout the video.

Generally, the customer doesn’t need to know the whole instruction, there are only certain parts he needs to fill the gaps in his knowledge, or his IKEA drawer.

This is why it will help your viewers a lot when you show a menu at the start of the video.
Then, your customer can find the information they need in the shortest amount of time possible. Your service will be seen as user-friendly, modern and… different from your competitor’s!

And it wouldn’t hurt to try, now would it?

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