How to write instructions so that you understand

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There is a saying: “If you want to do well, do it yourself”.

For myself, indeed, it will be faster and calmer. However, any manager is aware that a bad manager is one who cannot explain and delegate authority. Accordingly, the ability to give clear instructions and a plan of action is the task of a good leader. And it helps him in this "usability". Let's go and deal with this concept.


Usability (usability) means ease of use, ergonomics and ease of understanding.

The instruction for employees is effective and easy if the result of its implementation is successful. During the preparation of the article, internal instructions for employees posted on the internal Wiki resource were analyzed. However, many of them leave questions even after a detailed study of the material.

So, now directly to the main thing.

The expression: “And so it will come down” is definitely not for instructions.

1. Setting a goal: for whom and for what instruction is intended. It should be mentioned here that the memo should not be overloaded with terminology, otherwise a glossary of terms will be attached to it - a whole encyclopedia and, alas, there is little chance that it will be read.

2. We do not use a lot of slang in the instructions. There is a chance that not all employees will understand him.
Example: “To clarify with the managers, whether the article received the article”. On the one hand, everything is written clearly, but such slang is not appropriate for an official document.

3. The text is diluted with screenshots. It is desirable to do them on your computer and in the program or interface that all employees have. You can edit screenshots with arrows and highlight items.

Examples of screenshots with quite understandable steps:

4. Do not skip steps that seem too simple to us. Better let the employee, while reading the instructions, himself skip this step.

5. The text is not desirable to use large sentences. In short: “Go to menu”, “Add value ...”, “Select parameter ...”, etc.

6. To reduce the amount of text possible to use graphic elements. For example,

Local area connection -----> properties -> TCP / IPv4 -> properties.

7. The use of font selection is acceptable. This draws attention to particularly important points.

8. Do not use in your instructions anything from your personal experience of using this or that product or using the program. To do this, there are separate meetings with employees where you share your valuable experience with them. And the instruction is a logical structure, where a “step - action” is described and nothing more.

9. Be accurate and logical in writing. Remember, if an employee, working according to your instructions, makes a mistake, it will be your flaw.

Effective user-friendly instruction is not a simple formality, it is one of the steps to the success and automation of the workflow. Mirror usability effect is that we remember things that are related to our own experience better than those that have nothing to do with us. Therefore, the writing of instructions and leaflets pumps the managerial skills of specialists. And this, in turn, goes to the "piggy bank of skills."

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