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Creating an effective training manual is a fantastic way to take your organizational efficiency to the next level. In this post, I've gathered our best tips and templates that you can use today.
Let’s get started!
In the first part of our exploration on how to write a training manual, we’ll look at the essential pages you should include in your final document.
The first page to include in your training manual is the welcome screen. This screen should be a simple introduction to your company and the overall manual.
A great welcome page will introduce the training process in a clear and concise way. This page is essential because it acts as a springboard that launches your readers into the manual as a whole.
Now that you’ve welcomed your readers with a brief introduction about your company, it’s time to share some overarching objectives of the training manual.
By providing clear targets at the beginning of the experience, you can help facilitate smooth transitions from objective to objective.
It will also help employees understand why they’re reading this training manual in the first place and what outcomes they can expect once they’re done.
At this stage, it’s important to get to the essence of the material — the instructions.
You always need clear instructions to help your readers understand the tasks they will work on during the experience.
It’s a good idea to add this feature at the beginning of the training manual. This way, the users can understand what’s expected of them and personalize their own experience.
As you’re exploring strategies on how to write a training manual, remember that your content does not need to rely solely on static text.
You can use a tool like Visme to add video, images and other forms of media to assist with the learning process of your readers.
Finally, you should always add a summary page in your training manual. This is an opportunity to review the critical points of the manual in a clear fashion.
Things to add to this section include follow-up steps, review and opportunities to reinforce the content.
New employees are likely to have questions. You can address the most common ones at the end of your training manual to prevent confusion and complete the training process faster.
The best way to answer common questions is to add a FAQs page to the end of your training manual. Make sure you keep your answers short and to-the-point.
In this section, we’ll review some of the most important design tips to help you write an effective training manual.
Our first tip design has everything to do with company branding.
Keeping your training manual on brand is a fantastic way to help your readers stay connected to the overarching purpose underlying this training experience. Even human resources and training teams should stay on brand.
Your brand is what shapes your company. It’s all of the visual images you create to illustrate what your image is to your customers.
As you’re learning how to create a training manual, keep in mind that the use of brand colors and styles is an important element of your design.
A useful design principle to keep in mind as you’re creating your training manual is visual harmony. Visual harmony is when there is balance between the elements you include in the manual.
When you have extraneous elements that don’t make sense, there’s a major risk of disturbing the overall harmony of the design. In practice, this means you have to be intentional with what you choose to add into the training manual.
You know you’ve achieved harmony when all of the elements fit together. The elements can find harmony via style, theme or mood.
Take a look at this training manual page, for example.
Notice how the design stays consistent in terms of color theme and icon style.
If you're using outline-style icons, for example, make sure you use the same style for all the icons in your design to achieve harmony. Don't mix them with different icon styles, like flat or isometric.
The use of color has major implications for motivation. Use this to your advantage when creating a training manual.
Colors are particularly effective because we are psychologically and physically influenced on an emotional level by color.
This effect is so powerful that color can actually impact the mood of your readers. Make sure that you’re conscious of this effect to provide the best experience possible for your audience.
Most importantly, color communicates meaning. This means we want to match the intention of our training manual with the meaning we want to convey in our manual. This means you have to be intentional with color choices.
Sometimes, it can be challenging for readers to make their way through training manuals.
A great way to make the experience more delightful is to embrace a sense of uniqueness in your design choices.
If you're sharing an online training manual, you can use animated illustrations and interesting icons. Also, challenge yourself to think beyond your first choice for a particular element.
The example below shows how you can use an animated character to draw attention to a comparison, such as pros and cons. This can be easily applied to training manuals, too, such as when listing dos and don'ts for employees.
Thinking beyond basic shapes and icons will help you stay away from the more overused design elements.
On a more fundamental level, define what makes you a unique company. Briefly make a list of three core traits that makes your brand interesting.
While you’re creating your training manual look for ways to sprinkle in design elements that amplify these core traits.
An important design tip to take into account as you’re creating a training manual is design hierarchy.
Design hierarchy refers to how easily your readers will navigate through the content. It shows them were to begin reading and where the most essential content is located.
Hierarchy also helps readers differentiate between textual elements like headers and normal paragraph text. Using this design technique well helps make your text more scannable.
This is an important aspect of any readable typography, especially if you want your readers to achieve high reading comprehension.
There are a few elements you can use to achieve readable content. We've summarized them in the form of an infographic below.
A fantastic way to create a professional design is to use a training manual template.
Beautiful design is all about the fundamentals. When you use a training manual template, you get the basic elements like shape, texture, color and typography taken care of for you.
This gives you more time and space to focus on creating an effective message. When you bring together incredible design with an effective message, the results speak for themselves.
When you’re ready to harness the power of training manual templates, head over to the Visme professional document builder to get started with your own design.
When you’re learning how to write your next training manual, make sure to pay attention to visual flow. Most readers will expect information to flow from left to right and up to down.
Any deviation from this normal pattern will increase cognitive load, and make things more challenging for your reader.
With that said, your audience should always have an intuitive grasp on where they should read next. There are a couple ways to achieve this important goal.
First, you can choose to stay consistent with the directional patterns throughout your training manual. Additionally, you can utilize elements called directional cues to give your readers prompts.
In the example below, the instructions flow in the right direction with a visual cycle numbered in the right order.
The risk of failing to create a visual flow is that your readers will get confused or frustrated with the reading. When you do achieve clarity when it comes to flow, your readers will have a much easier time consuming the information in the right order.
Fundamentally, flow is about helping your readers' eyes move in the proper direction throughout the training manual. More broadly, this effect is created with a combination of visual direction and visual weight.
Elements that express visual direction are cues such as arrows and lines. Likewise, elements that express visual weight are like focal points that grab your reader's attention helping to pull them along through the training manual.
Illustrations are a great way to tap into the visual and narrative parts of your reader's brain. Illustrations can help take your training manual to the next level through beautiful visual effects.
These effects can help narrate the important messages in your training manual. Additionally, they add some life and flash to your composition.
While this has clear aesthetic benefits, illustrations have practical benefits as well. For one, illustrations are a great way to increase reading comprehension.
Additionally, they help to take your reader on a journey from section to section in your training manual.
Whether it’s literally walking them step by step through the material they need to digest, or conveying a more subtle design message, illustrations are a great choice for your manual.
One of the best design tips you can internalize before writing a training manual is to know your audience. Having clarity on who you’re creating for will help you create a training manual that impresses your readers.
There are a few questions you can ask to achieve this clarity and improve your design decisions.
First, who will be using this training manual? Will it be distributed in certain departments? For new employees? As continuing education?
These subtle differences can fundamentally alter important design decisions, so it’s important to find clarity as you're preparing the final product.
In the third part of this guide on creating effective training manuals, we’ll explore the 3 simple steps to creating a training manual with Visme.
When it comes to creating manuals in Visme, training manual templates are the first step. A predesigned template can help stir your creativity, and bring the ideas in your head to life.
The best part about templates is that you can customize professionally designed visual elements with your unique brand colors and content.
You can customize a training manual template by signing in to your Visme account and clicking on the Create button from your dashboard.
Check out our video below to learn more about creating a training manual in Visme.
The next step to creating a training manual with Visme is to add visual elements. All of our training manual templates can be customized to fit your unique creative vision.
You can add shapes, arrows, buttons, lines or customize colors on your training manual.
It’s easy to add these to your training manual by going to the Graphics option on the left of your Visme dashboard. Just tap the graphics option to get a selection of elements to choose from.
Make sure to add illustrations and diagrams to flesh out your training manual. Additionally, customize your font so your content makes sense with the objective of your training manual.
Once you’ve fully customized your training manual, you’re ready to download and share it with your readers. Visme gives you several options to share training manuals with your audience.
First, you can download as a PDF or document to upload onto a website or into an email automation.
Second, you can always generate a shareable link (either public or private) to send to your readers. Additionally, you can embed the manual on a webpage to share with your audience that way.
We mentioned above how starting with a professional template can save you hours of work. Instead of wasting time starting from scratch and trying to create the perfect layout, use one of the training manual templates below to get a head start.
I hope these ideas on how to create a training manual help you on your next project. If you’re ready to take your organizational efficiency to the next level, get started with Visme today for free.