The PQM Book on

user-friendly manuals

Peter Ring, 24 May 2003  
For info on the author Peter Ring, go to Peter Ring's CV .
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Last update: 3 October 2000.
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Information on the book:

Peter Ring: "The PQM-system. How to write better instruction manuals and control their quality yourself."

The most important news in this book are:

... plus a lot of other useful tips and tricks.

The book comes with an A4 (8.25 x 11.7") poster with the rules for how to write an instruction. Nail it in front of you so that you never forget these important rules when writing.

The main content of the book is:

1. Why so many bad manuals?
1.1 The interested parties demands to an instruction manual

2. Tools & Rules
2.1 Write the manual for the typical weak user
2.1.1 The User Map with the 4 User Archetypes
2.1.2 Readability indexes
2.1.3 The "Text-Cartoon Index"
2.1.4 A measure for product complexity - when is a manual needed
2.2 The content of the 6 types of manuals
2.2.1 The 3 user levels and their needs, and the 6 basic types of manuals
2.2.2 Handling the content on macro level: The general checklist
2.2.3 Checking the content on micro level: The Monkey Test (useability tests)
2.3 How to write the manual, so that the user quickly can find all the information (s)he needs
2.3.1 General rules
2.3.2 Basic organisation for the manual
2.3.3 The use of indexes etc.
2.4 How to build an instruction and an explanation
2.5 Handling of Warnings etc.

3. Translation of manuals

4. Updating of manuals

5. The PQM quality index for manuals and how to use it
5.1 Who can benefit from quality control of manuals?
5.2 The PQM quality control system
5.3 The PQM 2.3 programme (DOS) - description (Click here for a description of the current version PQM 3.0 for Windows. )

6. How to make quality control of manuals
6.1 Who and why?
6.2 Define the quality you want!
6.2.1 "Manual on how we make our manual(s)".

Appendix: Checklist for quality control of manuals
Appendix: User test form

Some readers' comments

"I liked the book so much, I would like to share it with others in my company. " "I've got your book and have read it non-stop from cover to cover. My compliments on your clear ideas and organization."

Data on the book

ISBN 97-985752-0-1. 1st edition October 1995. 83 pages.

Price: DKK 200 (approx. US$ 34) + mailing, exchange and other handling costs. 25% Danish VAT (moms) is added on orders from the European Union countries, if no national VAT number is included with the order. Price without Danish VAT with SWIFT bank transfer in DKK: approx. US$ 45.
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Opdateret d. 20.4.2009