Creating a user guide using step-by-step processes and images and including job aid

Dec 10, 2018

I've been tasked with creating a user guide that will include step-by-steps with images and other job aids in an ebook type format that can be utilized in different system format. I have the material in a word doc. There are some repeat steps in different modules so the ability to duplicate sections of materials will be helpful. Which would I use, Storyline or Rise?

Thank you, Lisa

6 Replies
Stephanie Harnett

I would recommend Rise as it is responsive and will play nicely with all devices. You can save blocks as templates and copy lessons easily, so it should make working with multiple modules that have some repeated content easy to do. Rise also has attachments for your job aids and a process block for step-by-step interactions. You could always leverage Storyline for custom interactions and add those discrete elements in via a Storyline block in Rise.

Tracy Van Kampen

I would like to follow along with this please... thanks.


Tracy Van Kampen | LSO Coordinator
3M Cordova, Materials Resource Division
22614 Route 84 North, Cordova, IL 61242-9799
Office: +1 309 654 8128 | Fax: +1 309-654-8164

Ned Whiteley

Hi Lisa,

I am currently working on a software user guide using Rise and, for me, it is the perfect tool for the job.

I started with a "tour" of the software on the screen so that people can quickly learn their way around the various components and menus. For this I have made good use of the Labelled Graphics block, where the background image is the running software and I then use the labels to highlight the key areas and components.

The next stage is step by step instructions on how to use the software. Here I have used the Accordian and Tabs blocks with a mixture of text and images to step through each task, followed by a video guide, where I have added a Storyline block that includes a screencast with custom video controls, to demonstrate each task. The reason I have used Storyline for my video rather than taken it straight into Rise is because I have used several layers over the top of my video to include various messages. I prefer this to having an audio track as it allows the user to pause the video and still be able to read the message.

I have then finished each section with a summary using the Timeline block, where I have used the Date field to add my Title and then deleted the Title field, as this has given me the formatting and style that I want.

To wrap the whole thing up, I have added a quiz at the end for each section of the guide (10-12 questions in each). This doesn't have a pass mark and, as the text says at the start of each quiz, is designed purely to alert the student to areas they may wish to revisit in the user guide.

Hope this helps.

Ulises Musseb

My two cents. You don't mention what the step by step is, though I see some of the replies based on the presumption that it's software that you are teaching.

There are several approaches, depending of what you'd like to accomplish with the guide. If what you want to accomplish is people learning the software from the beginning, and learning to become proficient with the use of the software, as opposed to providing just-in-time learning for whatever task they are to accomplish with it, you might want to add interactivity. For a simple reference, refreshers and job aids to be used as needed, a set of simple demos, organized by tasks (for ease of access) might be more useful.

Regardless of the final purpose and objectives, however, I always suggest to do away from screen video recordings when it's about software. Video is resource consuming, and their longevity might be short since software interfaces change rather quickly.

The level of interactivity should be determined by what you want to accomplish with your guide, then the authoring tool to use for it will be determined by the first determination.

Ned Whiteley

Hi Reuben,

Unfortunately I can't post my current User Guide project due to IP issues, however I have made a quick demo for you that uses the same general template using Microsoft Word as the User Guide subject. The demo will show you roughly how I set up each section in the guide and I have also included a copy of the short Storyline video that is in the demo, so that you can see how I have set up the notes layers and Text-to-Speech.

If you like the layout, feel free to use it. Just repeat it for each section in your guide and then add a quiz at the end if you wish to do so.

The Rise course can be found here:

The Storyline file is attached below. If you have any other queries, just get back to me.

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