In short, user documentation is your secret weapon to cut down on support tickets, long response times and mediocre customer service.
And it's more important than ever. Studies show that 70% of customers prefer using online user documentation instead of calling in for support. And more and more companies are building robust knowledge bases to enable and empower users.
If you’re looking for inspiration to design your own, check out this list of unique user documentation examples from winning companies.
TL;DR: user documentation examples
- User documentation helps with user onboarding, query resolution, empowering support teams, maximizing customer satisfaction, and creating a competitive edge.
- User documentation examples from Hopin, Scribe, Webflow, Adroll, Plytix, Lunchbox.io, SurveyMonkey, PandaDoc, Canva, and Asana showcase different approaches and designs.
- Scribe is the best tool for creating visual user documentation and user guides.
What is user documentation?
User documentation (also known as user guides) refers to instructional resources designed for the end-users to understand a product better and get more out of it.
Documentation comes in many formats, like:
- Help centers.
- Troubleshooting guides.
- In-app walkthroughs.
They give users more information about the product’s capabilities to maximize adoption.
Types of user guides
The types of end-user documentation usually include:
- Installation/setup guides.
- Product manuals.
- Troubleshooting resources.
- Quick start guides.
- Knowledge base help centers.
14 best user documentation examples
Whether you’re creating resources from scratch or revamping your existing user guides, this list of 14 successful user documentation examples will show you how it’s done.
Scribe’s help center starts you off with six main categories containing all the information about the product. Each category has multiple subtopics and FAQs related to the tool’s functionality.
But here’s the best part: You can level up the design for your user documentation with Scribe.
Instead of a plain text article with pasted-in screenshots, you can create visual guides combining steps, text, links, images, and more. Scribe's step-by-step guides have a more intuitive design with better appeal than a standard help article.
Scribe uses AI to automatically generate interactive guides using annotated media and texts in a few seconds.
Scribe uses AI to combine elements like text, annotated screenshots and links to create interactive step-by-step guides.Using Scribe Pages, you can make multiple Scribes for different categories, topics, or features and compile them in a single place.
Voila! Your user documentation is ready to serve.
What sets Scribe apart
- The user documentation extensively covers various parts of the tool and segments it into main categories and subtopics.
- Every article is an interactive guide containing multimedia and audience reactions.
- There's a sticky table of contents on the side for you to jump between different sections in the document.
- Share your user documentation via email, embed in your wiki or learning management system, or export to PDF.
- Scribe Pro users can crop, annotate and redact screenshots using our screenshot editor.
What users are saying about Scribe
"Scribe's been a real game-changer for me, no more having to stop and take screenshots while I'm working. The best part? It's all automatic. No more manual documentation for me—that's a huge win in my book." Qwantel M., Founder & Business Manager
Hopin’s knowledge center stands out as a user guide example because of its unique interface and various types of resources. The site opens with a search bar with the most frequently searched keywords right under the bar.
The product knowledge base categorizes all information based on user profiles. The center also features the most popular videos and four courses the brand has created specifically for its users.
What sets Hopin apart
- Clear, brand-aligned user interface.
- Large variety of resources like FAQs answers, courses and videos.
- Powerful search function returns relevant results even for short keywords.
Webflow’s user documentation is more comprehensive than most help centers. Webflow University features full-fledged courses and lessons.
It also offers a library of lessons, categorized into different topics. Every class has video and textual content with screenshots.
What sets Webflow apart
- Unique design that brings much more to the table than just FAQs.
- Answers questions or explains features through screen-recorded videos, instructions, and more.
- Webflow also offers certifications at different levels to validate user skills.
AdRoll’s help center has a lively interface with visual elements. In addition to a search box, the help center has a dedicated section for potential and new users to understand the product better.
The Browse by Topic segment dives deep into different features and attributes within the tool. With 12 categories, users can easily find the most relevant one for their query. A CTA to their blog and the option to contact the support team at the bottom make it a complete resource.
What sets Adroll apart
- The multi-colored interface goes well with the overall website, delivering a consistent experience.
- All the articles follow different formats—like listicles, tables, etc.—with media to make all information easily consumable.
- At the bottom of every article, you’ll find a list of related articles to find more relevant info for your query.
Plytix’s help center is crisp and simple. It has a search box at the start and six main categories with all the information about the product.
You'll find a detailed structure for each category to find information quickly. The knowledge base also features a chatbot with options to live chat with an agent, report an issue, start a video chat, or reach out to other users in the community forum.
What sets Plytix apart
- The minimal interface removes any distractions that might confuse readers.
- The help center provides multiple options to get support—through articles, a chatbot and a community forum.
- Each category has a structured layout so that users can browse for answers.
Lunchbox.io’s support page has a minimal and clean design, a search bar and six main categories. You'll find articles on different features and best practices within each category. These articles are to-the-point and use annotated screenshots to answer user queries effectively.
What sets Lunchbox.io apart
- This user guide example offers users relevant information.
- Every article has a table of contents that jumps directly to any section you like.
- The user documentation includes graphics to create a better context for every topic.
SurveyMonkey’s help center offers a clean interface and in-depth resources. You’ll find six main categories under the search bar and a short explainer for new users to get started.
The page also compiles quick access links to the latest resources and most viewed articles. The best part is that most articles have a video overview for visual learners and a textual guide for others.
What sets SurveyMonkey apart
- The user guide example has a clear differentiation of topics, making it easy for users to find relevant answers.
- Almost every article presents in-depth information about the topic with a screen-recorded video and textual content.
- All the content is easily skimmable for busy users to solve their queries without hassle.
PandaDoc’s help center is short and jumps straight to the main categories. You can find correct information by searching or manually looking into relevant categories.
The navigation menu on the help center shows all the other resources available for PandaDoc like training courses, product updates and community forums. One of the segments, Unleashed, features various resources curated only for paid customers.
What sets PandaDoc apart
- The brand has a value-packed support system with different resources in the help center, community forum, and other avenues.
- The help center has a clean design and delivers to-the-point information.
- Important articles contain a video overview with a support agent giving users a walkthrough of a specific feature.
Canva’s help center includes tons of resources in various formats and categories. Users can jump to either of the eight main topics to troubleshoot their issues. Each category has a clearly defined structure and different answers for desktop and mobile apps.
Besides these categories, the help center features the top articles segmented for different types of users—pro, teams, education and nonprofits.
What sets Canva apart
- Each category covers crucial tool features without differentiating between free and paid users.
- The Top Articles section gives users quick access to the most viewed resources.
- Every article is a step-by-step guide, offering better readability and ease of understanding.
Asana’s user documentation explains the product’s functionality in four main sections:
- Getting started.
- Paid plans.
- Apps and integrations.
- Other resources.
Each section has articles explaining different aspects of the tool. These articles contain details, step-by-step breakdowns, tips, infographics, annotated screenshots, and gifs to guide users through any feature.
What sets Asana apart
- The resource section differs from a help center because it doesn't answer questions and offers short product demos.
- Every section has a quick access link to any article you’d like to read.
- The search function helps you find necessary information quickly.
Google Support has one of the best use examples of online user guides and self-help centers. Millions of people who use Google services access Google user guides for Google Search Console, Gmail, Google Maps, Chrome, and more.
With thousands of tools and products, most of the company's products have user manuals and user documentation pages. And the Google Help portal and community portal carry users' feedback, common questions and knowledge base.
What sets Google apart
- An easy-to-use status dashboard to keep you involved in all outages and downtimes.
- Subscription for news, helpful tips and updates.
- Easy links and automatic inclusion to the rest of Google's suite of products.
Stripe also has effective user documentation and user guides for its customers. Stripe's clean and uncluttered products and resources pages welcome customers to the user guides with a prominent search bar.
Handy guides help customers learn more about Stripe and how to use it. Every resource section invites customers to explore Stripe's knowledge base and learn more.
What sets Stripe apart
- Stripe's user guides are visually compelling and have an easy-to-navigate UX.
- Along with product resources, they provide industry updates, reports and more.
Ahrefs is a renowned SEO software SaaS used to build links, conduct competitor analysis, research keywords, track site rankings and more.
Ahrefs' documentation site includes their blog site for product and industry guides. Ahrefs Help Center is a repository of straightforward answers, from getting started with Ahrefs to using its API. The help center has a search bar for easy navigation. Ahrefs blog page also has detailed articles, case studies and more.
What sets Ahrefs apart
- Guides are divided among the most needed resources, such as FAQs, getting started documentation and account information.
- Each document is connected to similar resources, so you can navigate from one topic to another to answer your query.
- You can rate all user documentation to request improvements.
Microsoft offers comprehensive user guides and user documentation examples for all its products and services resources pages, installation manuals, instructions for use, product updates, training, and code samples.
The Microsoft Knowledge base, called Microsoft Learn, houses relevant articles and resources for all company products and services.
What sets Microsoft apart
- Hands-on learning modules and access.
- A combination of documentation and other media, such as video.
- Access to industry-endorsed certifications.
What are the benefits of user documentation?
On average company takes an average of 12 hours and 10 minutes to respond to a customer service request—slowing product adoption and frustrating users who need quick answers.
That sounds like a recipe for disaster, right? It doesn’t have to be that way.
Here are five reasons you need user documentation to avoid chaos and deliver a seamless customer experience.
1. Frictionless user onboarding
Your user onboarding process shapes a healthy relationship with every new customer. This is critical since 61 percent of customers willingly defect to your competitors after just one bad experience.
This is where user documentation comes to your (and their) rescue. Users can refer to these resources to learn more about a feature or answer any question—without waiting for an agent to respond.
End user documentation streamlines the onboarding process and ensures users see your product’s value early on.
2. Easy query resolution
Most companies have a frustratingly long or complicated process of contacting support. The easier you make it for users to troubleshoot their problems and find answers, the better.
User documentation is a one-stop solution to most of your users' questions. Customers resolve queries more conveniently (and quickly) by searching for their questions and reading relevant articles. It reduces the time to respond and simplifies the process.
3. Empower support teams (& minimize costs)
Without user documentation, your support teams will feel more pressure as your user base expands. They’ll also spend more time answering common and repetitive questions.
User documentation compiles all the information about the product in a single place to guide users through any queries. You’ll reserve your support team for high-value questions that users can’t resolve through the help center or FAQs.
4. Maximize customer retention
The struggle to find answers and solutions inevitably creates a poor customer experience.
User documentation reduces the resolution time and creates a win-win for customers and support teams. It enables users to self-troubleshoot without an agent and gives agents a break from answering repetitive questions.
This way, users enjoy greater ease of using the product and spend less time struggling to find answers.
5. Create a competitive edge
Research shows that 89 percent of customers will spend more time with companies that can find answers online without contacting anyone. User documentation is an essential component of customer service. The quality of your user documentation can be a differentiator for you in the market, helping you edge past the competition.
If you see the benefits of user documentation and get started, we have the tool for you.
"I work in IT and this has made writing user guides so fast that we can make them ad-hoc without time lost. We'll be upgrading to pro very soon!" — Brent F.
User documentation and user guide example FAQs
What are the four types of user documentation?
The four most common types of user documentation are:
- Installation guides give step-by-step instructions for installing software or hardware.
- User manuals offer detailed information on how to use a product or service.
- Troubleshooting guides help users identify and resolve common issues.
- API documentation provides developers with instructions on integrating and using an application programming interface.
How do you write a user document?
When writing your user document, here are a few points to consider:
- Think about your target audience and tailor your user documentation to their level of technical knowledge.
- Provide clear and concise instructions for users to understand and follow.
- Use a step-by-step format.
- Include screenshots or diagrams for visual aid.
- Use plain language to avoid confusion.
- Apply a consistent style and format.
- Review and update to reflect changes to the product or service.
What are the key elements to include in my user documentation?
- Introduction: An overview of the product or service, plus its features and benefits.
- Installation instructions: Explain how to install the product or service.
- Operation instructions: Provides step-by-step instructions on how to use the product or service.
- Troubleshooting: How to solve common problems with the product or service.
- Glossary: Define the technical terms.
- Index: An alphabetical list of topics covered in the documentation.
- Visuals: Screenshots, diagrams and illustrations help explain concepts and instructions.
User documentation vs. technical documentation: what's the difference?
User documentation and technical documentation are often confused with each other. Here are the key differences:
- The audience is the end-user of your product or service.
- It's designed to help to use the product or service and troubleshoot common problems.
- User documentation is written in plain language and avoids technical jargon.
- Technical documentation is for developers, engineers and other technical professionals.
- Provides detailed information about the product, including its architecture, design and implementation.
- Uses technical writing, jargon and acronyms.
Delight your customers with user documentation
User documentation can turn prospects into paying clients and new clients into loyal customers.
Save this list of top-notch end-user documentation examples when you're ready to design your own. And sign up for Scribe if you need a tool to create and publish your documentation effortlessly.