Home Creating how-to guides The Non-Designers guide to creating stunning step-by-step guides with FlowShare Pro
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The Non-Designers guide to creating stunning step-by-step guides with FlowShare Pro

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FlowShare Article Cover Image with Copy Creating stunning step by step guides with FlowShare

Design is an important aspect of any business, which is why most businesses have specific and clear brand guidelines. When we look at examples of step-by-step guides, it seems like companies rarely have clear guidelines for their internal processes.

How is it that when different individuals produce process documentation, the end result never looks the same?

Images are sized differently, different fonts and colors are used, there is no consistency. It seems that the standards for excellent design of internal documentation is not very high. Just having documentation is a big deal for most organizations. The real reason is even simpler though.

The n° 1 reason why your regular process documentation never looks the same

How familiar are you with the saying “Too many cooks spoil the broth.”?

This is what happens in a company when managers want to get as many employees as possible to help with the documentation process. It is a worthwile goal to have many people help with process documentation. But too many cooks helping could spoil the broth. This means that if people don’t follow some special rules for cooking, they will not be able to make yummy broths at the same time. The goal is to create a recipe that tastes good no matter who makes it.

This is what happens in a company when managers want to get as many employees as possible to help with the documentation process. It is a worthwile goal to have many people help with process documentation. But too many cooks helping could spoil the broth. This means that if people don’t follow some special rules for cooking, they will not be able to make yummy broths at the same time. The goal is to create a recipe that tastes good no matter who makes it.

Ensuring Consistent Process Documentation with Clear Guidelines.

Franchise restaurants have processes that every employee uses to put the ingredients together. This way, the ingredients will be put together in the same way no matter where the employee is. Their dishes will always taste the same, and the quality will depend on the ingredients and the process.

If you have the right guidance and processes in place, every employee in your company can create step-by-step guides that will be understood.

If you are a Michelin star chef, this guide is not for you.

However, if you manage a team of employees who need to document but have no prior experience in it, this is our most helpful resource to get them on the same page and started.

1. Introduction: What is FlowShare and why you should use it to create stunning step-by-step guides and process documentations.

FlowShare interface with text about creating simple step by step instructions
FlowShare: Create detailed step-by-step guides as you perform your tasks.

FlowShare is a simple, yet powerful tool that allows you to create stunning step-by-step guides and process documentations without any design experience. With FlowShare, you can easily capture all relevant steps of your process while you do it, and it will do the screenshots for you, write short text descriptions on where you clicked allowing you to edit and create a visually appealing document that is easy to follow.

So if you’re looking for a way to create stunning step-by-step guides and process documentations, without any design experience, then FlowShare is the perfect tool for you!

2. What makes a great step-by-step guide or process documentation?

The main goal of a process documentation is to capture all relevant steps of a process so that it can be followed and repeated by someone else. In order to do that, a great process documentation needs to follow the EASILY formula. 

The six components that make excellent process documentation are as follows:

E – Easy to follow: 

All steps need to be captured in a way that is easy to follow, ideally visually. For images this means: the screenshots should be high quality and show all relevant information, omit redundant elements like the task bar of your desktop if it’s not neccessary for the process. The text descriptions should be short and to the point – no more wall of text

A – Accurate and up to date: 

Your documentation and process guides should be up to date. This means that all screenshots should be up to date and show the current state of the software involved, and that all text descriptions should be accurate. If the interface changes, you must update your documetnation as soon as possible. Ideally you should have a feedback process in place or check your processes on a regular basis to make sure they are up to date. 

S – Structure with headlines: 

All step-by-step guides need to be layed out in a way that is structured and easy to navigate through a table of contents. The finished document should be well organized making it easy for viewers to find the part they are looking for. They should have it as easy as possible to find their way around in. 

I – Including important details: 

All steps need to be layed out in a way that is detailed enough so that someone else can follow them and repeat the process. In other words, no step should be omitted (yes, even and especially the steps that seem marginal to the creator) and all relevant information should be included.

L – Looking good: 

Chose appropriate colors for highlighting, fonts that are easy to read and use the same template for similar procedures.

Y – Your branding: 

You may ensure that all of your processes are branded by using a well-defined template for process documentation. Your logo, images, and colors are all consistent with each other. All of your text descriptions follow the same formatting rules as well.When your company has a unified style for its manuals, it makes your brand more appealing to those who follow the instructions and promotes team bonding.

Remember: EASILY.

If you follow these steps, you can consider yourself a professional even if you have never created a guide before.

And if your whole team follows these guidelines your process documentations will always look the same.

Tips and tricks for using FlowShare like a pro

If you don’t yet use FlowShare to automate all of the steps from the EASILY-formula, we recommend you download a free trial so you can follow along. Otherwise skip the following 2 sections and jump right to the Conclusion.

When you already have FlowShare installed: Start FlowShare anytime you need to document a procedure, for example because you want to delegate the activity or it’s a recurring process.

FlowShare will capture every step you make in the background. You can always pause the process if needed.

Once you have captured your process with FlowShare, you will already have completed 3 out of 6 items for a fantastic procedure documentation without having to do anything manually, isn’t that great?

Now for the last three items in our EASILY formula:

Make your images consistent:

  • Crop the screenshots with smart crop and bulk crop
  • Blur sensitive areas without having to blur every single image
  • Add more highlights to your screenshots when needed.

Descriptions:

  • Add text descriptions, use our WYSIWYG editor to create lists, add links to internal and external sources when needed.
  • Add Headlines to structure your guide – they will automatically be added to a Table of Contents based on the export template.

(!) When you structure your guide with Headlines, do not forget to add a headline to the first step. 

Choose your template and export your finished guide!

Choose the right template for your use case. Your company should already have a predefined template you can use for several occasions.

There are many more things you can do, like combine steps, add additional markings in the image but with these 4 tips alone your team will be doing better documentation than 95 % of the population.

3. Set up FlowShare to create stunning step-by-step instructions in just a few easy steps.

FlowShare can be a fantastic tool for your team to document the things you’re working on, but it’s important to set it up correctly before your staff starts using it. Here is how you can ensure that no matter who creates your guides, each and every one of them has the same appearance.

Step 1: Set up your branding in the Design Settings:

  • Sizes, shapes and colors of the arrows pointing out clicks in the images. You can choose from over 5 different shapes or a rectangle. You can even upload your custom arrow shape as a png.
  • Set up the font in the Design settings
  • Set up the color – accent color, text color
  • Upload your logo to make sure it appears on every guide

Once you cover these basics, you already have 80 %.

Step 2: Select or create a template that everyone on your team can use.

Now it is time to select a template. FlowShare offers over 10 different templates in over 5 formats. All pre-made templates will take the design defaults from the settings. 

You can even use multiple templates for multiple purposes.

If you want to customize your output even more, you can include your own MS Word or PowerPoint template.

Step 3: Distribute your settings among all team members.

After you’ve finished your configuration, you may export the settings and share them with all of your team members who use FlowShare. As a result, they won’t have to do anything and will automatically have the same standards.

If you are an admin setting up uniform guidelines for your team, check out our in depth article on adjusting all relevant design settings in FlowShare.

4. Conclusion: Reap the benefits of better documentation

Now that you know how to create stunning step-by-step guides and process documentations, it’s time to put them to use. All your documents will also be easy to follow and understand. Not only will this make your documentation process easier, but it will also improve communication within your team, streamline processes and reduce errors.

By following the tips in this guide, you can create beautiful, professional-looking documents that will help your team work more efficiently and effectively.

Keep sharing your Flow!

FlowShare by miraminds has a 5,00 of 5 star rating 15 reviews on Google | Name Software & Process Documentation Tool