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Reference guides help your customers use your product as efficiently as possible — whether it is an application, hardware, or an API. From a one-page cheat-sheet to a 12-page laminated guide and on to a full online reference system, reference cards help your customers get the most from your product. See what people have said about Miller & Mattson reference guides.

Put the features of your product at their fingertips and turn your users into power users and word-of-mouth advocates for future sales with a reference guide.  Contact us today and we’ll talk about your project.

Make your sales go up by improving customer satisfaction.

Your customers will get the most from your application if you help them use it as efficiently as possible. This goes for adoption of programming languages too.

When your users need to look up a function or command, do they wade through hundreds of pages to find their answer? A reference guide allows your users to be productive without having to turn to the manual or lengthy spec over and over again. The more complex your product is or the longer the documentation, the more you need a reference guide.

Reference guides help create power users, which are an important asset to any company. They support and instruct others, and promote your product by showing off what it can do. Best of all, these vocal users inspire others to use your product.

What can a reference guide do for you?

  • Make your complex API or product — hardware or software — easier to use.
  • Help turn casual users into experts, and turn experts into power users.
  • Put answers in your customers’ hands, even when there is no printed manual.
  • Provide the most on-topic giveaway you can get for your next event.
  • Get bloggers and user groups talking about your product.
  • Make it easier for instructors to include your product in their curricula

Check out some samples

Click a thumbnail to open a PDF or, in the case of the last thumbnail, be taken to the online interactive reference system (authored in XML).

Th_RefcardGL     Th_Refcard    omp-th   example-web-reference

What goes on a reference guide?

You’ve got limited real estate on a reference guide — what content should you include? You should include any details which would be difficult to remember but which must be used frequently, such as:

  • Lists and definitions of menu items
  • Prototypes and descriptions for commands, functions, and directives
  • API syntax
  • Symbol keys
  • Lists or tables of common values or cross references
  • Diagrams and charts
  • Valid value ranges

In addition to standard reference information, a reference guide can include information that can help promote your products and services:

  • Calls to action and cross-promotions to other products
  • Branding, copyright, and trademark information
  • URLs and other contact information

What can you do with a reference guide?

Reference guides can help you increase sales and retain customers. Our customers tell us that the reference guides they give out at tradeshows are the talk of every event they go to, and in one case, a university course was created based entirely on a reference guide that we produced.
So what should you do with a reference guide?

Give it away.

  • Post a PDF on your website, providing it free to your users to help them become power users
  • Use it as the most on-topic giveaway possible at events
  • Provide it to schools and other trainers
  • Give it to your user groups
  • Make sure all your sales reps have some to give away
  • Make sure your customer support team tells callers where to go on your website to find it

Sell it!

  • Defray the cost of printing by selling your reference guide
  • Offer bulk rates for schools
  • Sell on your own website, sell on Amazon using your Pro Seller account. Or we can set the guides up for print-on-demand through Lulu or another vendor. (Here are some our reference guides being sold on Lulu.)
  • Offer posters too! (Available for guides with 4 or fewer pages.)

What do users say?

“For years we have been using the OpenGL Reference Cards in our Oregon State University graphics classes and in our research projects. They make a big difference in the students’ ability to understand the OpenGL API and to use it effectively.  Mine is always within arm’s reach of my desk.  Keep up the good work!”- Mike Bailey, Professor, Computer Science, and 2015 OSU Faculty Senate President

 
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