Producing a successful guide: Principles, purpose, people and process
A successful guide is one that is used by those for whom it was produced, for the purpose for which it was produced. Of course, a guide needs to be accurate, attractive, relevant, affordable and available; but it also has to function well. To be genuinely successful, a guide must convey good quality information that actually improves the capabilities of the user. This means that it has to be usable – the person reading it can find, understand and apply the information that he or she needs. In order to achieve all of this, the authors need to involve a range of experts (who may include local experts with traditional knowledge), as well as the potential users, in planning and researching the guide. This may necessitate a consultative planning process and a collaborative team approach.