RE: cooking instructions for Kraft Dinner

Subject: RE: cooking instructions for Kraft Dinner
From: "Mandy Wells" <mwells -at- valadeo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 4 Jan 2001 17:29:40 -0500

> Case study:
> Cooking instructions on the Kraft Dinner box are reported to be unclear to
> some adults and children. It seems that novices to food
> preparation may not
> distinguish stovetop and microwave instructions as two discrete processes,
> and instead perform both sets of instructions, leading to less-than-savory
> (pun intended) results.
> Case study conclusions:
> 1. The instructions seemed clear to the writer.
> 2. The instructions turned out to be unclear to some of the audience.
> 3. The writer made assumptions about the audience but did not test those
> assumptions.
> 4. If the assumptions were tested, the test was unsound (otherwise, the
> instructions would be clear to the audience.)

This assessment of the case study missed one important element--the junior
chefs were given some meta-instruction (outside the box, as it were):
* An aside, the two kids did know what mac-n-cheese looked like, both have
* cooking with me since they were little (2-3 somewhere in that age range)
but I
* said, "Follow ALL the instructions." Which they did!

While I haven't had a chance to look at the instructions for Kraft Dinner
yet, it could be that this general instruction--"Follow ALL the
instructions."-- superseded both the precision of the original
procedures--Stove Top or Microwave-- and what the junior chefs already knew
about desired finished appearance of mac-n-cheese (it was an direct order
from Mom, which supersedes just about anything we know about life).

Theoretically cheesy,

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