Some assembly required

Subject: Some assembly required
From: "Dick Margulis " <margulis -at- mail -dot- fiam -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 12:19:04 -0500

Did anyone else catch the piece on Dateline last week about assembly instructions?

Dateline asked, um, I think it was Good Housekeeping Institute, but I might be misremembering, to evaluate the manufacturers' estimates of how long it should take to put together some typical items one might buy.

They settled on three products. They had one of the institute's test engineers assemble them and also had a non-technical person assemble them. Not surprisingly they concluded that some products have better instructions than other products, yada yada.
What I found most interesting, though, was their experience with an Ikea product. Ikea generally gets high marks--especially on techwr-l--for their completely language-neutral (i.e., wordless), step-by-step diagrams. The evaluators, though, were not happy with this approach at all.

Food for thought.


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