RE: Ikea method of technical writing (graphical instructions)

Subject: RE: Ikea method of technical writing (graphical instructions)
From: Kevin McLauchlan <kmclauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2007 13:43:57 -0400

Peter Gold happened to write:
> However, for my two cents, I'd suggest that, at least for this
> particular product's instructions, user testing was insufficient.
> Whether there was some or none, apparently no users who were
> unfamiliar with the instruction style, as well as the realm of
> required tasks and skills were closely observed performing the
> operations by following the instructions. It's possible that every
> observed tabula-rasa user succeeded in aligning the pieces properly; I
> can't guess the odds.

Wait a minute. Aren't all you folks pretending to be technical writers?

How could you miss the obvious?

The technical illustrator (guy with charcoal stick in third-world out-source
country) finished a proper depiction of the procedure for assembling the
furniture... then.... wait for it.... wait for it.... somebody changed the
product just before release when it was too late to update the docs. Most
likely, they never even told the illustrator that it had changed.

Doesn't that sound achingly familiar to almost everybody?

I think some of you must be fake TWs trying to "pass" if you haven't
encountered _that_ situation at least a dozen times. :-)

Kevin (yankin' yer chain, while writing as the voice of experience)

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