Re: Safety & Manuals

Subject: Re: Safety & Manuals
From: Richard Lippincott <rlippinc -at- BEV -dot- ETN -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 1995 11:07:06 EST

Carma Allen said, of her company's manuals:

>The instrument manual contains model-specific warnings and
>cautions and we believe in erring on the side of caution.

Do you have a problem where the contents of the manual then become:

WARNING (topic)
WARNING (topic)
WARNING (topic)
Procedure step.
-----Page Break----
WARNING (Topic repeated from previous page)
WARNING (Topic repeated from previous page)
CAUTION (Topic)
Procedure step.
WARNING (Topic)
WARNING (Topic)
Procedure step.
-----Page Break-----
WARNING (Topic)
Procedure step.


And so forth. The upshot is that we've got more warnings and cautions on the
page than procedural steps. It's kinda like having instructions on how to
drive from Point A to Point B, but every time there's a new line of
instruction, you get "WARNING: Fasten your seat belt. Failure to comply could
result in injury or death." But of course, you buckled the seat belt in the
first step....

I'm afraid that readability suffers, to a point where users will simply stop
following the manual altogether. Does this make any sense?

Rick Lippincott
Eaton Semiconductor
Beverly, MA
rlippinc -at- bev -dot- etn -dot- com


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