Sean’s Obsessions

Sean Walberg’s blog

Attention, People Who Write Assembly Instructions

On a step that requires screws, have a life size picture of the screw on the same step. With several pages of instructions and a wind outside, I can’t be flipping between page 3 and 1 to determine if “part E” is the 3” screw or the 4” screw.

Also let me know how many of each screw I’ll be using in each step. You’ve got several diagrams for the same step, but nothing lines up, so I don’t know if I should be putting in 4 screws or 6.

Label the parts themselves so I can figure out what the heck they are

Don’t arbitrarily switch perspectives on me in the diagrams, especially if the thing we’re building is vaguely squarish. It just leads to people putting parts in the wrong way.

Speaking of which, make sure your diagrams clearly show the orientation of the product. If your designers had any clue, they’d design the product so that if I tried to put the piece in the wrong way, it wouldn’t fit, instead of finding out two steps later.

If you’re going to make a “helpful hints” section, make sure they’re helpful. For instance, saying “in step 7, you may want to try it this way” isn’t helpful. Tell me on step 7.

A quick search of the ‘net shows I’m not alone thinking this particular product has some problems. (The second comment in is really funny, doesn’t make me feel so bad about the time I spent on it)

Read the full article to see some pics.


I’m trying something new here. Talk to me on Twitter with the button above, please.