Daily Instruction Review @IFA 2017 Part 1
IFA selected SwipeGuide as one of the innovations in consumer products. We developed a cloud software application that makes it very easy for companies to create, publish and share interactive and visual step-by-step instructions. Innovative companies like Philips, Ziggo & Eneco already use SwipeGuide. At IFA we hope to hear how we can solve your customer experience, onboarding & support challenges.
In our daily review we check manuals on the dimensions: task orientation, accessibility, visualization, text quality, structure and problemsolving. Our review is done based upon evidence-based instruction design principles.
Today: KENWOOD BM450 Baking Machine
Will you end up with bread or a ball of flour?
Task orientation – 1,5/5: It is hard for users to start performing their task with this manual. After finding the right languageyou have to go over images and descriptions that cover all product details and a vast collection of warnings. The manual takes functions and features as a starting point. The rest of the manual doesn’t have a clear task structure as well, except for the very generic ‘Using your breadmaker’. That makes it hard to find what you actually want to do in this manual.
Accessibility – 2,5/5: Besides the paper based version in the box, the manual is available online as PDF file. With a Google search we find it quite easily on the Kenwood site. Once we have the manual we are facing 8 languages, so it takes some time to get to the right version. Once we are there it still takes some time to find the task we want to start with.
Visualisation – 2/5: Most visuals are clear illustrations, but the are not connected to the instruction texts. They are available at the start of the manual and you have to refer back to them from the textual descriptions. Some of them are quite hard to understand and abstract without the text and flipping back and forth is a hassle.
Text quality – 2/5: Task steps are written in directive style and are active, but there is a mix-up between steps and others text (e.g. warnings).
Structure – 1/5: The manual structure is quite poor with the split between images and text. Also proper structuring of chapters and indication of different kinds of information is missing. This makes the manual hard to use when you want to start using the product. Finding information quick is hard as there is also no table of contents nor an index to start a search from.
Problemsolving – 2/5: There is limited problemsolving information presented to the user. At some points remarks are made to prevent users from making mistakes, e.g. “ensure that all ingredients are weighed accurately as incorrect measures will produce poor results”, but this info is not distinguished from the step descriptions. At some points there is just a header ‘hits & tips’.
Conclusion – All in all this manual has quite a way to go from a customer perspective.
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