When reading manuals, some can be exceptionally good however some can be extremely confusing leaving you to abandon the instructions manual and try to figure out the task at hand by yourself.
But what is it that makes a manual good? Well that all depends on the person who is reading the manual, some find that when manuals consist of a lot of writing it it easier to follow, whereas others find it easier to follow a simple step by step drawing, or some may prefer a combined effect.
So with them 3 possible layouts for manuals taken into consideration I will show a few manuals in which I feel are good and bad representations of manuals. However I will point out the good and bad things about each manual.
Ikea Wardrobe Instructions Manual
Ikeas use of pictures allows the manual to become a more universal instructions manual. The manual gives step by step picture guides to help you set up your wardrobe however due to there being no words to follow, you do not know for sure that you are setting it up correctly.
One clear thing that the manual shows is when you are to do the job with more than one person.
I feel like all manuals need to have some for a writing instructions to compliment the imagery used. This allows you to double check that you have done everything accordingly to the manual instruction.
Some manuals however can be too over packed with information meaning when you look at it you just want to try and figure it out yourself. Take a look at this manual for instance, it is only two page yet due to the mass of writing and information it does not interest you,
I feel that when reading an instructions manual it needs to be balanced with writing as well as imagery. One manual I feel does this rather well is the Canon 5D MarkII manual. It uses clear font in which it simple to read. The instructions are supports by a picture allowing the person to read the instructions whilst also using the image as an extra form of guidance.
One thing I do not like about manuals is when the contents pages are never ended. It takes that person 10 minutes just to find what they need. I want my manual to be simple, in which it shows imagery as well as instructions.