Posts Tagged ‘Procedures’

How Not to Do How-To

Amazon Kindle Fire User's Guide

My new e‑book reader, the Amazon Kindle Fire, blows my mind. It holds a fathomless supply of books, magazines, and movies—and it takes up less room in my purse than my make-up kit. The interface thrills like a party trick; if I had a library’s worth of e-books sitting on this infinite bookshelf, the gentlest finger stroke would send their bright covers flying off the edge of the screen like cards in a game of 52-bazillion pickup.

The user guide blows my mind too. It’s among the least helpful product manuals I’ve ever encountered, a distinction that’s tough to achieve.

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When is a step not a step?

Have you ever created a nonstep? Here are three examples (highlighted in red).

Example 1


Example 2


Example 3


Of all the things you need to know to write useful procedures, the most important is the simplest. One step = one (human) action.

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