My comments and contribution to our class online forum :
I have found that a lot of instruction manuals leave a lot to be desired in terms of ease of use and the ability to translate what is written on the page. I have experiences in the past of throwing away the instructions in despair and going it alone! The two examples I have chosen relate to items that I have in my home so I have personally used the manuals cited.
The Good :
Being a multinational company, IKEA have to address consumers across the globe. Rather than falling into the trap of attempting to translate the pages into a host of different languages, IKEA use a simple cartoon interface to relay the assembly instructions to their customers. This works very well across the language barriers, the consumer can visually identify with each step. This manual is for my bed, which we found to be really straightforward to assemble and did not result in midconstruction meltdowns!
The Bad :
We are currently in the midst of having issues with our hot water tank and before calling out a very expensive electrician we thought we would Google the timer and see if it was a problem that could be solved by us. I found the following instruction manual for our Grasslin Timer online as a PDF. The language used is very confusing the instructions do not seem to collaborate with the diagrams with any sense of fluidity. This makes it difficult to read, and even harder to interpret. In the end I ditched the instructions, had a go at resetting the timer myself and I am currently waiting to see if we do indeed have hot water now!