Reading Usable Help
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Gordon R. Meyer
When is dumbed down too dumb?
The drive towards "complete and comprehensive" documentation can result in micro-proceedures that obscures real tasks, makes the simple seem complex, and insults customers by addressing them as if they are children. See "Six Steps" at "But She's a Girl" for an example of hygiene instructions for a real-life example.
Is it really necessary to tell someone old enough to read that they have to turn on the faucet in order to wash their hands? Once an intelligent person has read this first step do they continue reading or do they stop because the sign has communicated that it is not intended for them? It would be interesting to test my assertion. Perhaps one of the middle steps would be to ask the sales staff for a free drink as a reward. Then keep track of how many drinks are given away.