Instruction manuals — Really, you think you can call it that?

Posted on: January 9th, 2013 by Sandra Powell 15 Comments

Dear company that produces ANY PRODUCT that requires assembly or installation, do you read your own manuals before you put your product on the market?  I don’t think you do.  It would be a good idea because you should know if your manuals make sense or not.  If they don’t, I think you can do better.

(This is not a real instruction manual.  It’s one I made up to represent the stupidity I’ve seen recently.)

Crappy Instruction Manuals

When I pay money to buy a product, I expect to be able to use said product.  If you produce and sell a product that  has to be  ”assembled at home” or “installed”, it is your responsibility to provide adequate instructions to walk me through the installation or assembly process.


It shouldn’t be difficult.  Here are a few tips if you’re confused as to what consumers need in their instruction manual.


  • It should be written by someone who speaks the language that the manual is written in.  Not translated.
  • It should be written by someone who has actually installed or assembled said item.
  • It should be proofread by someone else who has also installed or assembled said item.
  • Then it should be “TESTED” by several consumers who have no affiliation with the product or process.
  • If it passes the consumer test then you can go ahead and send it out to be put on the shelves at stores.


I sure help this insight helps — ’cause currently YOUR INSTRUCTION MANUAL might SUCK!


15 thoughts on “Instruction manuals — Really, you think you can call it that?

  1. Mary Ellen says:

    Dear Sandra,
    Couldn’t get the tab to work on emailing you directly…….so commenting here. I have a blog and starting January 1st of this year, I have shared a new blog-a-day. Today you were featured. LOVE your humor!

    Here is a link to the blog:

    So glad to have found your blog and looking forward to many more enjoyable reads.

  2. Eileen says:

    Funny post and oh so true!

  3. Shell We says:

    Haha I call instructions like that Chinese ikeastructions because they dont make sense &most of the lil pics are useless.

  4. Jeremy Glastetter says:

    Hi SawDustGirl -
    I’m smiling from reading this article. You are not alone with your feelings. I myself have found a living assembling a whole array of items for people.