Got Boondogle asks, Do you Read Instructions Carefully Before Assembly? Nope, I don’t. I expect I can make a quick judgment if I really need to or I basically get it and can put things together well enough. I expect the supplier to make very obvious anything critical.
I am much less likely to read instructions that seem to be written by a lawyer, as I imagine are many others. If they provide simple, clear instructions I will use them (like Ikea provided for this desk I am using now). I find many good instructions require almost no words (they use pictures very well).
As Mike Wroblewski stated in his post:
Good manufacturers will recognize that there exists in our world this great divide between the instruction readers and the intuitive assemblers. Great manufacturers will put a system in place to prevent operator errors for both groups.
Poka-Yoke (mistake-proofing) is one of my favorite ideas. I just love the idea of not only making something that works well but making something that is difficult to have work badly. I encourage you to follow Mike’s advice: “Look at your processes and products. How can operator errors occur? Think how a simple poka-yoke can eliminate the error and make it mistake proof.”
Book: Poka-Yoke: Improving Product Quality by Preventing Defects by Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun.