Via Got Boondoggle? Shorter Text for Visual Work Instructions (link broken 🙁 so removed) by Steven Blackwell:
The line worker may not even read text that seems excessive. We have spent the last eight years observing line workers using visual work instructions and asking them if they read the text. If the text is a short sentence, the answer is usually “yes.” If the text is more than one sentence long, the answer is usually “no.”
Another recent post, Poka-Yoke Assembly (also prompted by Got Boondoggle?), also discusses the importance of well written (short) instructions.
In writing minimal text, we recommend the sentence structure, “Verb NOUN with NOUN using NOUN.” An example is given in the following illustration, “Cut CABLE to LENGTH as shown using SCISSORS.” That includes 8 words, as opposed to 82 in the original example, only 10% of the original length.