Tag Archives: visual instructions

Not Ambiguous Sign

I like the series of posts by Jon Miller on Ambiguous signs (another example). Here is a sign that got my attention recently and they succeeded in keeping me away (which I think was their intention).

photo of sign showing gunman shooting someone, and warning in 5 languages not to enter

Photo in Johor Bahru, Malaysia near the Royal Palace by John Hunter.

The area is near the Royal Palace in Johor Bahru Malaysia, though I am not certain that is what the restricted area is. It isn’t obvious to me why this location requires shooting trespassers, but I took the idea from the sign to stay out. To me, this sign conveys pretty forcefully that you shouldn’t consider entering if you are not authorized to do so.

Related: Living in Malaysiabear warning sign on hiking trailVisual Instructions Example

Great Visual Instruction Example

antibiotic visual instructions

This does a great job of explaining what you need to know clearly. While this presentation for Azithromycin doesn’t prevent a mistake it sure makes it much more likely that the process can be completed successfully. We need more effort in creating such clear instructions.

Visual clarity is more important than lots of words. Applying that concept is not as easy as it sounds but it is a very important idea for instructions to end use and instructions for processes in your organization. Expecting people to read much is just setting yourself up for failure when they don’t bother (you should consider psychology, and how people will actually use your instructions not how you want them to).

via: Prescription UI

Related: Using Design to Reduce Medical ErrorsVisual Instructions ExampleVisual Work InstructionsStandardized Work InstructionsHealth Care Pictographs5sEdward Tufte’s: Envisioning Information

Visual Instructions Example

Visual Instructions

How to get people to actually use instructions for using your product: make it easy to do so. This blog post illustrates a well designed instruction guide for the Seagate FreeAgent backup drive. Simple pictures make it very obvious what to do (and even includes a time stamp showing how long into the process you are – which shows you the total time it will take at one simple glance 1 minute and 36 seconds).

Such instructions are a great example to guide internal standard work instructions.

Related: Why Isn’t Work Standard?How to Create Visual Work Instructionsblog posts on quality toolsmanagement improvement glossary

Visual Work Instructions

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.