It’s Official–Nobody Reads the Manual

Well, almost nobody. Early on in my tech writer career I had the eye-opening experience of walking into an engineer’s office and seeing a  multi-volume set documentation on his bookshelf still covered in shrink wrap. I thought to myself  that after all the months work on the manuals he should at least have the common human decency to take off the shrink wrap. It’s like buy a painting and hanging it with the painted side facing the wall. Since then when people ask  me what I do I tell them I write books that nobody reads.

Now we have statistical proof of this phenomena:

Gadget Helpline, a UK tech support service, found that well over half of their male customers didn’t even bother to read the manual before calling tech support. C’mon guys, is that the best we can do?

Apparently, only 24% of females don’t read the manual before picking up the phone. Good on you, ladies. Apparently you’re far less lazy than us when it comes to reading.

via 64% of Men Don’t RTFM Before Calling Tech Support – Gadget Helpline – Gizmodo.

It’s interesting note the differences between men and women. Maybe we should write a male and female version of each manual. The female manual assumes that the user will read the manual before using and the male one that he will maybe open it only if he runs into a problem.

About these ads
Explore posts in the same categories: Uncategorized

3 Comments on “It’s Official–Nobody Reads the Manual”

  1. Irena Tkach Says:

    I am among these 24%. Yesterday we bought a new toaster oven and today I tried to use it. I opened a manual only when it refused to turn off ☺.


  2. [...] manual: possibly the most awkward part of a user’s experience with a product. People avoid manuals whenever possible and designers try to build interfaces that need not rely on them. And yet, users and designers [...]


  3. [...] manual: possibly the most awkward part of a user’s experience with a product. People avoid manuals whenever possible and designers try to build interfaces that need not rely on them. And yet, users and designers [...]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: