A Word About Instruction Manuals

Dear manufacturers of electronics devices. I know you think your device is so intuitive that a drunk baby could figure it out. And I appreciate those six-page quick-start guides that let us–especially the guys–just fire up our toys and get going. BUT YOU SHOULD BE INCLUDING THE ENTIRE INSTRUCTION MANUAL WITH MY PURCHASE.

Here’s the deal. Many times your product isn’t as intuitive as you think it is–especially when it comes to setting or changing preferences. And this includes you, Apple (though this particular rant isn’t inspired by an Apple product). And some of us LIKE to read instruction manuals or at least have them handy so that we don’t have to call tech support, which typically means calling a guy in India who will then read the instruction manual to us.

Sure, I know. I can go to the web and download the PDF. But you know what? I just shelled out hundred of dollars for this thing. Why should I have to take more time to go download a PDF and then, if I’m so old school I want to print out the instruction manual (maybe so I can multitask on the toilet), waste 200 or 300 pages of my own paper and all that toner cartridge or ink (or, in some cases, my employer’s paper and ink).

Listen, I get it. Paper and printing is expensive. Especially when research shows no one is reading the damn instruction manual. And this lets you claim to be environmentally aware–“Oooh. Look. We’re saving paper. Oooo.”

But I don’t care. I want my instruction manual IN THE BOX. And, also, I hate trees.

4 thoughts on “A Word About Instruction Manuals

  1. Don’t get this wrong, I agree with you but you might not know it that many of these manufacturers have been striving to cut costs on print. The manuals of our items are becoming increasingly available only online. Many, especially Apple products(i’ve purchased approximatly $20k of apple products in the past year.), are included on a disk if not in some of the software and most all are available on the internet. I think your on point that they should make it drop dead obvious as to how to get to the FULL shabang.

  2. Yeah, what is WITH those trees? They’re all like, “I’m shady. I’m growin’ in the ground and sprouting leaves and fruit.”

    Cocky bastards.

    (Although I kinda like the fruit part.)

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