User Manual Critique

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User Manual Critique Toe Jamorama ENG 221 April 22, 2010 Dr. Andrew Taylor User Manual Critique During our recent home remodel, we installed a new thermostat for the heating and air conditioning unit. We turned it on when the temperature rose into the 90s and set it to 79 degrees. However, many times during the day I would realize it was too warm inside for the setting I had chosen. A quick check revealed that the thermostat had mysteriously reset itself to 86 degrees. I set the temperature again, but a few hours later the setting returned to 86. I finally realized I was dealing with a smart thermostat, so I decided to read the instructions. Evaluation Criteria I found the Hunter Owner’s Manual for my model (44132) at http://www.hunterfan.com/ uploadedFiles/Support/Owners_Manuals_and_Parts_Guide/44067%281%29.pdf and chose to critique it. The criteria I selected to evaluate include audience recognition, presentation, graphics, instructional steps, and troubleshooting. I also enlisted the aid of my significant other, John, for his feedback on some aspects of the documentation’s general appeal and effectiveness. He has a more technical understanding of the product and rarely uses documentation, whereas I rely on instructions to tell me what the product can do. Audience Recognition The audience for the user guide is the average homeowner. I think the documentation accommodates this audience well by using plain, everyday language. It lists steps in good, linear fashion. It seems to be thorough and detailed without excessive wordiness. One example of solid audience recognition on page 24 discusses what happens when the battery runs low. John liked this section because the note told him our settings would not be lost each time the battery was removed. I liked it because it described how to remove the thermostat from the wall (I am mechanically challenged enough

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