2002 Worst Manual Contest
March 25, 2002 6:35 AM   Subscribe

2002 Worst Manual Contest - as selected by Technical Standards, Inc (a documentation company). Some pretty good examples of confusing or confounding manual design (also check the 2000 - 2001 winners), with everything ranging from poor translation ("Operate it on the loosen condition of the levers without comfirmation can cause the handle pole bent and cause Incident") to perplexing images to just poor or absent proof-reading. PDF-intensive. (Heard about this on NPR's "On The Media")
posted by tpl1212 (6 comments total)
That "Sliding Bicycle" (scooter) manual sounds a lot like things I have had to edit.

I like this line: "Make sure all the levers have been shut off again and again before using it." Isn't that exactly how you have to use most cheap products? You do things again and again? Until the damned thinged works?

And this: "Do not ride the product when you are in poor health or bad spirit."
posted by pracowity at 6:56 AM on March 25, 2002

I'd like to see someone put up a site with awards for the BEST manuals. Anyone know of such a place? Or some examples of well-written online manuals? I have a training manual project and could use some inspiration.
posted by groundhog at 7:33 AM on March 25, 2002

I visited the tecstandards.com home page. I find it ironic that it uses mystery meat navigation.
posted by tippiedog at 8:34 AM on March 25, 2002

The blade-changing illustration, with the actual action cropped out of the picture, is just staggering.

I think they picked the right entry to win, however -- even though they could probably find several hundred employee "manuals" exactly as bad. This kind of approach, which treats the employee as a truant and permanent liability, is probably the norm rather than the exception in industrial settings, or just barrel-bottom jobs everywhere.

Remember: Violation of break rules by some and disrespect to the management is unfair to the other and destroys moral and team effort and will result in disciplinary action or possible dismissal.

You are part of the TEAM-GET WITH IT!
posted by argybarg at 9:33 AM on March 25, 2002

"Terrorable Hexahedron"
that's genius.
posted by juv3nal at 10:23 AM on March 25, 2002

I always found a certain Zen Fascist beauty in the manuals that accompany the Chinese Meditation Balls one finds in import stores like Cost Plus. Such inspirational messages as "The Balls Make Our Country Strong!" are certainly something to ponder as you play with your balls.
posted by Kafkaesque at 3:21 PM on March 25, 2002

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