The Bronson Group owns a variety of companies that underwrite personal and commercial insurance Policies. In recent years, the company has suffered operating losses. Inthe company was heavily invested in computer hardware and software. One of the problems the Bronson Group faced as well as many insurance companies was a conflict between established manual procedures and the relatively recent within the past 20 years introduction of computer equipment.
Avoid a comic-book kind of approach Although IKEA manuals very much look like a comic book, telling a story with a user manual should be completely avoided.
Think in topics when creating your user manual! Topic based communication in technical manuals uses a modular approach for content creation. With this approach, all content is structured around topics. A topic always has a well-defined beginning and ending.
At the end of a topic, a particular task has been completed. This has huge advantages. By structuring around topics, parts of topics can be mixed and reused in different contexts. The opposite of topic-based authoring is narrative content, written in the same type of linear structure as written books.
One example of a topic-based approach would be the way the following task is described: Use a screw driver to attach all 14 screws article number Especially when using the same views all the time, this means that parts of illustrations can be reused throughout the manual, or even throughout manuals about other products.
IKEA mainly thinks in topics and reuses content for their ballooning and for the several variants of certain products, like the Billy closet. For being able to think in topic-based terms in your illustrations, a high level of product standardisation is required.
Use the right tools With the right 3D software you can create comprehensive illustrations. With these tools, you can set your perspective and views to create consistent illustrations and ensure consistency for all future publications.
Most of these tools allow you to set line thickness, shadows, colours, etcetera. Whatever software you use, make sure to export your drawings as vector images. Additionally, it is very useful to have Adobe Illustrator to edit your illustrations.
In Illustrator, you can also add numbers, callouts and other stuff, if you did not do this already in your 3D tool. The IKEA style works best for flat packed installation products An average user manual contains safety warnings, installation instructions, instructions for use and often some troubleshooting and maintenance information.
But this is not the case with most IKEA manuals. The idea of selling flat pack and self-assembly furniture came to IKEA by accident in Transportation and assembly were the most costly aspects of his business.
Unassembled furniture could lead to significant cost-savings. As a result, the installation instructions take up most of the user manual, if not all of it!
So, if your ultimate goal is to provide your product with an IKEA-ish manual, rather than anything else, what you need ideally is a flat pack product that needs to be installed.
Begin with a promise IKEA manuals start off with a promise: When buying a product at IKEA, you often dedicate your evening or Saturday afternoon to build your recent purchase. By directly visualising the end result at the start, the user is confident that he will complete his task successfully.
Give users more confidence Some MacGyvers might not even need the instructions at all in order to do the job, but there are also other users that are a bit less confident.
So what does IKEA do? They give all the non-techies the idea that there is always a smart, friendly MacGyver around, who they can ask for help by giving him a call.
IKEA is there to support you 9. Modularity works well Again, a good manual starts with a smart product design. Many IKEA products are built according to a modular approach. This piece of furniture is broken down into modules which customers can reassemble just by following an step instruction.
I am not saying that you should only design modular products, but because of modularity many IKEA instructions can stay concise. Design a product for mass production When assembling a piece of IKEA furniture, there is just one single design outcome.
That is one that the company has designed to be cheap enough for mass production.You don't. But using advisors who have been in your shoes before can make all the difference. And in case none of the designs suits your preferences, then perhaps you’d like to come up with your own.
Try one of these Ikea hacks: Rolling kitchen island. View in gallery. View in gallery. Make a small, mobile kitchen island using an Expedit shelving unit, Lagan countertop and Branas baskets, all from Ikea.
Do you think IKEA is being overly optimistic in its growth plans?
How would you improve IKEA's value proposition to make it even more attractive to American consumers? IKEA will most likely attain its goal of having fifty stores in operation in the U.S. by Digging down into specifics, we can look at some key areas where limitations can greatly improve design.
The first of these areas is color. Cited by Bill from GoMediaZine as the second rule of becoming a master designer, limiting your color palette is extremely important.
Each year camera manufacturers are pushing the limits of sensor technology and the latest trend has been to increase sensor resolution to numbers that were considered unfathomable before. IKEA is well known for stocking everything you could possibly need to make a house a home (plus plenty of things that you don’t need, yet somehow still end up buying).
One thing they’ve always lacked however is a collection of furniture specifically designed for pets, but IKEA aims to change all.