All too often, we tech bloggers review a gadget-at-hand without bothering to analyze the device’s corresponding directions. This isn’t due to neglect or laziness, per se, but mostly because we want to see if a device is intuitive enough for a senior to assemble, install or use without any literary help.
Well, a crafty blogger over at the New York Times’ Gadgetwise recently put the directions of one German manufacturer, which makes gadgets for the hard of hearing, under the spotlight. The company’s called Amplicom, and it has created a line of amplified cordless phones and alarm clocks that are designed with the elderly in mind.
Gadgetwise liked the devices, but found the instruction manuals to be very…confusing at times. From the example it gave, we have to agree.
Below is an excerpt from the Amplicom TCL200 alarm clock’s instruction manual, courtesy of the New York Times:
There are two alarm period settings available. You can set one of three alarm periods for each setting (Monday to Friday, Monday to Sunday, or Saturday and Sunday). The alarm you set is repeated only on the days set for the selected alarm period.
See what we/they mean by confusing? The point of this post is not to pick on Amplicom for its overly complicated rhetoric. Rather, it’s to highlight a great point that Gadgetwise focused on, the fact that plenty of devices can be useful to seniors, but their potential may never be realized if the instructions are too difficult to follow.
So we implore you, manufacturers, to please spend as much time designing your instruction manuals and packaging as you do on your product’s senior-family function.
Click here to read Gadgetwise’s full take on Amplicom’s instruction manuals.