User Manual Critique
The point of a user manual is to impart knowledge to the reader. It should do so in a manner that makes the information easy to digest, does not overwhelm the reader, and provides useful points regarding safety (where appropriate), assembly (again, where appropriate), and be relatively easy to read. Should the item require assembly or disassembly for any reason, diagrams are a must, and the tone used should be appropriate for the audience. Understanding your audience is especially important, and is the reason that computer setup manuals come with bright colorful photos while books on programming are dense with tiny pictures.
The assembly manual for the Weber “Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker” is available from the Weber website ("Weber.com - Support", 2014), and comes in thirteen languages. It is a large manual, and Weber did a wonderful job by placing the assembly instructions at the end, with large pictures and no words. Merely universal numbers for measurement, making the assembly diagrams useful to peoples regardless of their language. The Weber manual was judged on six of the many criteria found in Chapter 13 of the student text (Gerson & Gerson, 2012), and they are listed in the following paragraphs.
Are the tone and word usage appropriate for the intended audience? The manual is very direct, but given the dangerous nature of smoking and grilling, along with the risk of consuming undercooked foods, using the wrong cooking materials, or mis-assembly of the grill, this direct approach is probably for the best. Unfortunately, parts of the manual written in other languages were unable to be evaluated, but it is guaranteed that they contain the same information. The only reason for evaluating the other language sections is to determine if the translators were successful in imparting the same information without syntax errors.
Does the introduction involve the audience, clarify how the reader will benefit, or provide the scope and...