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I intend to investigate Manuals in general. Why? I found from personal experience, that manuals are not followed.
– Why are they NOT used more often?
– Why do the majority of people NOT read them and utilise them as frequently?
– Are manuals boring or unappealing for people? And if yes, could this be due to aesthetic and typographic
– Could the client oppose to the idea of having a manual with a negative perception?
– Should the name change, and be given a different title? Ex: Handbook, Guidebook or Sourcebook.
I will be investigating on the above queries throughout my research. My challenge is to create a manual that is:
i. Aesthetically interesting.
ii. Understandable (Easy to read).
iii. Filled with visuals such as Illustrations.
iv. Text/Font will be minimum 9/10pt.
v. And most importantly Interactive.
I will be creating a DIY Manual for Home essentials. This manual will be designed for people who have just moved in their new house/apartment, which is quite a popular niche at the moment. Rather than calling it a manual, it is more of a dictionary. Why? Since it will assist people to begin decorating and make their home functioning properly by referring to it as frequently an conveniently as needed.
The majority of people living in this modern society have no know how on decoration/fixture project. This handbook will demonstrate both traditional and new techniques, which will be of assistance to home projects.
At the moment we are facing a situation where a lot of individuals and couples are moving on their own without any handy or manual skills. This usually results in frustration and hours of online searching for simple solutions. At the same time, self- sufficiency and DIY are on the rise as costs of living are becoming higher and people would not like to rely on external sources to do simple house tasks / projects.
My project aims to be gratifying to people who have never done any manual DIY Jobs/Decorations. Apart from that it aims to help people be more economical and independent. At the same time, the decorative visuals will make my ‘handbook’ more of a fun book to read rather than a boring manual, which could also serve as a type of hobby or even therapy, for those who enjoy DIY projects.
With regards to decorative projects, there will be tips to assure personal touches within each task/project, depending on one’s choices and expectations.
There is online research stating, “Why do readers NOT follow manuals? Do readers read manuals? Is it lack of time? Or Information overload?”
This website [http://www.techcommunicators.com/emanuals/wrm/chap01/01-01_read.htm] show how to WRITE readable manuals. But does not go into details as to how aesthetics affect this issue.
Other online research such as [http://www.broadbandbuddy.com.au/broadband-learning-centre/reading-the-manual] and [http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2009/aug/19/instruction-manual-obsolete] websites state clearly, why people do not bother reading manuals. It mainly mentions the Internet and of how it effected manuals. Once again problem solving online usually involves searching threads within forums that could prove to be a frustrating task. However I will still be using online sources to my advantage by linking it directly to my handbook.
In my research I will be tapping on: Primary research:
– Behaviour and attitude
– Aesthetic presentation
– Efficiency (Time consuming)
– Monitoring the success and failures of the created manual by taking feedback from the clients who made use of it.
Secondary research (Books and Online Research):
– Art and Design Movement
– Manuals (How to write one)
– How manuals evolved
– Logo Design
– Editorial Design
– DIY projects
– Tools and appliances
This dissertation will comprise of both primary and secondary research. The research process methodology as followed for this dissertation based on the outline given by Graziano and Raulin, in their paper.
The research paper is qualitative in nature and, this type of research work “is best suitable when little is knows about the product, category, or respondent group or when the researcher whishes to expand the current state of knowledge…” (Mariampoliski, 2001, 23-24). It is also important to use an inductive and qualitative analytical method, which would make it easier for the researcher to come a “conclusion from the one of more particular facts or pieces of evidence [where] the conclusion explains the facts, and the facts explain the conclusion” (Blumberg, Cooper, Schindler, 2005, 23).Primary research.
The primary research will consist of open-ended interviews involving the clients. Their answers will be studied closely to interpret and show as to how the manual affected them. The primary research will give a voice to the clients and will help me get a clear picture of the actual ground system needed to create this handbook.
analysis of pre-existing information from various book, journals, articles and online websites. This form of study would account for the main pool of information for my dissertation, and would help in comprehending the problems within the present system while enabling me to analyse the entire situation correctly, so as to be able to arrive at a somewhat improved and practical conclusion.
In the future, after 3 issues, I will further investigate the success/ failures of this manual from the clients. The client’s suggestions ideas and critique will be taken in considerations in the creation of future manuals. This leading to an on going interactive project.
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