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Old 03-30-12, 10:23 AM   #1
CbadRider
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Do you read user manuals?

Part of my job is putting safety warnings in the user manuals for our products. Judging from the stupid things I've seen people do, I have a feeling most people never read user guides, or if they do, they ignore any safety warnings in them.

Do you read product manuals or do you just toss them out with the packaging?
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Old 03-30-12, 10:25 AM   #2
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Never really read them but I save them in case I need to look something up. I'll scan it for those warnings, looking for the little triangles with the exclamation points in them. Till this day I still can't figure out the voice navigation system in my Lexy.
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Please dont outsmart the censor. That is a very expensive censor and every time one of you guys outsmart it it makes someone at the home office feel bad. We dont wanna do that. So dont cleverly disguise bad words.
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Old 03-30-12, 10:27 AM   #3
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It depends on what it's for. Some things are just obvious how to use.

So you're the guy who writes stuff like "DO NOT USE TOASTER OVEN UNDER WATER!!"
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Old 03-30-12, 10:28 AM   #4
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No, she's the WOMAN who HAS to put in warnings because of boneheads who do things to hurt themselves.
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Please dont outsmart the censor. That is a very expensive censor and every time one of you guys outsmart it it makes someone at the home office feel bad. We dont wanna do that. So dont cleverly disguise bad words.
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Old 03-30-12, 10:35 AM   #5
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No, she's the WOMAN who HAS to put in warnings because of boneheads who do things to hurt themselves.
Yeah, I guess the avatar should have given it away.
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Old 03-30-12, 10:40 AM   #6
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It depends. I tend to read them for some things, but not others. Electronic stuff that has to be set up just so, yes. Things with clocks that need setting, I'll at least read the clock part. Most kitchen appliances, no.
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Old 03-30-12, 10:45 AM   #7
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+1 depends on how complex or potentially hazardous something is. But regardless of what an item costs, I keep the manuals for at least as long as I keep the item. Sometimes I keep manuals of discarded items, to compare data with newer items bought to replace them.
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Old 03-30-12, 10:49 AM   #8
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It depends on what it's for. Some things are just obvious how to use.

So you're the guy who writes stuff like "DO NOT USE TOASTER OVEN UNDER WATER!!"
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No, she's the WOMAN who HAS to put in warnings because of boneheads who do things to hurt themselves.

I go into the work lunchroom during Girl Scout cookie time, and a guy has put a large cardboard box of cookies right up against the vent of the toaster oven. The same toaster oven that regularly has dripping melted cheese flame up on the heater elements. He couldn't figure out why I kept moving the box away from the toaster.

The warnings in the user manuals are there because people actually did stuff that required them to be put there.
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Old 03-30-12, 11:34 AM   #9
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I don't toss them. Good thing cuz even though my Mom's tv is nearly 30 years old, I've been able to make the necessary hookups to allow for the changing technology. Us kids would love to get a new tv for her but she's a retro grouch...quite content with the familiar. The manual included some surprisingly useful info that helped me hook it up with VCRs, DVD players, combo players, digital converters, etc. I did have to write some basic instructions for her (she's 82) when she wants to do "x", push this and so on. But yes, it certainly pays to hold onto the manuals.
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Old 03-30-12, 11:44 AM   #10
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I always read them, but don't always follow the directions. One of my friends gave me that advice years ago, and it's proved to be good advice over the years.

Shop manuals tend to be more useful for repairs, and having 2 manuals for the same vehicle often provides the insight needed for some jobs. And sometimes provides for some amusing situations when the directions contradict each other.
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Old 03-30-12, 11:46 AM   #11
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I always skip over the warnings. They are just to mind numbing, and go to what
i am looking for.
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Old 03-30-12, 12:05 PM   #12
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Oh, I read and keep them. And as a risk manager, I like to read the warnings out of professional interest, since I have come up with a few myself.

Pretty much every warning has a liability suit behind it somewhere.
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Old 03-30-12, 12:08 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by CbadRider View Post
Do you read product manuals or do you just toss them out with the packaging?
I literally read every single word of every manual I have ever had. Every word. It's a hobby. It started because I decided one day that I want to get the most out of my money, so even if I know what I bought, there might be something in the manual about the product that I didn't know, thus getting even more of my money's worth.
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Old 03-30-12, 12:11 PM   #14
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Personally, I think there is a bit of a problem if the product requires an extensive manual to operate correctly, but failing that 4 pages.
If the manual is more than 4 pages long... you've lost me.
and it better have a lot of pictures.


I can understand that there needs to be some learning period for the user, but the length of the manual shouldn't exceed the complexity of the device.


One thing I hate about my gas stove oven. The 5 dials are in a line, but the outlets they control are in a {: | :** configuration and I constantly mistake front and rear.

One thing I like about my car's clock. There are two buttons, one for setting hour and one for minute. I don't even have to go into "setup" mode. I just press the buttons and it changes. This is unlike a lot of other household devices that require too many menus and submenus to get where I want.
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Old 03-30-12, 12:30 PM   #15
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Are you responsible for the size 1 font in the manuals? I look like Sherlock Holmes holding my magnifying glass up to my eye. No, I don't need glasses otherwise.
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Old 03-30-12, 01:39 PM   #16
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The warnings in the user manuals are there because people actually did stuff that required them to be put there.
I want to know who prompted the warning about taking a hair dryer into the shower.


On second thought... No I don't.


And, yes, I read the manual. The more expensive/dangerous the toy, the more I read the manual. As an added bonus, I can get a lesson in Spanish, French, German, Italian...
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Old 03-30-12, 01:58 PM   #17
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Depends, I skip over the obvious stuff like "Do not use this drill underwater." Yes, I figure the warning is there because some numbskull actually tried it with bad results. But I do read the operating aspect of it.

Siu, go online and you can print a list of the verbal commands the Lexus nav system understands. It is not user friendly, at all.
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Old 03-30-12, 02:01 PM   #18
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I want to know who prompted the warning about taking a hair dryer into the shower.
Probably a relative of these guys.

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Old 03-30-12, 02:20 PM   #19
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Oh, I read and keep them. And as a risk manager, I like to read the warnings out of professional interest, since I have come up with a few myself.

Pretty much every warning has a liability suit behind it somewhere.
I'm a CSR, and used to be in manufacturing engineering; I've been on the "write the guidelines for this" end of the equation, and the "I did stuff and now it doesn't work. How do I fix it?" end of things. As a courtesy to both positions with any company from which I purchase items, I read the manuals. I don't want to be the guy calling up to ask something simple which is clearly defined in the manual. (I just finished up another one of those calls. They're simple, but I have to wonder how many people just toss the manual in the trash with all the rest of the packaging.)
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Old 03-30-12, 02:36 PM   #20
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You get a feel for exactly how much to read, and where. Pages with lots of boldface large print in boxes tend to get attention. Boxes full of RED BOLDFACE tend to get lots of attention.
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Old 03-30-12, 02:39 PM   #21
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It depends on my mood and the complexity of the situation. Also, potential monetary loss from my screw ups is a factor.

Being a tinkerer, I can't help but attempt to do things without the manual.
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Old 03-30-12, 02:53 PM   #22
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Probably a relative of these guys.

Thanks. I needed a good laugh. Though it was a scary laugh.
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Old 03-30-12, 06:00 PM   #23
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Part of my job is putting safety warnings in the user manuals for our products. Judging from the stupid things I've seen people do, I have a feeling most people never read user guides, or if they do, they ignore any safety warnings in them.

Do you read product manuals or do you just toss them out with the packaging?
Save them if I save the box. Toss them if I don't. I don't read them unless I need to address a specific issue then I usually go to the manufacturer's website and look at the manual online so I can use the search.
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Old 03-30-12, 07:39 PM   #24
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Hell to the yes. I cannot fathom how users of expensive, complex equipment ignore a little light reading before operation. Not to mention how they limit the capabilities of said equipment by not being aware of the higher functions. Ignorace can be costly, and i really have to bite my lip to tell someone with a straight face it will cost them $1600.00 to fix the gear before they even used it. I deal with users like this daily, and at times it makes me fear for their safety.
Chadrider, i have a good safety warning for you, gleaned from a printed manual:
"It must be understood by the operator that common sense and caution are factors which cannot be built into this product, but must be supplied by the operator"
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Old 03-30-12, 07:56 PM   #25
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They take away the fun of figuring it out yourself. I refer back to them for hidden features, or how-to for things that were not engineered well enough to be obvious.
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