Quick Start Guide of an MP10 MP3 Player
The audience of the Quick Start Guide (QSG) is going to be composed of men and women who have purchased the mp3 player or received it as a gift. The owners of an MP10 mp3 player may or may not have experience using an mp3 player, and even if they do, the experience may not be with this exact model. One way the designers of the QSG allow for a wider audience is by providing a Spanish alternative to the English side. The reader of this guide needs thorough instructions and diagrams in order to begin operating the MP10 as quickly as possible. For this reason, the instructions are laid out in numerical order to introduce the user to the different features and options that are available. These instructions correlate with diagrams of the MP10. Callout boxes point out the buttons and their functions to allow the user of the QSG to use as much or as little of the guide as they desire. One can assume that because of varying levels of technological knowledge, a user of the guide would want to be informed on all of the capabilities the MP10 possesses. The reader may ask a question like; What is possible with this expensive mp3 player? In turn, the designers of the QSG have to display the functions of the MP10 without turning the guide into a complete owner's manual. The user of the guide wants to use a feature of the MP10 as quick as possible, and probably doesn't want to read that much in order to do so. Therefore, the readers' design preferences include solid diagrams, distinct headings, and comprehensive directions without being overly long.
The overall purpose of the QSG is to inform the reader how to use the MP10. The designer of the guide had to display each of the potential functions of the player and provide the short, yet complete instructions associated to performing each task. A QSG is exactly what the title suggests, a brief way of introducing the MP10 to a user. It is not an all-inclusive owner's manual, but a guide with the intent of allowing the user to find their specific function in one of the bolded headings and follow the instructions to perform the task. Knowing that most buyers of electronic equipment want to get their purchase home as soon as possible and put it to use is the issue that generated the QSG. Most people want to avoid the hassle of having to read a large instruction booklet to use something; they simply want to power it up and use it without much thought. Excitement ensues after making a purchase, especially if it is going to be used for recreational purposes. Thus, the designers of the QSG provided a fast way for readers to begin use of their MP10. The QSG's main purpose is included in the title of the product and that is simply to be quick.
Readers of the QSG use the document for one of seven different functions. However, when the owner of the MP10 first uses the guide it will probably be for only one single use. It may be to listen to mp3's, the FM radio, transfer music, or record voice messages. Whatever the intended function, the QSG will aid the user in finding the instructions. The guide may be read from beginning to end, but the document's purpose is to move the user to an end, and quickly. Most users of the MP10 purchase the device for the portable and efficient mp3's. So, the owners of the MP10 probably read the guide first at home while sitting at a computer or desk. Regardless, there are many other scenarios in which the guide may be read. Some of the possible places the QSG may be read are at work, at the gym, at home, or on a walk. The QSG is designed to be small and concise so it can be used anywhere. The QSG is small for a reason, so it is easily transportable and easy to access on the fly.
The overall legibility of the print in the QSG will depend on the age of the reader and the vision he/she possesses. A younger audience with strong vision can read the small print and comprehend the language and diagrams relatively easily. An older audience, or those with vision problems may not be able to read the print or distinguish the parts of the MP10 in the manual without a magnifying lens. This is a problem for some owners of the MP10 because without sufficient aid, the manual is difficult to read. Designing a larger QSG with larger typefaces would allow a higher percentage of users to read the manual without an aid.
Visibility of Illustrations
One problem associated with the QSG is the small illustrations. The illustrations of the MP10 are undersized and with quick glances seem very jumbled. One really has to study the illustration to determine which way the MP10 is facing, especially when a side or top view of the MP10 is shown. The illustrations of the different modes, located at the top of page two, are cluttered and hard to decipher from each other. Also, the diagrams of the computer screens on page three are blurry. These diagrams are not the best representation of the specific screens that appear when programming the MP10. However, if a user does not need a magnifying lens to view the QSG and can see the illustrations clearly, the illustrations are quite helpful and detail all buttons and features. The main issue is the size of the illustrations and screen captures.
The QSG's arrangement of information is a strong point. Any questions regarding the particular tasks that the MP10 is capable of can be found by simply looking for the bolded heading corresponding to the task. The bolded headings are located in gray-shaded boxes and capture the eye of the reader without forsaking all information on the individual page. These headings use language that the reader can comprehend easily and figure out what function they want to perform. Technical jargon is omitted here because some first-time users may not understand what exactly is meant by some of the technical wording. The overall accessibility of the document is quite good. It is unfolded and re-folded quickly and can be stored in small places allowing it to be moved from setting to setting.
The QSG, being a manual designed for quick usage, is very concise in its content. The majority of the directions are one line long and stated in command fashion. There is no filler wording, so the directions are straight-to-the-point. For every function the MP10 can carry out, the directions are chronological. These directions are complete and entirely dedicated to the function in question. They roll off quickly and allow the user to follow the steps with ease and clarity. This, in turn, makes the user feel confident in the function they perform.
Overall, I feel the QSG is very usable. The directions are straight-forward and easy to follow. As an owner, I've used the QSG many times for almost all of its functions. Whether for work or recreation, I can say without hesitation that the QSG provides all the direction I need. Aside from blurry visuals and small print, the QSG is very usable and convenient. If I were to make any revisions, I would make the print and visuals larger to enable more users to view everything in it without any aids. Also, I would include some further instruction when describing the process of downloading files into the MP10's memory. The directions are clear enough to get the user to the endpoint. However, more description on finding the intended files is needed. Overall, the QSG is comprehensive in concern to the functions and thorough in its guidance. Users take comfort knowing that the manual is easy to move. They also know that the QSG is reliable in its content and quick to answer any questions related to its use.