The i-Team : Technical Manuals, Handbooks, User Guides & Instructions, Training Material

The i-Team® works with the government department for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to explore best practices in product manual writing.

The i-Team® was contracted by the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS), part of the government department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to carry out a scoping study to explore best practice in the design and writing of instruction manuals with a focus on domestic products. The study formed one part of OPSS’ Strategic Research Programme (SRP) to commission high-quality science-based research, strengthening the evidence base for the development of product safety policy and its delivery and enforcement.

Based on OPSS objective, which was to understand the quality of existing manuals explore best practices, The i-Team came up with a complete research strategy and data gathering approach that was well received by OPSS. The scoping study reviewed 25 existing product manuals across five categories: fridges and freezers, cooking appliances, dishwashers, washing machines and tumble dryers. Common industry practices and recommendations based on literature review and official standards were also explored during this study. The entire strategy was

As part of the study, a preliminary set of best practices for manual production was identified by The i-Team®. Suggestions for improving the quality of manuals, in particular the safety instructions were proposed. Finally, further research to understand consumer behaviour and the psychology behind people’s various degrees of interaction with product manuals was recommended to develop a revised set of best practices for creating more effective product manuals.

The i-Team®’s work has contributed to OPSS gaining an insight into the quality of existing product manuals, the common styles used by businesses to create manuals and consumer behaviour towards using product manuals. Our work also contributed to OPSS identifying future studies to in the field of health and safety and consumer behaviour.

Click here to read the published report.